The Parish of Burchetts Green
St John's Catch Up
Well, we cannot complain about the weather can we? As I mentioned in a note last week, we have left water in church should you want to cool off some time. St John’s , as always, is open every day between 11am and 4pm. This coming Sunday 31st July, we are hosting a Parish Service in St John’s and as we mentioned before, The Sunday Club will meet. Please note that this service will start at 10am and not the normal time. Dilys will be taking the service and we have Jonathan playing for us as Nigel is on his hols, as is Tom.
Sunday Club....... this Sunday 31st at 10am.
HELEN has confirmed that as this is the last Club meeting before the holiday period, no meeting in August, she has planned a relaxed party with Games, Songs and Stories. Some of the children will be on holiday but we hope many will still be able to come along for some fun!
With so many away in August, Tom has arranged services around the Parish and to be hosted by the three churches. These are as follows.
Sunday 7th August 11am Parish Communion Service at Stubbings.
Sunday 14th August 10.30am Parish Communion Service at Hurley.
Sunday 21st August 11am BCP Parish Communion Service Stubbings.
Sunday 28th August 9.15 Parish Communion Service at St John’s Littlewick.
Morning Prayer will still take place at St John’s at 9.15 each Thursday.
Parish Team Away Day 30th October .
Tom has arranged a Team day for the Parish to be held on Sunday 30th October. It is intended to run from 11 am to 3pm and will be held in Hurley. The aim is for all of us to get together to talk about the Parish and the way ahead. More information will emerge in the months ahead but could I ask if you could put the date in the diary. The event will include things for the children to do as well. Refreshments, including lunch, will be provided.
This will be the chance for the three churches to get together informally, so I hope many of you from St John’s will join us. I will keep you up to date as information comes through.
It was nice to see new faces involved with our wonderful flower displays. During the past few weeks I have bumped into both Louise as well as Lizzie. I know that a few more have also joined the happy band and we at St John’s are really grateful to you all for offering to help Yvonne ,Leslie and Gail in making our church so beautiful.
Stone work repairs.
As you will know we have just finished phase 1 of the repairs. I am already planning the second phase. This will involve the cutting out and replacement of another 60 Blue Pennant Ashlar facing stones. The cost will be around £6,500 on top of the £7,800 already spent on phase 1. I am pleased to report that having applied to the Louis Bayliss Charitable Trust for some grant funding, they have awarded us a grant of £1,000. I am very grateful to them for helping St John’s in this way. You may remember that they also awarded us a grant in 2017, for our new lighting scheme. Phase 2 will not be undertaken before next spring, in the meantime I need to raise the funds to complete this important work.
Donations and funding.
Like every other organisation and business, our Parish was effected by the pandemic. The closure of our churches and the soltau centre during 2020 and 2021 resulted in the parish having a combined loss in the order of £50,000. We were lucky that we had reserves to fall back on but of course, this has meant that our reserves are now quite low. As well as our parish costs to meet, we also pay Oxford Diocese around £70,000 per year in the form of our quota. Things are improving now that we are almost back to normal, but we now need to make plans to recover financially. I am sure Tom will be discussing this at a later time. We have reintroduced the collection bags into our services, starting last Sunday. The card reader will also be there for those of you who want to use cards. Donations can also be left in the box in the porch.
Rowena Upcott has been doing a magnificent job and our church has never looked better. I know that Rowena really enjoys popping in and cleaning to the music! She will have an easier month in August as we will only have the one Sunday service plus the Morning Prayers on each Thursday. Any one who would like to volunteer for a month, please do let me know. Rowena has said that she would be happy to take any new rota member though the tasks.
Whilst talking of Rota’s could I please mention the coffee rota. I know that Viv would like to add a few more to her list. Again, just let me know and I will pass details to Viv. Finally, a few more on the Sides Duty Rota would also be appreciated . I know we are lucky with all of the help and support we receive and never, never take it for granted!
