All Shapes and Sizes; the Same Flame

Last month’s All-Age Service explored the idea that just as candles come in all shapes and sizes but have the same flame; so all of us, even though we are very different, have the same Holy Spirit in us if we ask.

all age 060518 - candlesHaving recognised the Holy Spirit in us, what can stop us coming close to God? … NOTHING!

BIG thanks to all those who took part in ANY way!

A special mention for 6 year old Isaac who had his first go at leading the prayers, helped by Owen & Ryan from 7Up youth group and his Mum Rachel.

This Sunday is another All Age Service – 10.30am at St Andrew’s. Bacon sandwiches will be served with  tea and coffee before the service. Come and join the fun!

all age 060518 - wide shot

all age 060518 - altar and ball pool

Bricks and Mortar

Having completed the first couple of phases of St Giles’ restoration, it is time to focus on much needed work at St Andrew’s…

20170913_IMG_5345For quite some time, we’ve been living under a cloud – a mouldy cloud. The roof at St Andrew’s has been patched so many times, it is now more patch than roof and it still leaks! So, not wanting to miss an opportunity, the PCC have hatched a plan to not only replace the roof, but to support the future work and life of the church and meet a local need.

This takes the form of an outline application for an additional 4 two bedroomed first floor flats above St Andrew’s. We are asking if you could support this application by visiting the South Bucks District Council website, following the links below. Any comments need to be made by 24th May 2018.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Register your details by starting here:
  2. You will then get an email to authenticate your email address (When I did this it took 10 minutes to get the email).
  3. Click the link in the email to authenticate and then login.
  4. Click on the “Search” tab, roll over “Planning” and click on “Simple Search”
  5. Enter the keyword Andrews (as in St Andrews) in the keyword box and press the green Search button. The reference number for the application is 18/00679/OUT .
  6. Click on the top application which reads “Outline application for : First floor extension to provide 4 x 2 bedroom flats”
  7. The application summary will be displayed. Click on the comments tab at the top of the screen and it will ask you to login with your email and password that you authenticated above.
  8. Towards the bottom of the screen please click “SUPPORT” and write your comments in the box provided and then click the green submit button.

Note that your comment may be made public but NOT your personal details. Also any comment only counts as one per household so multiple comments from the same address carries no weight.

Your comments might include :

  1. The Local Church needs additional income and is currently spending a lot more than it receives which cannot be maintained in the medium term.
  2. There is local pressure to build  additional housing in our area and this development has minimal adverse effect on our community as its largely hidden from residential view.
  3. The flat roof on which the flats will be placed need replacing anyway as it leaks into areas used by the Community and this will resolve this problem and is a therefore a benefit to community users of St Andrews.

p1040675.jpgThe current two flats have been continuously let since they were built in 2009, providing much needed income to the church and demonstrating that this type of accommodation is much sought after in the village, so the PCC hopes that the congregation will feel able to support this application.

If you wish to discuss this application further please contact Mark Wells via the Church Office.




Lifegroups – 2017 Review

There was such a lot to fit in to the reviews of 2017 leading up to the APCM, the Lifegroups seemed to warrant their own post, so here they are…

If you are curious about joining a Lifegroup but wonder whether it would be your cup of tea, read on…

Thursday Lifegroup led by Deborah and Matthew Wetherall

Deborah & Matthew Lifegroup 2018.jpgAt the beginning of 2017 our Lifegroup had grown in size so divided to become 2 groups. (For the “other half”, keep reading – Ed.)

As we returned to a smaller group this was an opportunity for relationships to deepen further. We have continued to support each other pastorally and in prayer through life’s ups and downs, and of course we have been encouraged by the many answers to prayer we have had.

Courses have included: Jesus’ teaching in the parables and his early miracles; our Lent course ‘Season of Renewal’ was described as a course which is ‘Into God’ rather than ‘About God’ and was a great opportunity to deepen our faith; two courses which impacted many members of the group were ‘Life on the frontline’ and ‘Fruitfulness on the frontline’, encouraging us to reach out to those we come into contact with on a day to day basis and share God’s love with them.

Our termly joint Lifegroup ‘Word and worship’ sessions have been a great opportunity for us to worship for extended periods and share and encourage each other in a larger group

Quotes from the group:

I can feel God’s presence with us when we meet together

Meeting mid-week is more important to me spiritually than going to church on a Sunday

I can tell that others in the group have grown in confidence and faith

I feel God is changing me so that I am starting to see people through His eyes and respond accordingly

I can’t imagine not coming to Life group every week

The KJTS Life Group formed at the start of 2017 in order to provide more Lifegroup capacity.  It is led by Karen Perez, Jeff Higgins and Simon & Tina Edwards (KJTS).

