ST JAMES THE LESS, STUBBINGS AND THE SOLTAU CENTRE
From the Churchwardens – Sue Harrington Hill and Mary Cooper
Dear Friends A very happy Easter to everyone.
Our Easter Day service will take place at 11.00am this morning and we very much look forward to welcoming you. You will be able to see the beautiful chancel in its full splendour.
The church grounds are still looking amazing. The snowdrops have finished and now the heather, daffodils and primroses are at their best and looking quite amazing. A walk through the church yard is well worth it even though it is still a little muddy.
After Easter regular services will be re-starting in our three churches and you will find details of these on the Parish website. Sadly we still have to adhere to the restrictions of face masks and social distancing.
Services at Stubbings for the month of April are as follows: April 11th 8.00am
April 18th 11.00am
April 25th 8.00am
We do hope you may be able to join us at one of these services.
Here is another interesting photograph for you all. Our “bell tower”! Our bell cannot be compared with those of Winchester cathedral and their wonderful sound travelling across the city but we are still very proud of our single bell!
Hopefully some of us will be able to meet with a friend or a few family members over the Easter period, albeit outside. A spell of long, fine and warm weather would greatly help. Hope is on the horizon and we can look forward to meeting up with friends and family as once we used to.
We do hope the next few days of the Easter weekend will bring peace and joy to everyone.
With our best wishes.
Sue and Mary
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2021
A warm welcome to everyone.
The snowdrops at Stubbings have been at their most beautiful over these last couple of weeks. Thank you to Lynda Clarke for this beautiful photograph. The churchyard takes on a very different character and personality according to the seasons.
Plans are being made for Easter services beginning with a service on Palm Sunday to mark the beginning of Holy Week. Details will be sent out later this month when arrangements have been finalised. Covid restrictions will still be in place for these services. Until everyone has received a vaccination we must take great care, continue to maintain social distancing and all other precautions. Hopefully later in the year we will be able to meet up once again with families and friends in the way we once used to.
Everyone is probably familiar with the beautiful wall paintings and floor tiles in the chancel at Stubbings. Did you know, however, what is behind the green curtains that fall from the stained glassed window to the floor. Brightly coloured tiles and the photograph (below) does not accurately convey the intensity or richness of the colours! They are indeed stunning. What do you think?
The 200 Club prize draw for January and February were made on 2nd March and the winners in January were Teresa Kennard and Stuart Burton. The February prizes went to David Smith and Rosalind Bentley.
For those of you who are not familiar with the 200 Club, it is a fun way of raising money for capital projects at the Stubbings site. Over recent years we have funded several significant enhancements for the facilities such as sliding doors for the Soltau Centre so that the grass beside the hall can supplement the indoor space. Membership of the Club costs £2.00 per month and there are 2 prizes each month and 4 at Christmas. Subscriptions amount to about £2000 and by law, we have to give back half of this in prize money, so with the 84 tickets we have sold this year the monthly prizes are £40 and £20 while the top Christmas prize will be £100 and there is a 1 in 5 chance of winning a prize sometime in the year.
If you are interested in joining, please contact Tony Ruffell – Tel. 01628 626149.
The funeral of Jacquie Telfer took place on Monday 22nd February. Jacquie regularly worshipped with us and was a much loved member of our church community.
Jacquie came from Trinidad and Tobago and lived abroad for many years with her husband, Jim. They settled in Pinkneys Green and Jacquie became a committed member of Stubbings church, bringing their three children to Bernard Soltau’s Children’s Church in the 1980s. When the Parish of Burchetts Green was created in 2001 Jacquie became very much a Parish person and worshipped happily in all three churches. An original thinker with many interesting ideas, she was a founder member of Time Out and a lively contributor to house discussion groups.
Signs of Spring are everywhere now and the evenings are definitely drawing out. Hopefully this gives us all renewed hopes for the months ahead after what has been a difficult time in so many ways.
