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        St Andrew's Church           

 

Services in St Andrew's Church

(Usually the second Sunday in the month in Whilton - full details of all Benefice services June to August here)

Friday 3 June - 12.00 pm - Jubilee Thanksgiving Service

Sunday 5 June - 10.00 am - Benefice Communion

Sunday 12 June - 9.30 am - Communion

Sunday 10 July - 9.30 am - Communion

Sunday 14 August - 9.30 am - Communion

 

Meditation sessions in the Church

(Usually the fourth Thursday in the month)

Thursday 26th May - 7.00 pm

 

The Rector

Rev Andrea Watkins

01604 771338    email        Benefice Facebook

 

Dear Reader,

The month of March brings to us once again the start of Lent, this is a penitential season in the church calendar that takes us through to Easter.  Shops are already full of hot cross buns, Easter eggs, bunny bunting and egg hunt kits in anticipation of the big day that is to come.

Easter is a glorious celebration in our church year when we recall Christ bursting from the tomb, risen from the dead to new life.  I always find it very moving when I stand at the church door on Easter morning with the new pascal candle and make the proclamation that “Christ is risen”, the congregation reply by saying “He is risen indeed, Alleluia.”  And this response becomes louder and louder each time it is said, it sends shivers down my spine, but that is yet to come.

Waiting for something is not always easy.  Our minds can be so focused on the thing that is to come that we fail to pay full attention to the here and now.  The season of Lent calls us to stop, slow down and wait for Easter to arrive.  It is a time for us to look seriously at ourselves and our relationship with God.

Within our benefice we will be marking the start of Lent with the traditional Ash Wednesday service, we shall be running a Lent course and all the other things you would expect such services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday etc.  The easiest way to find out what’s on is by joining our benefice mailing list, simply send an email to spencerbenefice@outlook.com and then a weekly schedule will drop into your in box or follow us on Facebook, you can find us under The Spencer Benefice Churches.

Easter is coming and it will be glorious to celebrate it once again in those old familiar ways with family and friends but let’s not run to get there, may we discover something wonderful in the waiting.  What will God reveal to you if you stop and take the time to draw nearer to him this year?

(4 March 2022)

 

CHURCH UNDER THREAT - HELP NEEDED

Following our Annual Meeting, the church no longer has a churchwarden as neither Linda nor I stood for re-election.  I have been doing the role for 8 years, which is long enough, and Linda Treacy has not lived in the village for some years now.

There are currently no volunteers to take on this role and the result has serious implications for the continued viability of the church.

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is made up of myself, Linda, Tricia Wood and Phil Grant.  We have legal responsibility for the church building, organise events and activities and work with the Rector.  This is too large a task for just four people to deliver effectively and what we need is more people to come forward to help with the PCC’s responsibilities.

We hope that there is enough goodwill around that even if you are not a practicing Christian or active church-goer, villagers would want to see the church remain open and available for use both for religious and other purposes.

There are three alternatives:

1) New Churchwardens. There may be people who would be willing to be churchwardens or PCC members.

2) Festival Church. A Trust which would take responsibility for the fabric, finance and services and be made up of a team of lay volunteers and a leader from the village, willing to help out.  They would undertake a number of tasks including opening the building as required, setting up for services, maintenance and keeping the village informed about events. The church would probably be open for a limited number of services.  This is the most realistic practical solution.

3) Closure. If the local community decides that there is no need for a place of worship, the Church Commissioners would seek a new use for the building but if no one takes it on, the building and churchyard could fall into disrepair.

What the church needs is for a number of people to take responsibility. You do not necessarily have to become a member of the church or attend services in order to help.

Too much is taken for granted, but if you want to have the church open for christenings, weddings, funerals and other activities, we need you to step forward now in order to safeguard its future. It would be awful if after so many years, this generation is the one which allows the church to close due to lack of support.

If you are concerned by this and would be willing to volunteer, please send me an email.

Jon Brierley on behalf of the PCC.

 

 

 History of the Church

Dedicated to St Andrew, the parish church is one of six within the Spencer Benefice of the Diocese of Peterborough. Built in the 12th/13thcentury the only original parts of the building remaining are the base of the tower and parts of the nave. The remainder of the nave and the upper parts of the tower were built in the later part of the 18th century. A ring of 6 bells was given in 1777 by the patron of the time ~ William Lucas Rose ~ who also paid for their installation and the building work. In 1779 he also gave a gift of communion vessels which are still in use today.

Considerable restoration work was carried out in 1878/9 when the chancel was reconstructed and the vestry and organ aisles added. Most of the existing windows were also restored. The tower and nave roofs were restored in 1957/8.

The east window contains the only stained glass in the building – the subject is Christ’s Crucifixion and dates from 1878. It is believed to be the work of Burlerison and Gryll – the purple/blue colouring being typical of their work and the stained glass designs used based on those of Germany and the Netherlands around 1500.

The Reredos behind the altar is a picture in mosaic depicting the Last Supper – a copy of the painting by Leonardo da Vinci, with the inscription beneath “Do this in remembrance of me”. The mosaic continues on either side depicting on one side ears of wheat, and on the other a grapevine.

The church clock is unusual as it was originally a one handed clock divided into ¼ hours and therefore does not have 60 minutes.

The church is surrounded by a churchyard of 0.649 acres with lovely country views looking eastwards. The earliest known gravestone is that of Thomas Embry Woolwinder who died in 1687.

In April 1994 the 6 bells and the frame were removed. The bells were taken to Whitechapel foundry in London, recast, and 2 new bells added to make a ring of 8.Tenor weight 13-1-5.

All the bells have inscriptions on them. The treble having “The Rose Bell, in memory of William Lucas Rose who gave the original six bells in 1777”. The new bells were rung for the first time on August 13th for a village wedding and were dedicated by the Bishop of Peterborough at a special service on September 29th1994.

The Bellringers practise on Monday evenings 7.45 to 9.00 pm.  Anyone from 10 years can learn to ring – contact Justin Baker on 01327 844263 (e-mail) or Janet Bowers on 01327 842851 (email).

Visiting bands of ringers please contact the tower correspondent Janet on 01327 842851 (email).

St Andrew's is a small church with a friendly atmosphere which welcomes you to any of the services.

Special services include Pet Blessing, Christingle and others which rotate around the Benefice.