JANUARY 2021 At the time we normally wish a ‘Happy New Year’ to one and all, the overriding message is that we pray for good health and an end to the current pandemic…which in turn would bring much happiness. Those who have suffered ill health and/or bereavement are very much in our thoughts as we enter yet another lockdown. In an effort to prevent the spread of Coronavirus SERVICES IN OUR CHURCHES ARE SUSPENDED until further notice. However, ALL ARE WELCOME to join our online services via ZOOM at 9.30am each Sunday. If you would like more information about these, please contact Rev Canon Pauline Higham (email firstname.lastname@example.org /telephone 01449 771791), or one of the churchwardens.
Later this month we shall say goodbye to Rev Chris Childs and his wife Wendy as they move to another Suffolk Benefice. They will be greatly missed but fortunately we shall be in the reassuring hands of Rev Canon Pauline until a replacement for Rev Chris is found…. Chris and Wendy will leave with sincere good wishes from us all!
DECEMBER 2020 – The temporary relaxation of Covid restrictions allows us to hold services inside our churches. Please see the Events page for details of services in St Andrew’s Church. Details of other services in the Combs & Finborough Benefice can be found here https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/2338/benefice/ . A FACE MASK MUST BE WORN WHEN ATTENDING ANY INDOOR SERVICE: BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL TO ENSURE SAFE SEATING – please contact the relevant churchwarden to book your place:- Great Finborough – Nigel Brown 675344 Buxhall – David King 737405 Combs – Jenny 615956 Onehouse – Mary 615203 Harleston – Michael 736331 Shelland – Lisa 01359 245013 Little Finborough – Cheryl 774027 or 07708 498364 ***9.30am Sunday Zoom services will continue, and are open to all, whether or not you are regular churchgoer. Please email Rev. Chris Childs email@example.com , Rev. Canon Pauline firstname.lastname@example.org , or one of the churchwardens for details.
NOVEMBER 2020 – IMPORTANT NOTICE regarding church services: Due to Covid 19 restrictions, we regret that our churches are once again closed and November services are cancelled.
OCTOBER 2020 A Bible themed socially distanced Messy Church session of activity and fun will be held in the churchyard one afternoon during half-term. Date to be confirmed; please contact Jan Pearl, Irene Leech or Canon Pauline for more information.
SEPTEMBER 2020 We are all missing the monthly coffee mornings held in our church before restrictions were put in place due to Coronavirus….. and unfortunately this also means we shan’t be able to host the annual Macmillan Coffee Morning this year. However, Sharon Shipp – landlady of the Chestnut Horse is planning to host the event on Friday 25th September, so please come along and support if you can. Those who can’t make it due to shielding, work, or other commitments are invited to hold their own ‘mini-fundraiser’ in any creative way they can think of! Any funds raised can be delivered to Sharon at the pub, or Sadie (by mid-October please) and will be passed on to Macmillan Cancer Research.
AUGUST 2020 Many have welcomed the re-introduction of Sunday Services in the Combs and Great Finborough Benefice, while others continue to join the ‘Zoom’ Holy Communion services every Sunday. To ensure social distancing, you are requested to book your place for services in church, as well as those held outside our smaller churches. Please contact Rev Childs to book your place or to add your details to the weekly email list for the Zoom link and pew sheet.
The Messy church children’s ‘Treasure Hunt’ activities during August were well received, with 24 children joining in at St Andrew’s churchyard, and a similar number in Combs. Our Messy church team have now issued an invitation to children and their families to go on a Harvest Walk and make a ‘Story String’ to bring to the Harvest Festival at Shelland church on Sunday 13th September. See church noticeboards for details…..
JULY 2020 – As efforts are made to ease out of ‘lockdown’, we are delighted to announce that services will resume on a rotational basis between the seven parishes in our Benefice, beginning with a special Re-opening’ Reflective Service at St Mary’s, Combs on Sunday 26th July at 4.00pm. There will be music, but no singing, and every effort will be made to follow current guidelines. Please see Events for further details of this and future services.
ZOOM services will continue each Sunday at 9.30am until further notice. For access information, contact email@example.com .
JUNE 2020 – UPDATE!! Unfortunately our church is not open for services until further notice. However, Rev Chris and Rev Pauline are delivering services and arranging ‘virtual’ services – on Sundays as well as weekdays – and ‘get-togethers’ for those who have access to a computer/iPad/iPhone. If you wish to be included (‘attend’!), please contact Rev Chris and he will send you further details.
St Andrew’s Church, Great Finborough
will be open for private prayer from 10.00am to 12 noon on Saturdays
from 27th June 2020
AND St Mary’s Church, Combs will be open from 2.30 to 4.30pm on Sundays and Wednesdays from 28th June
MAY 2020 On Sunday 17th May a ‘Zoom’ service will be held for all seven of the churches in the Combs and Great Finborough benefice. If you would like to be included, please email Rev Chris Childs for further details. If the plan is successful it is likely that similar services will be held in the coming weeks.