Thanks to Rosalind Bentley and Tony Ruffell for their contribution to this newsletter.
With our good wishes
Sue and Mary
Posted on Thursday, March 04, 2021
From the Churchwardens Sue Harrington Hill and Mary Cooper
A warm welcome to everyone.
In past years we would now be planning a date for “The Snowdrop Tea” which always took place towards the end of February. This event has been very popular and many have enjoyed a walk around the grounds of Stubbings admiring the snowdrops followed by a cup of tea and cake. It is not possible this year to gather in this way but we do hope you enjoy these photographs of the snowdrops emerging through the muddy soil throughout the churchyard. While many bulbs (not the crocuses Fr John saw!) lay dormant the snowdrops never fail to lift the spirits and remind us that spring is on its way.
Snowdrops contain a natural antifreeze! Even if they collapse in freezing weather they recover magnificently when the temperature rises
Snowdrop pollen and nectar is an early spring feast for many bees. The green stripes inside the snowdrops are like “landing lights” guiding them to the only restaurant that is open in these times!
This is a five yearly look at the church building to see what condition it is in and sets out what repairs are needed. Our church inspection was carried out a few weeks ago and we are pleased to report that no major work is required. We are very grateful for the few recommendations offered to help minimise rain damage.
Sadly over the past year many friends and members of our congregations have not been able to visit the church. Maybe we can “bring” the church into your homes through photographs and snippets of information which hopefully you will find interesting. Below is a picture of the original keys to the church. The keys themselves are safely stored. They are about 9” in length and very heavy. Church key holders will be very relieved the locks have since been changed!
We thank Fr John for organising the Tuesday zoom session which gives us the opportunity to see familiar faces, chat together and share in a short service of prayer. This is indeed a wonderful way to end the afternoon.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are unwell, in hospital or awaiting surgery at this time.
Our thanks to Roger Strike who provided some information for this newsletter.
Stay safe and stay warm.
Sue and Mary
Posted on Sunday, February 07, 2021
From the Churchwardens - Sue Harrington Hill and Mary Cooper Dear Friends
We send our very best wishes to everyone for the New Year 2021. Let us hope it proves to be an easier and more settled year.
At the moment all areas in the Diocese are in Tier 4 and infection rates continue to rise rapidly. While it remains permissible for churches to continue to be open for worship we, like many churches, are being very cautious and have made the decision to suspend church services for this month of January. We will be reviewing the situation at the end of the month and will of course keep you informed when services resume.
2020 was indeed a difficult year. An interregnum is never easy and an interregnum in the middle of a pandemic is “interesting” to say the least. Despite all restrictions we are pleased and proud that some of the special services so dear to Stubbings did take place. After the initial lockdown we were able to open the church for worship from July 19th 2020, albeit in different ways.
Thank you so much to Fr John and Dilys for the care and support they have and continue to give us.
Special services held in 2020 during the pandemic: Harvest Festival 20th September 2020
Commemoration of the Faithful Departed1st November 2020
Remembrance Sunday8th November 2020
Advent Sunday29th November 2020
Stubbings Carol Service20th December 2020
Many of us missed family reunions and celebrations last year and for some the sadness of loved ones who died made these times even more difficult.
We especially remember with love, church friends, who died during this pandemic. Their contribution to the life of our church will be remembered by many. Norah Skinner Came to Maidenhead many years ago with her husband, Revd Maurice Skinner and settled in Burchetts Green Parish. Norah worshipped regularly in all three churches and was a regular attender at Young at Hearts and Knit and Natter. She was an enthusiastic Parish Walker in the early days. She was a thoughtful and positive contributor to discussion groups. As a trained nurse Norah retained a very lively and supportive interest in people. Janet Houston Lived in Pinkneys Green for many years and worshipped regularly at Stubbings where she was a calm and capable sidesman, welcoming everyone with her lovely smile. Janet was a thoughtful and supportive member of the Stubbings Seekers and the Book Club. She was an expert flower arranger, organised the cleaning rota, taking her turn and showing new volunteers the ropes and a loyal Parish Walker. Janet contributed to the glass doors to the porch in memory of her husband, Peter. Sheila Fitzgerald Worshipped regularly at the 8 0’clock service at Stubbings with her husband, John, who was known to some of us as our GP. She was a very supportive member of our congregation and was on the cleaning rota for many years.
