Welcome to the website of Faringdon & District U3A. We hope that you will find much to interest you, whether you are already a member or merely browsing.

Faringdon U3A has been in existence since 2002 and currently has about 450 members. We think we offer something for all who are eligible to join us – anyone who is not in full time employment. We have a total of 50 interest groups, ranging from Astronomy to Art History, Bridge to Spanish and Family History to Opera. We also have monthly meetings in the Corn Exchange, Faringdon which offer the opportunity to hear fascinating talks as well as the chance to mix with other members. Our Newsletter is published every three months and contains up to date news of the activities of the Committee and Interest Groups as well as details of forthcoming monthly talks. Much of this information can also be found on this site. We are affiliated to the Third Age Trust, our parent body, but have our own constitution . Information about National activities that may be of interest to members, such as Summer Schools, Shared Learning Projects and other joint activities can be found here. In addition we have over recent years enjoyed our association with the Thames Valley Network of U3As. Information on forthcoming activities received from TVN can also be found here. This is a new and developing website and our hope is that members and, in particular, Group Leaders will become used to providing us with material to improve and enhance the information provided.

If you need help navigating the site, particularly using the menu bar at the top of the page, please click here or on the Help button on that menu bar

Late News, Messages and Newsletter Amendments

Date changed Webpage Details
27th April TVN Another Thames Valley Network Event – Crop Science Day
24th April TVN News of Gilbert & Sullivan Event
14th April Theatre Goers Latest theatre trip – ‘A Little Night Music’ at the Watermill
10th April Ramblers Details of next Ramblers Walk on April 27th
5th April See below Details of a new Group (Qigong) being set up by Janette Saville
3rd April Diary Diary for April posted
24th March See below Chairman’s Annual Report and Minutes from last year’s AGM
24th March See below An update from our Chairman about New Interest Groups
24th March Theatre Goers Annual OUTDOOR performance at the BODLEIAN  -Twelfth Night
21st March Astronomy April Sky Newsletter
16th March TVN Event – Einstein An elementary introduction!
27th February Newsletter Spring 2017 Newsletter posted
16th February TVN Event – Kelmscott Local Event – book early!!
14th February Yoga Yoga returns – see below

Message from Janette Saville about Qigong – I would be pleased to set up a  beginner group for Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi.

Using gentle movements and breathing techniques Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi will help to improve circulation and mobility for all.  Shibashi is also accessible for the less mobile as it can also be practiced whilst sitting.

I have been a student of Tai Chi for five years.  Learning Tai Chi has given me an inner strength to help deal with the complexities of life and the stresses of the world around us.  It has also given me bodily strength, improving my stamina and increasing my flexibly.

I have been studying Qigong Shibashi for two years with Sifu Wing Cheung who has given me the inspiration and confidence to take the knowledge I have gained forward and I look forward to teaching others Shibashi for health and happiness.

As we progress I could show other forms of Qigong which are beneficial to our health and also we could study the history and philosophy of Qigong if the group wanted to.

If you are interested please contact me and I will set up an initial meeting for us.

Janette Saville.  01367 243958


Please see the Chairman’s Annual Report here and the minutes of the 2016 AGM here.

The next monthly meeting will be on Thursday 11th May.

Please see details of all monthly meetings here.

The Return of Yoga

YOGA – 5 fortnightly sessions are planned starting on April 24th.  No previous experience is needed. The classes are designed specifically to help with mobility in older people while still holding to the principles of Hatha Yoga. Please contact Jane Archer on 01793 782876.  The classes will be from 3-4pm and cost £10 to cover the hire of the room.   It is possible to attend 1 class, as a taster, for £2. More classes are planned if there is sufficient demand.

New Groups – update (March 2017)

In 2016 it was pleasing to report that several new groups started to operate and Ukulele, Current Affairs, Ashmolean Museum, Striders and Italian groups are now well-established.

A couple of months ago a questionnaire about possible new groups was e-mailed to members and also included in the Spring 2017 Newsletter. There have been almost 90 responses (and it’s still not too late to make a submission) which our IT and Website Coordinator has analysed and summarised, for which many thanks. The immediate outcome is that we are in the process of establishing the viability of Classical Studies, Play Reading and Qigong groups. The first two of these were on the questionnaire list while the third was suggested by a member. More information about these will be made available as plans develop.

On the questionnaire’s list, the ‘Top Ten’ groups that members would be interested in joining if they existed are (in alphabetical order): Antiques and collectibles, Archaeology, Architecture, Art – Drawing and sketching, Art- painting, Bird-watching, Calligraphy, Flower arranging, Local history, Singing and Travel study.

Members also suggested a number of other groups. As well as Qigong (see above) these are (in alphabetical order): Ballet, Boules, Chamber music, Classic cars, Genealogy, German for beginners, Health and well-being, Household maintenance and project management, Jiving, Knitting, Learning guitar, Intermediate computer literacy, Local town and village visits, Netball, Nutrition and cooking, Pilates, Super holidays, Table tennis, Tap-dancing, Vintage radio electronics and Whist.

If any of these subjects are to be the basis of a group, a leader or facilitator will need to be identified. Bar the three mentioned above, no respondent felt sufficiently expert to be able to establish any of the groups listed.

This message is an appeal to those who didn’t respond to the questionnaire to consider whether they might have the necessary expertise, enthusiasm or desire to get a new group going.

Setting up a new group need not be an onerous task and financial resources are available if initial costs are involved. It is also worth pointing out that a “Group Leader” is not a necessity. One of the most successful established groups – History of Art – was launched with a “Facilitator”, charged with the responsibility of organising rather than leading.

If you feel you might be able to set up a group in any of the questionnaire or other areas, please get in touch with me, Peter Smith, or any member of the Committee.