Due to ongoing Coronavirus restrictions, we regret the church is still closed until further notice. The weekly pew sheet, which includes readings and prayers (also shown on the Events page of this website), is available by email – if you would like to be added to the list of recipients, please email Rev Chris, Rev Pauline or firstname.lastname@example.org . Their sermons are also available online each week; email Rev Chris for more information.
Unfortunately many other events – Men’s Breakfast, Messy Church, Coffee Mornings, etc – are also cancelled for the time being. If you are feeling lonely or isolated don’t hesitate to get in touch; our ministers are working hard to ensure that their flock are ok!
COVID-19 (updated information from Archbishop Justin via bishop Martin- 24th March 2020)
The Church continues to be alive and active, but our buildings must close
We are seeing a huge increase in the number of people falling sick with COVID-19. We must distance ourselves from one another and prevent the spread of infection in order to save lives.
Therefore, as well as public worship being suspended, all church buildings in the Church of England (including St Andrew’s) are now closed.
Our worship of God and our care for each other continue but cannot continue in this building for the time being
This information is also on our website: www.standrewsgtfinborough.co.uk
Please contact Rev Chris if you would like a weekly pew sheet or sermon, and in an emergency please contact:-
Rev Chris 01449 673280 or Canon Pauline 01449 771791
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength . . . Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
To protect the vulnerable amongst us, please do not leave your home except for essential trips.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT (17th March 2020): We regret to advise you that the Church of England has suspended all services , including Messy Church, until further notice. There follows a message from the Diocese of Ipswich and St Edmundsbury:-
“Reducing the risk of infection from the coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Church of England’s team for Health and Social Policy is responsible for updates on the coronavirus. They are working collaboratively with the Government and Public Health officials and both the diocesan office and the Bishops’ office are being kept informed.
The Church of England is regularly updating guidance available on the dedicated website page here and as this changes rapidly please check it regularly.
Bishop Martin says “The Church is called to bear the good news of Jesus in every circumstance. As we face the coronavirus pandemic bearing good news means our care for others and especially those who are most vulnerable, and sustaining our life of prayer and worship. We will need to be doing this in different ways following the national guidance and the decision to suspend public worship which is conveyed in the letter found here from the Archbishops issued earlier today and which I ask you to read”.
We continue to pray for all those people caught up in the coronavirus epidemic, for those who are sick, for those who care for them, and for those responsible for planning for our care.
Live streaming Services
We have been live-streaming services from across the diocese:
• Morning prayer from the Bishops’ Oratory (8.30am).
• Evening prayer/evensong from St Edmundsbury Cathedral at 5.30pm.
We invite everyone to join us to pray daily and you can view these services live on Facebook:
St Edmundsbury Cathedral Facebook
Bishop Martin and Bishop Mike Facebook
For those without Facebook, please visit our website where we have added a page with downloads of the most recent services where possible.” (ends)
There is a short set of prayers in church you may wish to use. Please be assured of the prayers of us all and be in contact if you have any issues or concerns: Rev Chris 01449 673280 and Canon Pauline 01449 771791
MARCH 2020…….after an exceptionally wet and windy FEBRUARY (although the weather didn’t deter attendance at Messy Church, Community Coffee Morning or Sunday services) it’s wonderful to see signs of Spring with bright daffodils and other colourful flowers appearing – together with the occasional sunny spell! This month’s coffee morning will feature a Bring’n’Buy stall, so bring along any unwanted items that you feel others might want, then enjoy a delicious piece of cake with a cup of coffee or tea…then come back for a free refill! Funds raised will be divided between the church and EACH. On Wednesday 25th March the Annual Parish Church Meeting will take place in St Andrew’s Church. Do come along if you would like to find out more about your local church, including the Vicar’s report, news of what the PCC has done during the year, finance, etc….
JANUARY 2020…..Happy New Year! This month’s speaker at Men’s Breakfast gave an enlightening talk about ‘Healthy Homes, Healthy Lives‘ . A large group attended, enjoying the usual traditional English breakfast – a welcome antidote to last month’s Christmas Fayre! The next bi-monthly meeting will be on Saturday 14th March; see the Events diary for more details and how to book your place. The monthly Community Coffee morning on 14th January raised funds for GeeWizz ; we struggle to keep the church building warm, but a warm and friendly atmosphere is guaranteed. Everyone, of all ages, is welcome to join…and no need to book.
DECEMBER 2019…..Suddenly December has arrived – along with all things Christmassy! Everyone is invited to attend his month’s Christmas coffee morning, raising funds for our church.
The month kicks off with a Patronal Service on 1st December, following St Andrew’s Day on 30th November. The following Sunday sees our first Christmas service of Advent, with Christingle at 3.00pm; as usual, everyone, of all ages, is welcome! For details of other services please see the Events page.