Sandra has reminded me that she has now been running Traidcraft for 9 years and that in that time many thousands of pounds of goods have been bought, in support of the traders and producers in the third world. In addition to the goods bought, the Parish sends a significant donation to Traidcraft Exchange...the charity each year, which in turn helps these traders and suppliers in so many other ways. Sandra also sends for recycling, mobile phones, cameras, watches, jewellery, stamps and much more. Traidcraft Exchange then receives a donation for those recycled goods, to further help them in their work.
Have a lovely restful Holiday period.
St John's Catch Up. and Sunday Club on Sunday
This picture depicts St Thomas inspecting the wounds on the hands of Jesus. He is famous for having doubted the Resurrection of Jesus and demanded to see physical proof of the wounds of Christ’s Crucifixion. Hence the phrase ‘ Doubting Thomas’
When Jesus showed him the wounds St Thomas became the first person to explicitly acknowledge the divinity of Jesus. This coming Sunday, 3rd July, we will celebrate St Thomas at our 9.15 Family Communion.
Sunday Club. ( For all children aged 3years to 10 years.)
Our Sunday Club is also meeting this Sunday and this time Helen has been planning all the fun. The theme is ‘David and Goliath, Goliath thought he was a big, tough man, but he forgot two important things. God is stronger than anything or anyone and David had God on his side.
I do hope you will be able to come to this lovely service. It is a joy to have so many children in church with us. They will be led out during the first hymn and will return during the last one. As I have said before, if your child/children have not yet joined the club, don’t worry, just come along and they will be made very welcome. I know they will enjoy themselves.
The Sunday Club meets every 4 weeks on the first Sunday of the month. As the Club will be on holiday in August and there are 5 Sundays in July, Helen, Sally and Vicky have arranged for the Club to meet on 31st July at our Parish service at Littlewick.
Welcome to Iris and Luke.
Last weekend we welcomed Iris and Luke in to our church family. Iris was Baptised on Saturday and Luke on Sunday. Congratulations to Iris and her parents, Ffion and Matthew and to Luke and his parents Francesca and George. It is so nice to see the number of Baptisms happening at St John’s and the wider parish.
Services for July.
The services in July are as follows:
3rd July: Family Communion and Sunday Club 9.15. Tom will be leading us.
10th July: All Age Family Service at 4pm....this is turning into a very popular service.
17th July: Family Communion 9.15. with Tom leading us.
24th July: No service at St John’s and church will be open between 11 am and 4pm for anyone who wants to pop in.
31st July: We are holding a Parish Service at St John’s at 10am...note the later time, and will welcome back Dilys to lead us. The Sunday Club will also meet .
Tom leads Morning Prayer at 9.15 each Thursday and would love have you join him in St John’s.
I mentioned this last time and hoped that I could cover off a few more months. My prayers have been answered and Rowena who has just done June , her first month, has offered to pick up July, August, November and December, that is unless anyone else would like to join the Rota? If there is anyone, please let me know and I am sure Rowena would be pleased to give up a month! Thank you Rowena, a really useful contribution to our village church.
Food Bank Maidenhead.
As I have reported on before, with the cost of living crisis the food bank is facing an increased demand for help from families struggling . We have a drop off point in the church porch and the church is open 7 days a week from 11am to 4pm. If you are able to donate food and toiletries please do so.
Sandra tells me that there is a new Summer catalogue out and a supply has been placed at the back of church. Please let Sandra know if you would like to place an order ( 822282)
Your Church .....
Not only is St John’s a village church...offering Services, Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals to every one living in the village, it is YOUR church. At the start of our service on the 19th, Tom reflected on a recent event in the Diocese he had attended. He went on to say that it is not the number in the pews that matter but the wider community we serve. So, we do hope that whether you attend our services or not, you will treat St John’s as your village church, there, for when you or your family need it. A village church is a very special place, so please help and support St John’s in anyway you can.
I recently placed a set of 12 prayer cards in the back of church for anyone to take home...please help yourselves. Each deals with a different issue and offers a suitable prayer. I can tell from the number of cards that have been taken, that our church is used during the week whilst open each day. We are so pleased that we can act as a place for anyone to visit for some peace and tranquillity and at the same time be there when you most need us. St John’s is open each day..7 days a week, between 11am and 4pm. Lights are on and music playing...
