December 2019 news


What's on in December - Services and Events

All items at St Andrew's, North Swindon unless marked otherwise

Sunday 1st December: Advent Sunday

10am Children’s Service with toy donations followed by refreshments and Introduction to Baptism. 
6:30pm Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer)

Sunday 8th December:  Advent 2

10am Holy Communion
4pm  Church at Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy Christingle with puppet performance

Wednesday 11th December

11am Coffee, Prayer and chat
6-8pm INGNItE youth group, 15 Rackham Close

Thursday 12th December

7.30pm Safe Space discussion group at 15 Rackham Close - Marriage

Saturday 14th December

10am-12 noon Decorating the church for Christmas

Sunday 15th December: Advent 3

10am Children's Carol Service
6:30pm Evening Prayer (Book of Common Prayer)

Tuesday 17th December

11.30am Carol Service at Ridgeway Rise Care Home, Richardson Road

Wednesday 18th December

1.30pm Get Together at Kingdom Coffee House in Redhouse
7.30pm Carol Singing at The Jovial Monk, Highdown Way, SN25 4YD

Thursday 19th December

7.00-10.00pm St Andrew's Christmas Party, 15 Rackham Close All Welcome!

Sunday 22nd December: Advent 4

10am Holy Communion with Sunday School
6.30pm Carols by Candlelight

Tuesday 24th December: Christmas Eve

4pm All Age Nativity Service at Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy
11.30pm Midnight Communion

Wednesday 25th December: Christmas Day

10am All Age Communion

Sunday 29th December: Christmas 1

10am Carols of Praise with Communion 

Sunday 5th January 2020: Epiphany

10am Children’s Service followed by refreshments and Introduction to Baptism. 
6:30pm Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer)

Christmas Services and events  

Please take home fliers with our Christmas service dates to give to your family and friends. If you live in our parish and would be able to distribute some to the houses in your street, please take some extra. Also notice the other events, decorating the church (14th), carol singing at the Jovial Monk (18th) and Christmas Party (19th) listed above and come along to as many as you can.

Carols of Praise 29th December

Please let Sally know if there’s a carol you’d like to choose for our Carols of Praise and Communion service on 29th December. It would be great if you could say why you like it, but all requests welcome!

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

On Sunday 19th January, instead of our evening prayer service at St Andrew’s we will be joining with Christians from across North Swindon to mark the week of prayer for Christian unity. The service is at 6.30pm at St Mary’s Rodbourne Cheney, SN2 2PF.

Can you help in 2020?

The PCC has various projects planned for next year and really need a few extra people to help. The roles required include:

  • Minute Secretary – you would need to be able to come to PCC once a month on a Wednesday evening and then produce the minutes soon afterwards.  
  • Helping to organise Easter and Summer community events – you would need to have the time and enthusiasm to help liaise with organisations in the community and help to organise these events.
  • Help with raising funds for the church wall – you would need to have the time to fill in some grant applications and help with fundraising ideas and administration.

If you feel this is something you could help with, please speak to Sally or Karen.

Help with Swindon Churches 4 Justice

Looking further afield, Swindon Churches 4 Justice are looking for new members to join their group which meets up to 4 times a year and plans their magazine Grapevine. If you are interested contact Vernon Griffiths.

Growing Leaders

If you are interested in deepening your understanding of Christian leadership, whether you are a leader at church, work or in a voluntary organisation, please speak to Sally about joining the Growing Leaders course taking place once a month from January to November. It’s mainly on Monday evenings with a couple of Saturdays.

Swindon Scout Post: 2019 Swindon Christmas Card Delivery Service

Helen Allen will be selling stamps for Swindon Scout Post on Sunday mornings until 8th December. This is a seasonal fundraising activity supporting scouting across the Swindon area. Stamps are 30p each and can only be used for sending Christmas cards within the Swindon area via Green Scout Post Boxes NOT Royal Mail post boxes. Last time for posting is 4pm on Wednesday 11th December. Get your stamps and more information from Helen after Sunday morning services.