We wish everyone a joyous Christmas time, and remember those who are lonely, sick, bereaved or facing difficulties while others celebrate.
NOVEMBER 2019 …..flew by! Everyone involved drew a huge sigh and had a wide smile after the success of October’s Autumn Supper; delicious food and a lovely atmosphere enjoyed by all. November’s Messy Church was as popular as ever, as was the coffee morning – enhanced by the presence of members of the Grace’s craft group – and the very moving Remembrance service.
Looking for something to entertain the children during half-term? Children of primary school age are invited to join in the fun at a Light and Laughter party in St Andrew’s Church from 4pm – 6pm on Thursday 31st October! For more information, contact Revd Canon Pauline Higham (01449 771791) or Irene Leech (01449 676567).
Thank you to all who came along to the monthly Coffee Morning on 8th October. The craft group enjoyed a natter while demonstrating their skills, beautiful hand made items were on sale, and Helen – our regular Avon Lady – was there to deliver and take orders. The morning raised £142-55 – £40 of which was donated by the craft group – to be shared between the church and Stowmarket ASD Club.
Tickets are now on sale for our annual ever-popular Autumn Supper on 26th October- limited numbers so book early to avoid disappointment (payment required at time of booking) – see Events Calendar!
On the following day, at 6.30pm, there will be a service for the bereaved from all parishes in the Benefice at St Mary’s, Buxhall, followed by refreshments.
Yet another month has flown by! Messy Church saw a healthy turnout of children making a mess(!) and generally having fun in the context of church and worship. The Macmillan Coffee Morning also saw excellent attendance, raising over £260.00!! We couldn’t have done it without the help of bakers/ servers/ washers up…and many, many more! Unfortunately the planned Race Night was cancelled due to insufficient ticket sales; however, we hope that holidays will be over for many by Saturday 26th October when we are ‘Going back in time’ for our ever-popular Autumn Supper. Tickets will be on sale very soon; if you wish to pre-order now to guarantee your place, please don’t hesitate to contact Tim or Sadie! Our Supporter’s Day will be held in church that morning (you may have received a yellow flyer through your door). It’s your opportunity to learn about work that has been going on – and what is planned for the months ahead……
Another month…another wedding…another baptism…it’s lovely to welcome new faces into our church – and, of course, we’re always happy to see them again on other occasions. If you need transport to enable you to attend a service please speak to a churchwarden or member of the clergy. There is a hearing loop, and gluten free communion wafers are available on request; please speak to a welcomer when you enter the church.
Messy Church, on the first Friday of each month, attracted a good number of children again this month (and we’re always glad to see them at our Sunday services too!). We’re extremely grateful to those who voluntarily run the sessions. There’s no charge, but donations are welcome – as is practical help!! Volunteers are also welcome to join in with others tidying the churchyard on Saturday morning, 24th August. You will be rewarded with refreshments at the end of the morning!
This month’s coffee morning raised funds for DEBRA, the charity supporting those who suffer from Epidermolysis Bullosa (a group of genetic skin conditions).
Tickets are now on sale for the Race Night to be held on 21st September, and we expect to see cyclists preparing for the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust Ride and Stride which takes place on Saturday 14th September (the same day as Men’s Breakfast). If you don’t cycle you might wish to take a walk – or sponsor someone who will take part. For more information about any upcoming events see the Events page….
July came …and went – very quickly, and there was a fair amount going on! The west end boundary wall was repaired on some of the hottest days in the month; there remains a pile of soil, part of which will be removed (to avoid pressure and resultant damage to the wall), and some to be dispersed/ taken away. Inside the church some regular maintenance and safety checks were carried out and everywhere was looking spic and span for the two weddings during the month. Congratulations to the newlyweds!! We were able to hold our monthly Community Coffee Morning outside in the sunshine, raising £73.50 to be shared between Autism UK and St Andrew’s. Our current building focus is on improving the heating – while, at the same time, keeping everything else in good order – so every donation is greatly appreciated.
Great Finborough Church Primary School welcomed the children who will be joining the school in September and, while they spent some time in the classroom and getting to know the teachers and others who will support them, their parents, siblings, etc. had time to meet one another over a cuppa. Some already come to Messy Church, and others plan to come along to future sessions….It happens on the first Friday of each month, from 3.30pm – no need to book!
With signs of summer here at last, it has been good to see more people attending services, Messy Church, and visiting the building and churchyard at other times. There’s a lot to see, and the Church Guide (available near the main entrance) points out details of note, and there are second hand books/CDs/DVDs to browse through, and names of previous ministers on display, as well as many memorials and a Roll of Honour in memory of those who fought and died for our freedom. Outside, Buxhall church can be seen in the distance….and at the end of a sunny day there’s usually a glorious sunset to behold!
The next Messy church will begin at 3.30pm on Friday 5th July, and everyone is welcome to join us at our monthly coffee mornings…the next will be on Tuesday 9th July from 10.00am.