St John's Catch Up. All Age Service Tomorrow at 4 pm
Just as a reminder, we have our All Age family service tomorrow at 4pm. This service has proved to be very popular. We hope you will be able to join us. I know we have some refreshments afterwards. Having been away, and with Tom away this week, I don’t know what Tom has planned but I am sure it will be fun for all.
Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations.
I hope you enjoyed all of the celebrations, in Littlewick we had a lovely village lunch stretching across the top green. The dog show was exciting as was the Rounders competition at the end of the day. I should also mention the Tug of War! Yes, I know, the girls beat the men THREE times. Will we ever live this down....I don’t think so. I have the privilege to drive “The Queen” in my old Jaguar, up to the hall to open the new balcony. We were also privileged to have a visit by Teresa May and Philip .
Seb and his team worked so hard in the planning and on the day every one pitched in to help.
As part of these celebrations, we dressed St John’s in the blue silks that had been used in Westminster Abbey on Coronation day!! They looked spectacular . I have left these wonderful silks on display this week and they will be there to see tomorrow at the All Age Service. They will then be carefully packed away. As the church is open to day and tomorrow between 11am and 4pm they are there to see if you are able to pop in. I must also mention the wonderful flowers presentations decorating the church. Yvonne and her team have done us, and the Queen proud.
I am very grateful to all of you who have offered to help us keep our lovely church clean. It has definitely helped me. I still have a few months that are not covered, so if any of you would like to adopt a month please let me know. It really does not take too much time .
Viv has also asked me to mention the Refreshment Rota. It has been a joy returning to refreshments after the service again. Viv Would like to add a few names to her list so please let us know if you could help out. It pay only be a few times a year.
The funeral of Daphne Beer Will take place this Monday at 2.0pm.
St John's Catch Up and Ascension Day
On the 26th May, Thursday this week, we celebrate Ascension Day. This is also known as the Feast of Ascension, which celebrates the ascension of Jesus into heaven, 39 days after the resurrection on Easter Day. This coming Sunday there will be a Parish service at St James the Less Stubbings. Tom is hoping, weather permitting, to have an open air service. The service is scheduled for 10.30. So fingers crossed for some Sun! Sandra and I will unfortunately miss this as we are off to Cornwall on Saturday, with all the family. Our present from them all for our Golden Wedding Anniversary in 2020.
Our first service in June will be on 5th June and celebrates Whitsun ( Pentecost) This service takes place on the day of the village Jubilee celebrations. I have mentioned before that St John’s has a set of Altar silks made up from the actual silks decorating the pews in Westminster Abbey on Coronation day!! Apparently, one of our villagers at the time, was a member of the Abbey Flower Guild and was able to obtain some of the silks . A set of church silks was made up and donated to St John’s. They have not seen the light of day for many years. We intend to use them on the 5th and will keep them up for the day with the church open, so than villagers can pop in during the jubilee celebrations and admire a piece of History. The Littlewick Gren Society, with the help of others has a packed afternoon of celebration on the 5th starting at 12 noon...see you there, I hope
5th June 9.15. Whitsunday, Family Eucharist. ( no Sunday Club this month) Tom is taking the service and Nigel will be playing for us.
12th June 4.00pm A Family All Age Service. Tom will lead us and as this is growing into a very successful family service, it should be fun.
19th June 9.15am. Family Eucharist with Tom and Nigel.
26th June....No service and church will be open between 11am and 4 pm.
42 YEARS OF SERVICE TO ST JOHN’S!!
I recently mentioned the dedicated service Nigel has given to our church. In fact I can now say that Nigel first played the organ in St John’s on Whit Sunday some 42 years ago. What a record and how lucky we are to have had the dedicated service of Nigel for all of these years. Thank you Nigel and to Jay as well. We really are so lucky.
MIDSOMER MURDERS........the Littlewick episode......SUNDAY 29th May 8pm..ITV.
