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    St Andrew's Church


Services in May
3rd 9.15 am   Holy Communion (at East Haddon)                                                             
5th 11.00 am   United Eucharist (at East Haddon)
12th 11.00 am   Worship for All
19th 11.00 am   United Eucharist (at Brampton)   and farewell to the Rector with picnic at 12.00
26th 6.00 pm   Eucharist
      Full details of all services and locations for May here
Services in June
2nd 3.00 pm   Institution of Andrea Watkins as Rector of the Benefice (at Brington)
9th 11.00 am   Worship for All
16th 9.15 am   Eucharist (at Norton)   (11.00 am at Brampton)
23rd 6.00 pm   Eucharist
30th 8.00 am   Holy Communion  (at Brampton)
      Full details of all services and locations for June here
Church News

Now that we have said an official farewell to David we prepare to welcome Mrs Andrea Watkins as Rector.  Her Inception Service is at Brington 2nd June at 3.00 pm.  All are welcome.  We have also arranged a coffee morning in church on Saturday 8th June at 11.00 am to give you a chance to meet her.

Andrea was previously Rector of the Grand Union Benefice which is also a multi-parish Benefice including Blisworth and Milton Malsor and her experience will be valuable as we look to the future.  Linda and I have met Andrea and we were also involved in her interview process. All the Churchwardens in the Benefice were agreed that she is the right person for the role.

Remember Linda and l are always open to suggestions about future services, events and how we can help the community.
Our contact details are:

Jon Brierley on 843380 or email

Linda Treacy on 07752 885900 or email


A message from the retiring Rector

March begins with St David’s Day, which this year is on a Friday.  Our usual first Friday in the month Communion service will take place at East Haddon on that day, and we shall give thanks for this remarkable saint, who in the sixth century established a community of monks at what was then called Minevia (now St David’s), and who is of course revered as the patron saint of Wales.

Although I have no Welsh connections, the Christian name which my parents gave me has led to a feeling of particular regard for St David, though I confess that his rigorous moral and spiritual standards are not easy to emulate - at any rate in my case.  He apparently led a very spartan life, and required his fellow monks to do the same.  Their diet was sparse (mainly vegetarian), and there were frequent days of fasting and physical discipline.  It is said that David himself regularly stood for several hours in a freezing pool of water and recited the Psalms, and slept on either a board or the bare floor with little or no covering.

Practices such as these may strike us nowadays as eccentric, or even psychologically dangerous; yet this should not blind us to what is a desirable element of discipline in the life of all of us.  Hard on the heels of St David’s Day comes Ash Wednesday, and each year the season of Lent gives us an opportunity of taking a fresh look at our habits and priorities.  I for one am not always good at giving up something for Lent, but I am going to have a fresh try at doing so this year, and I invite you to consider this as well.  Deliberately to go without something we enjoy, or which gives us comfort, is never easy, and I guess that all of us would shy away from the thought of appearing smug or spiritually superior when we say no to alcohol, chocolate, or whatever else is our particular pleasure.

Yet Lent is never meant to be a grim or masochistic affair: rather, it is a chance for us to let go of something on which we rely (perhaps sometimes too heavily), and thus to discover a new freedom.  Furthermore, taking on something in Lent is just as important as giving something up, and the ‘taking on’ might include setting aside time for some spiritual reading or reflection, or spending time with someone who needs some support and friendship, or simply making up our minds to engage with a task or challenge that we have been putting off for a while.  God bless you all this Lent; may it be a real springtime for each one of us.

l imagine that by now most people probably know that the Bishop of Peterborough has appointed the Reverend Andrea Watkins as the new Rector of the Spencer Benefice, and she will be instituted and licensed to her ministry on Sunday 2 June.  (More on this above)

At present she is the Rector of Blisworth and four other villages near Towcester, and so she already has experience of ministering in a multi-parish rural benefice.  l am sure she will welcome the opportunity of introducing herself more fully in a future edition of the Newsletter, but at this stage let me simply say that she grew up in Duston, and so knows the local area well; furthermore, she is married to Peter, and they have two grown-up children.

All this means that it will soon be time for me to say good-bye to you, and to return to the retirement from which the Bishop persuaded me to emerge two years ago.  It has been a joy to minister in these lovely villages and to get to know so many of you, and part of me would have loved to stay here longer.  But my appointment as your Rector was never meant to be more than a temporary one, for it is plain that this large benefice needs a full-time parish priest, and moreover someone younger than l if the congregations are going to grow, spiritually as well as numerically.  That is my prayer for all of you, and l look forward to ministering among you for a further three months, after which l am confident that some very good and exciting times lie ahead.

Your sincere friend and Rector,

David Painter


 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.