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        St Andrew's Church           


Services in February
2nd   10.30 am   Benefice Communion  (at Norton)
9th   11.00 am   Worship for All
16th   9.15 am   Communion (at Norton)
23rd   6.00 pm   Evening Communion
        Full details of all services and locations here - other activities here
Services in March
          To be announced
A message from the Rector
Dear Reader,

By the time the Newsletter lands on your doormat, the world around us will be gearing up for Christmas.  Many of us will have "to do lists" in preparation for the big day, and the media will be busy telling us of all the things we must buy, must have to create a magical day.

The run up to Christmas can feel very pressurised and we can be relieved when we finally make it to Christmas Day and all the preparations are over.  The church offers us a different way of doing things.

We use Advent as a time for slowing down, it is a penitential season and that means that we strip away the decorations in our church buildings, we don’t have any flowers and our focus is on our relationship with God, our lives, as we prepare to welcome afresh the light of Christ into our hearts.

The world will tell you Christmas is coming hurry up, get everything done.  The message from the church is quite different, Christmas is coming, stop, slow down.

When the big day finally arrives, the wrapping paper is torn off, the turkey eaten, but that’s not it for another year, no it is just the start, because the true meaning of the day is that God so loves this world, so loves you, that he sent his Son to be born into the poverty and mess of this world to show us another way.  His love is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving, couldn’t we all do with that in our lives?

We have many services on offer across the benefice why not come and join us and enter into a different way of approaching Christmas this year?  We would love to see you, come join us and discover the real meaning of Christmas that’s wrapped up in a babe in a manger.

May the blessings of this season be with you.

Rev Andrea Watkins.

Dec 2019

Church News
December will be a busy time for us.  We are once again holding our Christmas Tree Festival.  For those of you who may not have come across this before, we invite the village groups to each decorate a Christmas Tree in the church.  It is a good way of strengthening the links between the Church and The Village.  In recent years we have seen many creative and colourful designs and we look forward to the display this year.

The trees will be in church from Saturday 14th December and we will launch the Festival with coffee and cake in church from 11.00 am. Do come along to join us.  The trees will also be a feature of our Carol Service at 6.00 pm on Sunday 15th December.  A traditional service with carols and readings will give you all a chance to join in the Christmas celebrations and get your Christmas off to a good start with some fizz and nibbles afterwards.

On The 18th we are hosting the Pre-School at 10.30 am.  The children will be singing Christmas songs and telling the Nativity Story.  You are welcome to attend.  On Christmas Day our service will be Christmas Worship for All at 9.15 am.  This will be a simple and short service and we look forward to welcoming you.  I know that 9.15 is an early start but the timings are linked in to other services in the Benefice and our clergy team can only be in one place at once!  An early start then frees up your day for all the many other things that you will have to do (including opening presents, helping with The Christmas lunch, eating too much etc, etc).

Once again we will be lighting the exterior of the building during the Christmas period.  I know that a good number of you like to see the lights and we are looking for your sponsorship to enable this to happen.  This gives you an opportunity to mark a special day or perhaps a special memory of a loved one.  The cost is £10 and if you would like to take part, let me know.

We are always looking for new ideas and if you have any suggestions or would like to become more involved, please let us know.
Our contact details are:

Jon Brierley on 07759 443178 or email

Linda Treacy on 07752 885900 or email


Dec 2019
 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.