We welcome the recent warm, sunny days when the impressive view from the West end of the church over Buxhall Vale is even more spectacular at sunset! Next time you stroll through the churchyard to take it in, do turn around and look at the newly refurbished West door – another impressive sight. The work is not yet fully completed on the inside, but this is just the first step of a project to reduce draughts and install more efficient heating – as always this means more funds are needed so we daren’t ‘take our foot off the pedal’!!
A band of volunteers will be undertaking the churchyard tidy-up on Saturday 18th May – we are grateful for any help (bring your own ‘favourite’ garden tools) between 10.00am and 1.00pm. Refreshments will be on offer to keep you going!
Thank you to all the 37 people who came along to the Lent Lunch, hosted by Simon and Jacqui, at which well over £250 was raised for the ongoing work in Kagera. A big thank you to all those who supported the Valuation Day in various ways on 13th April, including those who brought along items to be valued, who baked delicious cakes, served refreshments and set up/cleared away. The event raised £145-00 for the never ending list of jobs to maintain and improve our church building! Thank you also to Oliver miller (Bishop & Miller Auctioneers) and his wife – we couldn’t have done it without you!!
Easter is an exceptionally busy time in the church calendar. Check the Events list for details of various services in Great Finborough.
Soon after, on 24th April, is the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, starting at 7.30pm,to which all who are interested in what’s going on or what is planned for St Andrew’s are most welcome.
Spring time ! A time to clean, tidy, sort out your cupboards! No doubt you’ll come across items you’ve forgotten you had, wonder why they were kept…..and how much are they worth?? Why not bring them along to our fundraising valuation event from 9.30 am – 12 noon on 13th April? See Events for more details.
We currently have vacancies for a Churchwarden, Church Secretary, and a Minutes Secretary. The latter would be required to attend 5 or 6 evening meetings per year, then type and distribute the minutes to members of the Parochial Church Council (PCC). Please contact Rev Childs as soon as possible if you would like to become more involved in the church or help in any way.
The Annual Parochial Church Meeting will be held at 7.00 pm on 24th April. anyone who is interested is welcome to attend and find out more about what’s going on in our church, but only those who are on the Electoral Roll may vote/ have their say. In 2019, the six-yearly revision of the Electoral Roll is due; this means that everyone has to come off the roll and re-apply; forms are now available in the church, or contact one of our officers if you need one to be sent to you. New members are very welcome; please ensure that your application form is completed and submitted as soon as possible.
A new Electoral Roll of church membership must be prepared every six years, before the Annual Parish church Meeting which will be held in the church on Wednesday 24th April. Those currently on the roll for St Andrew, Great Finborough and those who wish to apply for the first time are required complete an application form, available in church or from the Electoral Roll Officer, Hilde Cobbald.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to one and all! The church decorations remained into the new year – and the crib, at least, will still be on display for the very special Epiphany Songs of Praise – a truly Royal occasion – at 4.00pm on 13th January, followed by a ‘Royal Tea’! This month’s coffee morning at the Chestnut Horse was an opportunity for friendly chatter, tea/coffees (free refills!) and delicious cake, while raising funds for the Stowmarket Food bank. This regular event, held on the second Tuesday of each month, usually at the Chestnut Horse, is now well established. Please note the new times, 10.00am – noon, and the first price increase (to £2.00) since it began. Check the Events calendar for any updates/ change of venue/etc.
As always, December is a very busy month in the church. We shall be pleased to see as many people as possible at our services – in particular the Christingle, Village Carols and, on Christmas Eve, the Crib Service and – at 11.30pm – Holy Communion. See the Events page for more details and be assured of a warm, relaxed welcome and, in most cases, refreshments afterwards.
PLEASE NOTE: Evening Prayer on Thursday 13th December has been cancelled
THANK YOU to all those who have supported our monthly coffee mornings, held in the Chestnut horse – and occasionally in the church. this month, members of the local ‘craft group’ were our hosts, raising £160.50 for church funds! the next coffee morning will be on Tuesday 8th January, 9.30am. Check the website for confirmation of where it will be held….
Thank you to all who journeyed ‘All Around the World’ at the Autumn Supper last month. Feedback suggests that it was as good as – or even better than previous years, and we enjoyed planning, and preparing for it (although, admittedly it was hard work at times. We couldn’t do it without those who give of their time and talents voluntarily, and we don’t take it for granted. If you enjoy getting involved please don’t be shy…helpers are always welcome!! If you haven’t yet bought your tickets for the Ipswich Gilbert & Sullivan Society concert on 1st December you can still buy them on the night at the door. There will be a selection of music from classical to pop, folk to musicals and, of course some Gilbert & Sullivan favourites.
This month kicked off with Messy Church on the first Friday as usual. It’s becoming increasingly popular and is open to all children – not just regular churchgoers. Children must be accompanied by an adult, but there’s no need to book, and no charge. PLEASE NOTE that the Service of Remembrance will commence at 10.50am on 11th November. At 7pm the church bells will be rung as part of the National event “ringing for peace” .