Betty Bampton A member of the Stubbings congregation for very many years who loved all the Book of Common Prayer services. She and her late husband, Jack, had their favourite pew beside the door. In earlier days Betty was a great supporter of church activities and was a very efficient Secretary of the PCC.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who are helping look after our church during these strange times. Thank you to Rosalind Bentley for her contribution to this newsletter.
Finally, a message from a good friend of Stubbings. Gill and Arthur send their good wishes to everyone from a snowy and very cold Holmfirth. Stay warm and stay safe
Sue Harrington Hill and Mary Cooper
Posted on Sunday, January 03, 2021
Message from from the Stubbings Churchwardens
Sue Harrington Hill and Mary Cooper Dear Friends
A warm welcome to everyone and as promised this email comes with details of the services we are able to hold over the Christmas period. We are not able to hold the popular crib service or Midnight Holy Communion Service as we have done in past years but we are very grateful that Covid restrictions do allow us to hold a few smaller services at this special time of year.
SUNDAY 13TH DECEMBER - 8.00 AM A short said Holy Communion service.
This is a beautiful quiet service for those who are brave enough to venture out early in the morning and gives time to reflect on the past week and for the week ahead.
SUNDAY 20TH DECEMBER - 5.00 PM
Stubbing's Carol Service which will include lessons and recorded well known carols. The Church will be decorated for Christmas and our usual crib scene at the altar.
FRIDAY 25TH DECEMBER, Christmas Day - 11.00 AM
Holy Communion Service, (BCP) with music
Do come and join us if you can.
Many of us have worked hard to keep our Church and the grounds around Stubbings “alive”. We are grateful to Tony and Shelia for working hard during this last year and kept the churchyard looking so beautiful. It has been much appreciated by many people who have taken advantage of this quiet open space for walks and quiet reflection.
On Sunday 6th December we held a Choral Evensong service which was well attended, given restricted numbers and the fact that it was a very cold evening. Thank you to Fr John who provided music from the choirs of St Pauls Cathedral and Kings College, Cambridge. We very much look forward to be able to sing ourselves at Church and although we probably will never claim to reach the standards of these choirs our singing will indeed be loud and joyous!
Christmas is a time for celebration but for some it is a difficult time of the year and maybe more so with the problems the pandemic has caused. Food banks have reported substantial increases in need and poverty this year and Stubbings continues to support this charity. Donations of goods would be much appreciated if you are able to attend one of the services over the next few weeks. There is a food share box conveniently placed at the back of the Church by the font. Thank you.
We send our very best wishes to everyone for Christmas and our high hopes for an easier New Year.
Stay warm and stay safe.
Sue and Mary
Posted on Tuesday, December 08, 2020
Message from from the Stubbings Churchwardens
Sue Harrington Hill and Mary Cooper Dear Friends
A warm welcome to everyone and we hope you are all keeping safe and well.
The days are getting colder and the evenings darker as we approach winter and this can always be a difficult time for some. The coronavirus pandemic may make this even more difficult. We have not seen some of our Stubbings friends for some time but we are thinking of you all.
During this lockdown in November we have opened up the Church from 2.00pm - 3.30pm each Sunday for private prayer. We have tried to make the Church comfortable and inviting for all those who have used this time for private prayer and it is good to see some familiar faces.
SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2.00pm - 3.30pm - ADVENT SUNDAY
Although we cannot as yet have a full service we hope you may be able to visit the Church for private prayer. You may come at any time during this one and a half hour period and leave whenever you wish. The church will be attended by a churchwarden, the candles in the window sills will be lit, the altar dressed, quiet background music will be playing and the heating will be turned on! We hope to light the first candle of the Advent wreath some time after 2.00pm.
SUNDAY 6TH DECEMBER - 6.00pm “CHORAL EVENSONG”
(It seems that we can resume Sunday worship after 2nd December although this will still be subject to the usual restrictions of numbers, face coverings to be worn (exemptions apply), and no congregational singing).
We are planning to hold a “Choral Evensong with Advent music on the 6th December. The format for this service will be much the same as the Choral Evensong held at the end of August. Although we may not be able to sing we will be able to enjoy some beautiful recorded music and some organ pieces played by David, our organist. Do come and join us if you can.
As yet plans have not been finalised for Christmas services. We will not be able to hold the traditional services as in previous years due to coronavirus restrictions but we still hope to celebrate with either outdoor singing or smaller, different services this year. As soon as we have more details the Burchetts Green Parish website will be updated and we will send out another email/newsletter.
Stay safe and best wishes.
Sue and Mary
Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2020
Stubbings in February
Snowdrops in Abundance
Original Door Keys
Stubbings at Christmas
Choral Evensong - December 6th
War Memorial at Night
ALL SOULS REFLECTION AND QUIET PRAYER
On Sunday afternoon, November 1st, St James the Less, Stubbings was open between 3pm and 5pm for quiet time, to remember loved ones, and for personal prayer and reflection, with gentle background music and an opportunity to light a candle and say a prayer if you wish. The candles and music gave a lovely atmosphere, peaceful and spiritual. Parishioners could stay as little or as long as they wish.
The space was offered for all to use as they wish.
ST JAMES THE LESS, STUBBINGS AND THE SOLTAU CENTRE
The foundation stone of Stubbings Church was laid on 1st May 1849. The land had been purchased by Henry Skrine, who was living at Stubbings House at the time, having moved from the family estate at Warleigh, near Bath. He decided to build a church for the use of his family and the local residents.
The church was consecrated on 16th April 1850 by the Rt.Rev. Samual Wilberforce, Bishop of Reading. Because the foundation stone was laid on 1st May, the festival of St. Philip & St. James, the building was dedicated to St. James-the-Less. The side aisle was added to the church in 1854.
The church was first served by Rev. Edward Thring and by Rev. G.N.Hodson, incumbent of Cookham Dean. Mr. Skrine proceeded to build a vicarage and endow the living, to which his second son, Rev. W.H.Skrine was presented and went into residence as the first vicar, in November 1852.
In 1874 the parish of Stubbings was created out of parts of Bisham and Cookham parishes. In 1991 the parishes of Stubbings and Hurley became a united benefice (independent parishes but under the care of one vicar) and the parish of Burchetts Green was formed in June 2002 by the amalgamation of the parishes of Stubbings, Hurley and Littlewick Green.
The architect of the church was Richard Cromwell Carpenter (1812-1855) who designed a number of churches and parsonages including Cookham Dean church. Stubbings is an example of what became common later on but was quite revolutionary in the 1840's, the honest straightforward, soundly constructed, simple building, which was in the genuine medieval tradition.
Points of Interest Record of past incumbents (west wall) Note that several incumbents held the living for a considerable time. The fourth vicar was Henry Skrine's eldest son.
The windows The east window depicting the Ascension was given in memory of the founder, by his widow in 1854.
The chandeliers These date back to the early days of the church. They are hand made of brass. Those in the nave are surmounted by a cross except that over the font, which has a crown. This chandelier originally hung in the chancel but was moved when the chancel lighting was revised.
Round Window The small round window in the west wall was given by the builder of the Church, Richard Silver of Tittle Row.