It has just been confirmed that the long awaited episode, filmed almost exclusively in Littlewick Green last year, will be on our screens on Sunday 29th May at 8pm. The crew spent a month in the village last March using some of our houses, including the Old Vicarage, the Gilchrist hall which became an antique shop, the pub and of course our church. I remember locking up one night, and looking up, saw an angel hanging from the gutter!!!! I even received a call from the crew, whilst waiting for Sandra in the car park of Lidl, to ask for the correct phrase to use when announcing the Bible reading... will I get a credit for technical assistance?
STONE WORK REPAIRES.
I have already reported that our first phase is now complete. They have done a great job. I also mentioned before that we will have more repairs to complete in the coming years. I have started the preparation work and this week applied to the Bayliss Trust for a grant. The deadline for applications is 10th June and I wanted to get in quickly. Let’s hope we are successful. I will also investigate other sources for grant help.
I can now confirm that the funeral of Daphne Beers will take place on Monday 13th June at 2pm. Daphne was a lovely lady, always immaculately turned out when she came to church. Daphne lived in Cherry Garden Lane, moving to a care home in St Albans a few years ago. She is coming back to St Johns to be buried with Gerald, who died some years ago.
I hope you all enjoy the Jubilee celebrations,
St John's Catch Up
Although I am looking out on a somewhat wet day, the last few weeks have seen some wonderful weather so this picture conjures up the thought of Summer and warm days to come. To help lift our spirits, the church yard has received it’s first cut, leaving patches of wild flowers to admire for a few more weeks. If you visit the churchyard you will see that the Remembrance garden has had a make over. Last year the Box hedging was attacked by Box caterpillar which left most of the hedge dead.
This has been arranged and paid for by Ann Todd and Family, in remembrance of Alan who died last month. We are very grateful to them for making this possible. To avoid a return of the caterpillar, we have chosen to replace the hedge with Euonymus Japonica...Green Spire. This is also an ever green and can be grown to any height to suit us. It will be cultivated to a similar height as the old hedge. At the same time The waste behind the cabin has been removed and the garden tidied up all ready for the internment of Alan’s ashes tomorrow(12th) A really kind donation and many thanks.
Alan Todd’s Memorial Service.
There will be a memorial service in memory of Alan this Saturday at 1pm. Ann has been a stalwart of our congregation for many years, being responsible for the Altar right up to Covid, she was ably assisted by Alan. He was a true Gentleman and will be missed by us all. Our thoughts go to Ann, Ian David and family , at this difficult time. He was also a very, very keen and accomplished gardener, hence the garden make over!
Sunday Club this coming Sunday. 15th May 9.15am.
Sally has sent out some information regarding the Sunday Club this Sunday 15th, The theme is THE GOOD SAMARITAN and remembering that God loves everyone no matter who they are. The children will also be sowing some forget-me-not seeds. There is also a game that Sally remembers that shows that no matter what choices we make or how different we are, we need to be kind and helpful to everyone. Biscuits come next so it should be great fun. If your child/children have not yet joined in the fun, just come, they will be very welcome.
Other Services in May.
There is no service at St John’s on the 22nd being the fourth Sunday. On the 29th Tom has arranged for a Parish service to be held at St James the Less Stubbings at 10.30 am. If the weather is kind we may well have the service outside!
The stone work repairs commenced this Monday. We are having some Ashlar facing stones cut out and replaced as well as some Bath stone Replacements on the South gable near the vestry. I am delighted with the work so far and the meticulous approach to the work. Some of the Bath Stone is being carved in situ. The cost of this work is nearly £9,000. Looking around the church, it is clear that we will need to carry out more of the same, particularly in the case of the facing Ashlar stones, as many have ‘blown’ over the years. I have asked for a detailed report so that PCC can digest and start planning for the on going restoration works. I should just point out that our church is in great shape and these works will ensure that we keep it so going forward. I will investigate the chance of seeking some grant funding to help. More about this later.
Flower Group and Demonstration Evening.
Yvonne tells me that the evening was a great success and we now have a few more to willing to help with the decoration of our lovely church. I am sure that any one else, who would like to join would be very welcome.
Cleaning and Coffee Rota’s.