Please pray that over the Christmas period everyone who attends one of our events would know the presence, peace and joy of Christ in their lives. 

From the Vicar

Are you good at waiting?

For most of us, I suspect, waiting for anything is not something we enjoy doing.  Whether it’s a holiday, a new baby, test results or Christmas, we want the waiting to be over.  But waiting can be a time of focussing and positive anticipation.  Particularly at Christmas time there are so many preparations to make that the waiting passes all too quickly.

Christians use Advent, the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas - this year actually starting on 1st December - to focus on waiting.  We’re not just waiting for Christmas, but for Jesus to come back to earth as he promised he would at the end of time.  And as we wait for that (admittedly rather scary prospect) we can learn to look out for him coming to us by his Holy Spirit in the everyday moments of life.  We prepare our hearts and our lives for Jesus to come, just as we prepare our homes for extra visitors at Christmas time.

We’ll be preparing our church for extra visitors too, on 14th December from 10am-12noon.  You’re welcome to come and help, and we hope you’ll come along to other events over the Christmas period too, either at St Andrew’s, Tadpole Farm Academy or the Jovial Monk Pub in St Andrew’s Ridge.

Look forward to seeing you to celebrate Christmas soon!

Sally (see below for contact details)

Countdown to Christmas Day

Around the Parish

School Governors

“School governors can transform the lives of children and young people by improving education standards. Working as a team, governors support and challenge senior school leadership. Their professional skills and expertise are harnessed to make strategic decisions that improve the learning environment and future prospects for children in schools.”

This is how the charity ‘Governors for School’ describes the role of a school governor and it’s a good description of a role which can be adapted to fit your time and experience.

Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy is in need of a couple more Foundation Governors, which means people who will help improve the school as all governors do, and do so from the perspective of their Christian faith.

The time to attend meetings (early Monday evening once every month or two) and the ability to ask questions and listen to answers are the basic requirements.  Being able to pop into school during the day, every so often, to learn about the pupils, staff and running of the school and personal or professional skills that you can share within the governing body would be an added bonus.

If you are interested in finding out more about being a Governor at Tadpole Farm please contact the Clerk to the Governors Suzanna Miles  or Revd Sally Robertson.

We would love to see your contributions!

Please help with contributions to the online news. You could write about your faith, the church building and history, community events - anything of interest to the parish. Please email contributions to Brian:

Wider World

Diocese of Bristol Synod Declares a Climate Emergency

The Diocese of Bristol had just declared a climate emergency and become the first in the UK to commit to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030 (20 years earlier than the aim of the national church). This ground-breaking announcement comes as the wider world seems to be waking up to the severity of the climate crisis.

This is not about jumping on a band wagon, or being the first past the post. As Revd David Stephenson, vicar of St Paul's and Cotham Parish Church, who brought the motion to debate at the Synod, puts it: 'Declaring Climate Crisis challenges our own priorities and commits us as churches to work with others to respond to an emergency with global reach. Declaration is calling to others; it is also commitment to ourselves and to the gospel.' - Read more on the Diocese website.

A carol for Christmas

A beautiful carol by Peter Warlock to wish you a contemplative Advent and a joyous Christmas.


Reverend Sally Robertson
15 Rackham Close
Tadpole Garden Village
SN25 2QT
07588 594410

Parish Office (including Christenings (Baptisms), Banns and Weddings

07588 594410


Karen Vermeersch 07443 522620

Deputy Churchwardens

Peter Smith
Barry Luffman
Paul Zukiewicz 07778 016843

Hon. Pastoral Assistant

Susan Smith 01793 706970

Parish Safeguarding Officer

Nicola Wilding 07900 016639

Items for Notice Sheet

Helen Allen

Items for Online News (here)

Church School

Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy
Greene Street
Tadpole Garden Village
SN25 2QS
01793 729740
Headteacher: Mrs Jane Leo


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