We are grateful to those who made poppies for the stunning display in the church. Thank you especially to Mary Williams who did some research about those men from the Great Finborough area who fell in WW1; information can be found on temporary display boards in the church.
|A temporary display, commemorating the centenary of WW1, can now be viewed in the church, thanks to a band of local volunteers! Poppies ‘cascade’ from the rood screen (which was originally installed in memory of the fallen), and display boards around the church give more detail. The church is open to everyone daily, except Friday afternoons during term time, when it is filled with children from the nearby school, so do come and look inside.|
TICKETS for the Autumn Supper (27th October) are now ALL SOLD, but there is a waiting list for anyone who wishes to be contacted at short notice if there are any cancellations. Meanwhile Ipswich Gilbert & Sullivan Society concert tickets (1st December) are now on sale – see the Events calendar for more information. Both events have been hugely successful in the past, so don’t be disappointed “get your tickets early!”
The special service to Remember the Dear Departed will take place on 28th October. If you wish to add a name to the list of departed loved ones, please contact Rev Childs.
Our Macmillan Coffee morning attracted a number of regular coffee (and cake!) lovers, raising £176 in the process. Thank you to all who gave so generously!
There’s always lots going on…please do check back to our Events page regularly to keep up to date – we welcome everyone warmly.
HOT NEWS!! 1. Following the final ‘collapse’ of our 1920’s organ we have been fortunate to have been loaned a Technics SX G100 organ by Pat Ling (of Onehouse) which – thanks to Tim, Peter, Ollie and Tommy – was transported to the church on Wednesday 5th September.
HOT NEWS!! 2. More thanks…this time to John Griffin for generously giving of his time, expertise – and contacts! We now have a fully functioning hearing loop installed. If you will benefit from it, please come along to a service to try it out!!
At the beginning of last month, a group of children – Amy, Lily, Mia, Eleanor and Jessica – visited the church to present Rev Chris with items they had collected for the Food Bank having heard that some families struggle for food in the summer holidays. We are all very proud of them, as no doubt their own families and school are!
Now to another month…and another busy time ahead! First off we have Messy Church for children of all ages (arguably suited to under nines – but we’re all children at heart!), accompanied by an adult, on Friday 7th September. There are toys for the very young – and they’ll probably enjoy the music and food too!!
For the gentlemen of the village there’s Men’s Breakfast the following day – the hearty English breakfast is excellent preparation for those intending to ‘Ride or Stride’ in aid of Suffolk Historic Church Trust on the same day. If you decide to join in at the last minute sponsor forms will be available in the church, which will be open from 9.00am until 5.00pm.
On Tuesday 11th we are holding a Macmillan Coffee Morning at the Chestnut Horse. Needless to say, everyone is welcome to pop in or stay for a while and support this worthy cause.
Sunday 23rd September is the day of our Harvest Festival; do join us and if you wish to stay for the ‘bring and share’ lunch afterwards.
Details of all these events can be found on the Events page; this month’s services are also on the church gate noticeboard, with full details of all services in the Benefice on the porch noticeboard….
It doesn’t slow down after all of the above!! SAVE THE DATES of our forthcoming Autumn Supper, ‘All Around the World’, on 27th October, Gift Day on 3rd October, and a wonderful musical evening on 1st December (see Events)….
….and then there’s Christmas!
In the peak school holiday period, we were pleased to see a healthy number at the monthly ‘Messy Church’ session. The next one will be on 7th September (see EVENTS) – no booking required! Coffee morning at the Chestnut Horse was also well attended. We’re pleased to announce that the new (fully functioning!) hearing loop is will be installed soon BUT the bad news is that our organ is in a poor state – and possibly beyond repair. Discussions are taking place about the way forward…..
On the brighter side, preparations for the Autumn Supper (27th October) are under way – SAVE THE DATE, and watch this space!!
A busy start to the month with Messy Church on 6th July, and our monthly coffee morning at the Chestnut Horse on 10th. We expect there will be a higher demand for soft drinks, rather than coffee/tea, next month with schools closed and children to entertain. All ages are welcome!
Do you enjoy cycling , or walking, or just having a chance to sit down for an hour or so? Whichever you prefer, there’s an opportunity to take part in this year’s Suffolk Historic Churches Trust Ride and Stride on Saturday 8th September – and raise funds for St Andrew’s church at the same time! Please see the Events page for more information….
It’s great to see real signs of summer at last….the only downside is how the churchyard weeds flourish and the grass grows faster than usual!! Thank you to those who tend their family graves, and to those who are able to do that extra bit more by mowing the surrounding areas. The churchyard is to many a space for remembering, and the colourful flowers may just help to bring back happy memories.
