Volunteer Sunday

Our theme for this Sunday’s all age service was Volunteering. A big THANK YOU was expressed to all the people who volunteer for jobs big and small to make our church organisation more than just a collection of people who turn up on Sundays.

Lend an eye, an ear or a hand

We took a quick poll and most people were able to say that they volunteer either at the church or in the local community – that’s a lot of good neighbours!

TJ and Tina took us through a tricky Trivial Pursuit-style quiz (we earned all the cheeses!) and our action song (pictured top) was not the YMCA but “On a day like this…”

Every task is valuable: from bacon cooking to bell ringing; welcoming to weeding; chair stacking to children’s groups; mixing music to making coffee – all of these parts and many more make up the “body” of our church, as we heard in today’s reading and Andrew’s sermon (you can to it listen here). By doing a little bit within our abilities, lending a hand, an ear or an eye, we can continue to help more people take a step nearer to faith through a vibrant church community – ensuring that each person feels needed as well as cared for; appreciated when they are there and missed when they are away.

If you think you can help in any way, please speak to Andrew or TJ or call the church office. Next Saturday (10th March) we’ll be tying posies for Mothering Sunday – perhaps you can lend a hand?

Young volunteers
Illuminated manuscript by Theo 🙂
We earned our cheeses

Scouts and Guides Illuminate St Giles’

Last week, the Stoke Poges Air Scouts and Guides made (separate) visits to St Giles’ and the results were very creative!

On Wednesday night, Stoke Poges Guides visited St Giles’ to learn about stained glass windows and had a go at making their own. Outside, Andrew told them all about the story of the main East window before they made their own tissue paper “window” depicting their promise badge. Very effective with the light shining through, I’m sure you’ll agree!

Guides & Andrew at St G East Window
Andrew explains the East Window
Guides promise window makings
The makings of a window
Guides Promise window finished
The finished Promise Badge window

On Thursday night, the Scouts were joined by photographer Jason Candlin, from Silver Beard Images and, using torches, “painted” St Giles’ with light to produce these amazing long exposure photographs.

Scouts painting with light 2
West wall light painting
Scouts painting with light 1
East wall light painting

We look forward to welcoming the uniformed groups and their families back to St Giles’ for our family service on Mothering Sunday, 10.30am on 11th March. We will be thanking and celebrating all mums and others who nurture us. Everyone is welcome to join us.


Men’s Group Beer & Skittles Evening

Our annual Beer & Skittles Evening in the main hall in St Andrew’s Church Centre last Saturday night proved as popular as ever.  Once again, we had almost 50 guys playing skittles (plus pool, air hockey & table football) and we were delighted to see so many Lads and Dads joining in the fun.  The Fish & Chip supper, desserts and drinks went down really well as everyone had worked up a great appetite.

Our next event is our Men’s Breakfast on Saturday 14th April at South Buckinghamshire Golf Club, Park Road, Stoke Poges, SL2 4PJ

A great way to start your weekend: coffee/tea will be available from 8:15am and tasty cooked breakfast served from 8:30am. Our speaker will be Nigel Lowe, a guy who is well known to most of you. During his talk, he has promised not to tell too many “jokes”, so there will be time to hear how he came to believe that Jesus is for real and how that has impacted his life.  We should finish by 10:15am. For more information about this event and the Men’s Group, contact Tony Shortman or Nigel Lowe via the Church Office.

Supper Club

I very much enjoyed my visit to the “legendary” Supper Club last Tuesday evening. Sidling in to any spare seat as it became available, I was able to do a tour of the tables and get a little insight into the many reasons why people love the Supper Club – a rare evening out, friends, good food, maybe a glass of wine, no complicated agenda and, for the team of chefs and waiting staff, a feeling that you are keeping something valuable going.

A little background… In 2001, Michael Smith had discussions with Harry (new in his post as Vicar) and this resulted in starting a club for members of the congregation and their friends over 55 years of age. This took the form of a Supper Club and had the first meeting in January 2002. It immediately attracted 40 members and has been fairly consistent in number ever since. Michael Smith was the leader or chairman until his illness in 2010, when Mike Hastings and Peter Wilkinson assumed the role.

The first two events were organised by Michael & Pam Smith and Peter & Joyce Wilkinson, but they were soon joined by Roger & Gail Saunders, Sybil & Mike Hastings and Richard & Rowena Exley. In the early years Michael Smith arranged coach outings in July which included a trip to Oxford amongst others. We celebrated the tenth anniversary of the club in 2012.

The Supper Club has been fortunate in having a willing band of cooks and helpers over the years. Until recently, five of the original organisers have been at the helm. On the ex-chefs’ table I found Simone Evard, Pam Smith and Sybil & Mike Hastings and Pat Milne-Smith, enjoying the experience of being served for only the second time since “retiring”! Sadly Peter and Joyce were not present due to illness (I’ll catch them with my camera one day!) and were very much missed.

The “new” team, led by Chris Southam were hard to catch for a photo op – so diligent were they in their duties! On Chris’s regular chef team: Barbara Aldridge, Maureen Tillbrook, Sue Cahill, Chris Jeffries, Maureen White and “behind the scenes” Sue’s son and son-in-law, David and Simon. Joining this all-star cast are Daphne, Roxanne Willitts, Ruth Rooley, Jeanette Hartley, Sue Bailey and lots more who put up and lay the tables and serve the food. They seemed to be having just as much fun as those being served – from waiting at tables to washing up. Truly a labour of love, which has been ably passed from one team to the next and I’m sure has many years and many more contributors ahead.

The next Supper Club is Tuesday 20th March. Please contact the Church Office if you would like to attend or to help out.

I really fancy an apple strudel now…

With thanks to Peter Wilkinson for the background info.


Spring Projects in the Coffee Shop

The Coffee Shop team at St Andrew’s want to thank everyone who bought Christmas items last term, we were able to send a fantastic £250 to the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice!

The Knit, Natter, Sew group meet every Tuesday from 10-12 in the Coffee Shop.  If you’ve every fancied trying your hand or have a project that needs an expert why not drop in?  They would be happy to help.  No need to bring any materials – a starter pack for either crochet or knitting can be supplied. This term we have started to look at crocheted octopusses (octopi?!) for premature babies as part of octopusforapreemie The octopus tentacles remind babies of the umbilical cord and are being used in many neonatal intensive care units around the country. If you don’t fancy that, then we will soon start on items for Easter. Watch the Coffee Shop Facebook page for more details.

PastedGraphic-1We have loved providing an outlet for Bellaroo Bakes.  Started by local entrepreneur Beth, Bellaroo Bakes make special occasion cakes.  Beth has created a small range of cakes & bakes especially for us. She has been developing some new items for 2018 so please pop in and give them a try.  We have also been able to source fair trade healthy snacks and they will be available very soon.

Opening Times

Tuesday & Wednesday   9am – 12.00pm and 2.30pm – 5pm

Thursdays                         9am – 12.00pm and 3.00pm – 6pm late night

Fridays                              9am – 12.00pm and 3.00pm – 6pm late night

Saturdays                          9am  – 13.00

Sunday & Monday           Closed

Our aim is to be open for all these advertised times but occasionally we run out of volunteers so we apologise if you find us closed.

Please note we will be closed during half term – last day Saturday 10th February, re-opening Tuesday 20th February.