We meet in each other’s homes most Thursday evenings, including during school holidays, to share LIFE (Learning, Intercession, Fellowship, and Evangelism).

When we started, we agreed a set of principles and practices for the Life Group, which have helped us along the way.

We have tried out different approaches to keep it fresh and fun.  But a typical meeting will start with a catch up and prayer over drinks and biscuits, followed by exploration of a topic / a passage in the Bible.  We have used DVD series and study guides, with mixed success.  Although we like the structure provided by these series, we decided to start researching the topics for ourselves and bringing what we found to the group.  Although this can entail more preparation, we have found it more rewarding.

We try to share a meal together once a term and also to meet with other Life Groups for an evening of praise and prayer on one of our homes.

Highlights of 2017 included:

– examining our spiritual gifts, and discernible spiritual growth in all the members of the group

– participation in the Invitation Week during Lent and meeting and being inspired by the ordinands who spent that week with us

– supporting each other on our frontlines through the year

– seeing answers to prayer, and a wonderful prayer walk around the centre of Stoke Poges

In 2017 we each led a reflection on our favourite passages in the Bible and we have researched and looked at different types of parables

We have also followed structured study series on:

– what it means to be a follower of Christ – with the help of the iEquip online resource for new small groups ‘Follow Me And…’

– lessons from the life of Samson – using the CWR DVD and book, ‘There Are No Strong People’

– ‘The Me I Want to Be’ by Jon Ortberg

The Ladies’ Lifegroup had a few memorable moments in 2017

P1040438.JPGThe Great Stoke Poges Bake-off was our contribution to Invitation Week in March 2017. The planning kept us busy for the Spring term, preparing handmade gift bags, recipes (and sampling the practice cakes!) our testimonies and, most importantly, inviting friends who would not normally come to church to “taste and see”. It all seemed worth it in the end!

P1030189.JPGWe spent the summer term on a Bible study at the end of which, we waved a sad farewell to Tracy (and the vicarage, where we had spent so many evenings of fellowship, prayer and study under Tracy’s leadership). In September, we popped down to Walton on the Hill to check the whole Latham family, including the new pup, had settled in to their new home in September. We then immersed ourselves in a 12 week study on the book of Daniel, leading up to Christmas.

We now take turns to lead and host the Ladies’ Lifegroup to fit around busy work and family lives.

IMG-20170917-WA0004 (2)


Breakfast All Round!

It’s Nigel!

On Saturday 14th April, Ladies and Gentlemen convened at separate locations for hearty breakfasts, inspiring speakers and valuable fellowship.

At the Men’s Breakfast, we all enjoyed the novelty of having our very own Nigel Lowe as the speaker.  It was the first time that many of us have managed to hear his story, and what a fascinating one it was, mixed with plenty of humour.  It was also a new venue for our breakfasts and the wide range of food provided by the South Buckinghamshire golf club certainly proved popular with everyone there.

To join the next Men’s Group event, our ever popular curry night on 3rd July in Farnham Common, contact Tony Shortman or Nigel via the Church Office.

Valuable fellowship time
Maria Bond

A Ladies’ Breakfast took place at The Wexham Golf Club on the same morning, 14th April. The speaker Maria Bond spoke about ‘ Living with Loss’ and had something to say to everyone, through her own personal journey, through life and how she came to live with loss. One of her main points was that we acquire many things from the moment we are born; a family, education, a job, maybe a husband and children and these define who we are to the world. She went on to say that inevitably there comes a time of loss e.g. of friendships or through ill health, redundancy, widowhood etc. But the majority and focus through the talk was how we can ‘live’ with and and after loss and not dwell on the negativity because we can believe in a God who is here, does not change and who will help us to live through whatever the world throws at us. She  concluded by saying that because of Jesus we can have hope and not despair, a future life in this world and in eternity.

Many of the ladies who attended said they had been encouraged and uplifted by the talk, along with the chance to chat with friends and enjoy a hearty breakfast!! Everyone is welcome at these breakfasts. If you would like to know more about them and future dates please contact Heather Homan or Monica Elderfield via the Church Office.