A corner of the churchyard wall, near the entrance gate, is at last receiving attention and will hopefully be rebuilt very soon. We are also investigating the church hearing loop system which for some time has been unreliable
The popularity of Messy Church is fast growing, but so far we haven’t had to put a cap on the numbers! Held on the first Friday of each month, the next will be on 6th July. Come on children…tell your friends and ask an adult to bring you along – it’s great fun!
This month’s coffee morning on 12th June will be raising funds for Parkinson’s UK. Do come and join us at the Chestnut Horse for the usual selection of delicious cakes with tea or coffee. All are welcome, no matter how old or young. Dave, Jade and George are great hosts – it’s great to see our local pub flourishing again! Their chef, Lee, has a growing number of fans too!
Great Finborough Open Gardens – organised by the village garden club – takes place on 1st July, from 12.30pm. Buy your ticket and pick up a map from the stall near the village car park then stroll around the gardens (at least fifteen will be open at the last count), stopping off for refreshments on the way. We are very fortunate that our church has been chosen to benefit from this annual event in 2018. See the Events page for times of services and more details of what’s coming up…..
A busy month ahead!! The long awaited fashion Show is here at last – 0n Thursday 5th April – if you haven’t bought your ticket you can pay at the door, enjoy a welcome drink and relax for a while (and perhaps treat yourself to a new fashion item!). See ‘Events’ for more information. The following day there will be Messy Church for the children, 3.30 – 5.30pm. All ages are welcome for food and fun! The monthly coffee morning at the Chestnut Horse comes around so quickly – and happens again on Tuesday, April 10th.
On Sunday, 8th April, there will be a special short service at 3.00pm to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Lieutenant Colonel Robert dewing RE DSO, grandson of Robert Pettiward of Finborough Hall, attended by a member of his family. there is a plaque and stained glass window in his memory on the north side of the chancel.
Dave and Jade give us a very warm welcome and regulars enjoy a friendly chat over a cuppa and cake, while Helen displays a selection of Avon products available to order. Everyone is welcome, of any age. The Annual Parish Church Meeting will be help in the church on 11th April; if you are interested in the church – even if you don’t attend services – you will be very welcome, but only those on the church electoral roll may vote.
For more information about forthcoming events and service, see EVENTS page.
MORE THANKS again this month – for your support at the Lent Lunch, which raised £212 for Oxfam and at another successful coffee morning hosted at the Chestnut Horse, where we raised funds to be shared between the church and Stowmarket foodbank. The pub is experiencing a dramatic revival since new tenants Dave and Jade arrived, along with their excellent chef, Lee, and apprentice chef, George – they have already put their own stamp on the venue and a warm welcome (in all senses of the word!) is guaranteed.
Now that there are occasional signs of spring, our thoughts turn to organising more entertaining fundraising events. The prospect of warmer weather is most welcome, and hopefully we’ll see more people in the church as result. However we’re very aware that the building is unbelievably cold at times so our new major fundraising project will be for a better heating system, while funding the general running of the church must always take precedence.
Holy Saturday falls on 31st March – do join us, and bring the children, to Easter Praise at 5.00pm, followed by an Easter Egg Hunt and refreshments.
On Easter Monday the Race of the Boggmen returns to the Chestnut horse (see Events for more details). Bring the family and join in the fun!
Tickets for our Fashion Show to be held on 5th April are selling fast. See the Events page for more details.
THANK YOU to all those who came along to this month’s coffee morning (with apologies for the confusion over its location!). After moving from the church to the pub – opened especially for us on the morning although the Chestnut Horse officially reopens on Friday, 16th February. We received a warm welcome and the sum of £87.50 was raised – to be shared between church funds and the British Heart Foundation. We look forward to hearing Simon’s view on the pub food as he won a ‘meal at the pub for two’, generously donated by the new tenants.
WE ARE ALWAYS GRATEFUL TO VOLUNTEERS – our church wouldn’t be the same without them! As some grow older, they hope to pass on their duties to others, so this is an appeal to you! Would you consider… *serving teas/coffees after a service, *arranging flowers,* cleaning the church 2 or 3 times a year, * helping to organise Messy Church, *mowing/weeding a section of the churchyard, *undertaking routine repairs, *polishing brass, *or anything else you think would be helpful! Please contact Rev Chris or any member of the PCC if you’re willing….
9th January 2018: It was good to see so many ‘regulars’ at this month’s coffee morning….our next coffee morning at the Chestnut Horse will be on Tuesday 13th February, 9.30-11.30am; think hearts, flowers – or pancakes?!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL! You are welcome to join us at any of our services and/or fundraising events…or visit the church at any time – it is normally open to visitors during daylight hours all year round.
THANK YOU to everyone who has supported St Andrew’s in any way during 2017! We are fortunate to be part of a wonderful community – and extremely grateful for all the help we have received during the past year, from cleaners, lawnmowers, key holders, flower arrangers, tea/coffee makers, cake bakers…and all the other voluntary roles people have willingly taken on, including ground works in connection with our ‘Loo project’. We couldn’t do it without you!