Talking of help, I now have a few volunteers who have joined the cleaning rota. There are still a few months not covered so if you think you could spare a few hours a month I would love to fill another month or two. Viv could also do with a few more to join the coffee rota, usually this is covered by two people at each service. We have enjoyed getting back to normal after these last two years and to have the opportunity to chat and have a coffee after our services ,has been wonderful . Please do contact me if you can help us with either the cleaning or coffee.
Maidenhead Food Bank.
The news is full of the economic pressures on families whether it is food or fuel....the choice sometimes is ‘Eating or Heating’ There is a real pressure on the Maidenhead food bank and I know that they could do with many more donations . We have acted as a drop off point for some years and as the church is open each day, you can drop off any donations in the porch. I will make sure it gets to Annie in the village.
That’s it for now
St John's Catch Up
This Sunday will be the Third Sunday after Easter. We celebrate with our Family Eucharist at 9.15. As mentioned before, as this is also a bank holiday weekend, Helen, Sally and Vicky have moved our Sunday Club to the 15th May. This will also replace the Sunday Club planned for the 5th June, also a bank holiday weekend.
The tomb is open in our own garden, which is laid out in front of the altar. The flowers have been refreshed and will be there to see on Sunday. Sandra and I will be removing the garden next week and will leave the small glass containers on the piano for you to collect if you brought in your own. Those left will be stored back in our cupboards.
Our other services for May are as follows:
8th May. 4pm. All Age Service. This is becoming a very well supported service, it’s short and Tom plans around the little ones.
15th May. 9.15. Family Eucharist with Sunday Club. Tom will lead us and Nigel will be playing for us. I know Helen , Sally and Vicky have planned some lovely ideas for the children.
22nd May.........NO Service.
29th May. 10.30am. We are holding a Parish Service with Communion, at St James the Less Stubbings. If the weather is kind, I am told Tom may well hold the service outside!
Whilst visiting Norwich Cathedral last week, we came across a display of prayer cards, each with a theme. These were available for anyone to use or take home. We thought that to have these in St John’s, which is visited by so many for private prayer, would be very good. I have placed the set of 12 in their stand , on our table at the back of church. I hope you find them helpful.
MORE TEA VICAR!
We are all pleased that refreshments have started again. Viv has been putting together the Rota for many years and again has prepared the rota for the months ahead. During lock down, we lost a few of our helpers and this places more work on the shoulders of those still on the rota. I know Viv will be having a knee opp shortly and we may well find our selves with empty cups!! So, I have been asked to mention in the hope that a few more will offer to help her. With enough volunteers, it usually means helping every few months. If you would like to offer, or find out what is involved, please contact Viv... firstname.lastname@example.org Usually there are two on for each service.
As mentioned last time, and on posters on our notice boards, Yvonne is holding a flower demonstration evening tomorrow night at 7.00 pm in the village hall, with wine, I am told. Please do come along and see what is involved in dressing our village church.
I am please to report that Braywick Nurseries will start the grass cutting on the 6th May. They will then attend once a month up to and including October. Although the churchyard is now looking a little untidy, we leave it over winter and early spring whilst the spring flowers are in bloom.
I have pinned up a poster that tells you the plans for the village celebrations, to be held on the 5th June. As I mentioned before, the village, through the Littlewick Green Society, has been awarded a £2,000 lottery grant to be spent on the celebrations. As part of the day, we will be dressing the church in the original blue silk material that was used in Westminster Abbey on Coronation day. We have a beautiful Altar frontal and Pulpit silk. I don’t think they have see the light of day for many years.
The stonework repairs will start on Monday 9th May with the work scheduled to complete within the week. As well as replacing some Bath Stone on the South gable including coping stones, we are also starting the process of replacing ‘blown’ Ashlar facing stones. I have 15 being replaced this time but fear that the process of repairs to the facing stones may go on for a few years. With the costs involved we just cannot afford to do all of them now. I have asked the Stone Masons to provide me with a cost report to cover the rest of the works. The PCC will need to discuss this work and we will only be able to proceed as funds become available. For now, having started the works we are attending to the urgent category 1 requirements of the Quinquennial report, prepared last year.
That’s it for now.