West Window At the same time his two eldest sons gave the two windows in the west wall, depicting St. Philip and St. James. St. Philip is shown holding a basket of five loaves because of his connection with the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, and St. James is shown holding a bible because of the epistle of St. James, and a club because of the manner of his martyrdom.
The wall paintings The original plain walls were painted in 1898 with the decoration being more extensive than now; in particular the chancel arch was fully decorated and the texts round the windows and doors were joined with a continuous painted band. Exactly when this work was over-painted is not known. The texts are mainly well-known sayings of Jesus but two around the windows in the south wall are from the epistle of St. James: "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only" and "If any man lack wisdom let him ask of God". The Vestries The small vestry is original but the larger (choir) vestry was built in 1962 with materials which came from a church at Braywood, near Windsor, demolished that year. The door, windows and ornaments on the external walls all came from Braywood. The vestry was designed by Mr.Garem Slater, a member of the congregation, and dedicated by the Rt. Rev. Harry Carpenter, Bishop of Oxford.
The Organ The original organ was a Hill instrument built in 1883. The present organ is a Rodgers electronic organ installed in 2003. It replaced a Walker pipe organ installed in 1966.
The Reading Desk A brass eagle lectern was given to the church in 1900 by Mr. F.O.Wethered. This was stolen from the church in May 1971. A somewhat oversized replacement brass eagle lectern was reading desk also stolen by thieves who took it out through one of the side aisle windows. The chancel has now been re-arranged so that the oak priest's reading desk is used both to lead the worship and also as a reading lectern.
The Hassocks (Kneelers) The hassocks were made by a number of parishioners over a period of several years starting in 1999. The patterns are mostly Hassocks designs made from various items of the fabric or fittings around the church - in most cases the same pattern being used several times in different colours. All the hassocks were sponsored, by individuals in memory of family events or people, or by various organisations.
The Porch This was part of the original church. It was restored by the men of the parish in 1961 in memory of Mary Penny who Stubbings Porch was Clerk and Sexton of the church from 1921 to 1958. Mary's father, John Penny, was Clerk and Sexton from 1861 to 1921.
The Lynchgate The Lychgate was erected by the parishioners in 1887 in memory of the first vicar, Rev.Wadham Huntley Skrine.
The War Memorial The stone cross on the verge outside the churchyard was erected in 1920 and unveiled on 3rd October that year. It records the names of the men of Stubbings parish who gave their lives in two world wars.
St James-the-Less St James-the-Less, or the Little, is probably the same as James the son of Alphaeus, who is mentioned in all the lists of the Twelve Apostles. He is, maybe, "the same as James, the Lord's brother, who became Bishop of Jerusalem and the writer of the Epistle of St James"; the Western Church thus identifies him.
O Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life; Grant us perfectly to know thy Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life; that following the steps of thy holy Apostles, St Phillip and St James, we may steadfastly walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.Collect for SS Philip and James' Day
In addition to the church, the founder also built a school across the road. The school closed in 1934 and was then used as the church hall until it was sold in 1995 for conversion into a private house. The proceeds were used to build the new parish hall (the Soltau Centre) in the matching flint style of the church. The architect was Mr.Rex Johnstone RIBA, a parishioner and a regular member of the congregation. The hall was opened by the Bishop of Reading, Rt.Rev.John Bone, on 25th.May 1996.
This record was originally compiled by the Rev. Dr.J.A.Nairn, and revised by Rev. B.A. Soltau, Vicar of the parish 1953-1990 to commemorate the centenary of the parish of Stubbings, 1874-1974. It was updated in 2008 by Roger Strike.
The Soltau Centre The Soltau Centre, is located behind Stubbings church is a modern well equipped building used for a wide variety of parish and other community activities.
It also houses the parish office which is normally open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9.30am to 11.30am. For further details contact Parish Administrator on tel:01628 820077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are a Parish in the Deanery of Windsor and Maidenhead within the Diocese of Oxford