PLEASE NOTE this Sunday’s Christingle service will begin at 5.00pm and not 11.00am as previously announced. Please join us for this all age service which is especially suitable for children (see Events for more information).
***DON’T FORGET****……‘A Bit of a Do for the Loo’, 6.30pm 30th November. Join us and raise a glass, see the new facilities and hear the tale of the toilet!! CAR PARKING WILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE VILLAGE CAR PARK, & IN THE GROUNDS OF FINBOROUGH SCHOOL (head for the church and follow the signs). There is also limited parking on Church Road – please park considerately
SAVE THE DATE!!!! Thursday, 30th October – 6.30pm (in St Andrew’s church): ‘A Bit of a Do for the Loo’. Our opportunity to thank the many people who have given of their time, money and practical help along our journey to finally have 21st century facilities in St Andrews.
23rd October 2017: Thank you to all those who kindly visited St Andrew’s to make a donation on Saturday and/or by post to our Treasurer. We’re also grateful to those who ticked off items on our ‘wish list’ which has been put together now that the toilet/ kitchenette project is nearing completion. Those ‘little extras’ that will inevitably needed to equip the new facilities will make a very big difference!! We now looking forward to our next event – the ‘Retro Autumn Supper – which takes place this Saturday, 28th October. This is now almost a sell-out, but there may be one or two tickets or returns available. See EVENTS page to find out who to contact.
16th October 2017: DON’T FORGET…..Supporters’ Day this Saturday, 21st October, in the church between 9.30 and 12.30. We’re always grateful for the generous support given by so many, being it through financial donations and/or offers to join volunteers who help with churchyard maintenance, cleaning (or brass polishing if that’s your ‘speciality’!), flower arranging, post-service refreshments, music, etc., etc.,…..
Everyone is welcome to call by and enjoy a cuppa while finding out what’s been going on behind the screen in St Andrew’s…..!
TICKETS SELLING FAST for the ‘Retro’ Autumn supper on 28th October. Contact Tim or Simon – or buy your tickets on Saturday. Hope to see you there!!
26th September 2017: IMPORTANT NEWS UPDATES….
We are now four weeks into the toilet/ kitchenette project, with work going well so far…. Every effort is being made to minimise any dust/inconvenience caused – we are hopeful that the work will be completed by the end of October.
*Local participants raised £220.00 sponsorship monies in aid of Suffolk Historic Churches Trust by cycling / recording visitors on 9th September. Half of this sum will directly benefit St Andrew’s while the remainder, plus any gift aid, will be distributed to Suffolk churches by SHCT in the form of grants. Thank you to everyone who gave time to meeting and greeting in the church and cycling during the day.
*Our Macmillan Coffee morning at the Chestnut horse raised the fine sum of £170.00! Thank you to Scott for allowing us to take over the pub (and for the delicious cake he donated!) and to all those who generously supported the event.
SAVE THE DATES (SEE EVENTS PAGE FOR FURTHER DETAILS):
8th October – Messy Church
21st October – Gift Day
28th October – Let’s Go Retro!! (tickets on sale NOW!)….see you there!
12th August 2017: Many people may be away on holiday, but there’s loads to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead!
9th September: Suffolk Historic Churches Trust Ride and Stride – raise funds for our local church by being sponsored to cycle, walk or jog around the area, visiting churches along the way – bring your dog or your children with you and discover parts of the area you haven’t seen before.
On 12th September: Macmillan Coffee Morning at the Chestnut Horse, 9.30-11.30am. Coffee, tea (free refills!) and delicious cake, silly games, prize draw, good company and lots of fun – all in the interest of raising money for Macmillan Cancer Research.
AND…Messy Church will be back – on Sundays 8th October, 12th November and 10th December (i.e. 2nd Sunday of each month) starting at 3.00pm. More details to follow…..
Meanwhile, there may be a little more dust than usual in St Andrews as work gets under way to install the long-awaited toilet and kitchenette facilities. We are so grateful to all those who have supported us during our fundraising – but it’s not over yet since it was discovered that the organ blower must be replaced (at significant cost), so our efforts continue. Work should be complete by the end of October, so look out for news of celebrations!!
15th July 2017: Another successful Messy Church session was enjoyed by children and adults alike yesterday. Keep up to date with future dates and events by visiting our new Facebook page!
9th July 2017: DON’T FORGET – Messy church this coming Friday, 14th July, 3.30 -5.00pm. Crafts, games, worship, food and fun activities. Come along and join the fun!
3rd July 2017:
We bid a fond farewll to Rev Rachel Cornish as she leaves us to take up the post of full time Priest in Charge of the Alde Valley Benefice. Her Licensing will take place at Benhall Church on Thursday the 13th July.
10th June 2017: Signs of summers are well and truly here…so some along to Boarded Barn Farm on Saturday 25th June for delicious Strawberry Teas!! All are welcome!
1st June 2017: IMPORTANT NOTICE -This month’s coffee morning will again be held in St Andrew’s Church, 9.30am until 11.30am,due to the temporary closure of the Chestnut horse. Coffee/tea (free refills!) and delicious cake for only £1-50; all proceeds will be divided between St Nicholas Hospice and St Andrews Church. Please do join us for friendly banter, good fun and great refreshments!
3rd May 2017: FANTASTIC NEWS FOR CHILDREN!!
is coming to St Andrew’s. Come and join in the fun – all children from the age of 0 upwards are welcome! First two sessions on Friday 16th June and Friday 14th July. See EVENTS for further details or contact Rev Chris Childs.
5th April 2017: RACE NIGHT Saturday, 13th May – TICKETS NOW ON SALE. Tickets* (£5.00 per person) are bound to sell fast for an evening that promises to be great fun. *Contact Simon or Tim – see Events page for further details
12th March 2017: Last night’s Quiz at the Pettiward Hall was enthusiastically supported….and raised over £500!! Thank you to all who supported – we look forward to seeing you again at future events.
11th March 2017: We have some WONDERFUL NEWS to announce! We have received an offer of funding up to £30,250.00 from Viridor Credits Environmental Company, towards our kitchenette and toilet project. This means that we shall be in a position to commence work within the next few months. We are, as always, tremendously grateful to all those who have supported our efforts thus far – practically, financially, by writing letters of support and attending our fundraising events. Meanwhile, we continue our fundraising efforts in the knowledge there will always be a need to make the facilities comfortable and easy to maintain….
11th February 2017: SAVE THE DATE and start training! Suffolk Historic Churches Trust ‘Bike Ride & Stride 2017’ takes place on Saturday, 9th September. See Events, or register your interest here.
31st January 2017: SAVE THE DATE! Lent Lunch at Maple Lodge, 12.00pm. All welcome.
31st January 2017: GREAT FINBOROUGH QUIZ NIGHT TICKETS NOW ON SALE!! Saturday 11th March, Pettiward Hall, 7.30pm. See Events page for further details.
31st January 2017: An enthusiastic and hardworking team completed Phase 1 of the Kitchenette and toilet project over the weekend, when essential pipework was laid over a distance in excess of 100m in the churchyard. Thank you to all concerned for giving freely of their time and energy, and for keeping the workmen going with regular cups of tea/coffee. Special thanks to Graham (Cascade Pools) for organising hire, delivery and operation of the mechanical digger.
23rd January 2017: IMPORTANT NOTICE Parts of the churchyard will be closed to the public over the weekend of 28th/29th January while a group of volunteers are undertaking groundwork in connection with the ‘Toilet and Kitchenette project. Please see Events for further details. Meanwhile, we await the outcome of a grant application which, if successful, will pave the way for the internal work to forge ahead. We continue to seek further funding to ensure the project can be completed to a good standard and to restore church funds (having been seriously depleted after paying for essential roof repairs and upgrading of internal lighting to LED fittings after it became apparent that the existing lights were unsafe) to a healthy balance, to meet ongoing routine repairs and maintenance. We are extremely grateful to those who have donated so far, and further donations are most welcome.
22nd January 2017: Today a small tree, donated by Great Finborough Garden Club, was planted in the churchyard – near the pedestrian gate on the south side. This was donated by the club in honour of John and Brenda Grimaldi’s Diamond (60th!) wedding anniversary. They have lived in the village for many, many years – first at Westlegate and now at Gardenside – and are known to many. Brenda was a dedicated churchwarden for several years, while John has willingly undertaken ‘running repairs’, maintenance and much more …… A number of people were there to witness the tree planting in bright sunshine, and to wish the ‘Diamond couple’ health and happiness for the future.
11th December 2016: The absence of news updates over the past few weeks is purely due to the abundance of newsworthy events that have taken place! Whilst the renovation and repair of rainwater disposal goods (roof work, guttering, churchyard drainage pipes, etc.) is finally completed, the extent of the work far exceeded that which was originally anticipated – as did the cost, leaving our reserves severely depleted. We are more than ever grateful to generous villagers who have enabled us to see the project through, and on the positive side we have a watertight building which will hopefully remain so for several generations to come.
This places us in a very good position to install the longed for internal facilities – fully accessible toilet and kitchenette – subject to a successful application for grant monies. We need to submit letters in support of our proposal from any one who recognises the importance of our church. If this includes you, please write a short letter ‘To whom it may concern’ indicating why you think we need a toilet/ running water in the church and email it to email@example.com or send it to Rev Childs or Rev Cornish.
Support for the recent Orient Express themed Autumn Supper was fantastic – and a complete sell-out! The annual Supporters’ Day was on the previous Saturday, and both events raised further much needed funds for St Andrew’s. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t really express how very grateful we are to all those who gave time, skills, physical effort and money.
Now Christmas is fast approaching; details of services are on the events page and displayed on the church noticeboard. we hope to see you at any or all of them!