November 2019 News


What's on in November - Services and Events

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

Sunday 3rd November: All Saints

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

Wednesday 6th November

7:30pm Deanery Synod at The Deanery School

Sunday 10th November:  Remembrance Day

10am Morning Prayer followed by refreshments and act of remembrance
4pm  Church at Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy All Age service starting with refreshments and including act of remembrance

Wednesday 13th November

11am Coffee, Prayer and chat
7.30pm PCC Meeting at 15 Rackham Close

Thursday 14th November

7.30pm Safe Space discussion group at 15 Rackham Close - Ourself and our gender

Sunday 17th November: Second Sunday before Advent

10am Holy Communion with 'This Time Tomorrow' interview and Sunday school
6:30pm Evening Prayer (Book of Common Prayer)

Tuesday 19th November

11.30am Songs of Praise at Ridgeway Rise Care Home, Richardson Road

Wednesday 20th November

1.30pm Get Together at Kingdom Coffee House in Redhouse
6-8pm INGNItE youth group, 15 Rackham Close

Thursday 21st November

8pm Children's Leaders Meeting

Sunday 24th November: Christ the King

10am Holy Communion with an emphasis on wholeness and healing with Sunday School
4pm Confirmation Service at St Michael's, Highworth - please come and support our church members who are being confirmed

Wednesday 27th November

11am Coffee, Prayer and chat

Thursday 28th November

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

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)

Remembering in November

3rd November 6.30pm – To mark All Saints' Day there will be an opportunity to remember loved ones during our Communion service.  Please write any names you would like included on the sheet on the bookcase.

10th November 10am and 4pm – There will be an Act of Remembrance at both services on Remembrance Day.  We are delighted to welcome 7th Swindon Scout group members in the morning and Brownies and Guides from the local packs in the afternoon.  Both services are suitable for children and include refreshments.

Safe Space: discussion group

Do you ever find aspects of modern life baffling and wish there was the opportunity to discuss the puzzles of life in the 21st century with others? Safe Space aims to give you that opportunity. We will be looking at issues we hear about in the media and come upon in our daily lives. There will be the chance to air your thoughts and questions, hear what the Bible might be saying about these issues and reflect on them with God and other church members. There won’t be any right or wrong questions or answers. The aim is that we will all grow in our understanding of our world and our God. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please contact Sally. The meetings will take place at 15 Rackham Close, Tadpole Garden Village from 7:30-9pm.

14th November Ourself and our gender
28th November Marriage and sexuality
12th December A topic chosen by the group

Wholeness and Healing

Our Communion service on 24th November will be the first using liturgy focussing particularly on wholeness and healing.  In the new year we aim to offer prayer ministry alongside such services, about once a quarter, but for this month we will be beginning by exploring  the theology of wholeness and healing.

Toy Service

As usual we will be receiving donations of unused/new toys at the Children’s Service on 1st December to donate to Swindon Women’s Aid.

Christmas is coming! 

Look out for fliers with our Christmas service dates for you to give to family and friends. If you live in our parish and would be able to distribute some to the houses in your street please sign the list on the book case.  Please also come along on the following dates to support us

Saturday 14th Dec10am-12 Decorating Church
Wednesday 18th December 7.30pm Carol Singing at the Jovial Monk Highdown Way SN25 4YD

Christmas Scratch Choir

St Andrew’s Scratch Choir begin rehearsing in mid-November to sing at the Carols by Candlelight service on Sunday 22nd December at 6:30pm. If you would like to be part of this year’s choir, please contact Revd Sally or Helen Allen (contact details below).

Can you help the PCC?

The Parochial Church Council are very grateful to Susan Jennings for taking our minutes, but changing work commitments means she needs to hand this job over.  You would need to be able to come to PCC once a month on a Wednesday evening and then produce the minutes soon afterwards.  If you feel this is something you could help with please speak to Sally or Karen.


Please pray for Alex, Logan and Hannah being confirmed on 24th November.
Also pray for a unifying and constructive General Election campaign and for all those standing for election.

From the Vicar

Advent and Christmas dates

By the start of next month we will already be in Advent - here's a reminder of the key dates in the Advent and Christmas period.

1st December 10am Advent Sunday Children's service with toy donation
1st December 6.30pm Advent Sunday Holy Communion
8th December 4pm Christingle at Tadpole Farm.
15th December 10am Children’s Carol Service at St Andrew’s.
22nd December 6.30pm Carols by Candlelight at St Andrew’s.
24th December 4pm All Age Nativity at Tadpole.
24th December 11.30pm Midnight Communion.
25th December 10am All Age Communion.

Sally (see below for contact details)

Around the Parish

A brief history of St Andrew's Church and the surrounding area

The Church

St Andrew’s is a small structure, built in the Early English style.

There has been a church on this site since the 11th century and at some stage it was much larger.  When the Victorian renovations were carried out, evidence was found of a large porch, tower and additional aisle.  The carved stone heads (corbel stones) of nuns and a bishop, high up on the walls in St Andrew’s Church date from the 1280s and were thought to support the roof beams of an earlier structure.

Most of what you can see today is the result of major restoration undertaken by renowned church architect William Butterfield between 1864 and 1868.  He designed the west front, with its bellcote, spirelet and weather-cock and specifications for some of the windows.  However, some older features still remain, such as the doorway used to enter church which dates from the13th century.

Little Blunsdon and the Abbey

There is no definite proof that there was ever an abbey at Blunsdon, but there were three abbeys  - at Godstow, Stanley and Ivy Church – who owned the land at Blunsdon.

In 1282 Roger de Writele gave the land to the Abbess of Godstow who may have founded a Priory here.  When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries, the manor was granted to St Charles Brydges.  His son, Sir John was created Baron of Sudeley and built here ‘a faire gothique house with a great hall after the old fashion’.  Certainly a house with 2 wings appears on an old map, dated 1837.

In 1860, the original mansion was demolished  and ‘Blunsdon Abbey’ was built as a large country home for wealthy sportsman Mr Joseph Clayton De Windt, who was sadly thrown from his horse and killed on the day the last stone was laid on the water tower.  The property was then purchased by John Lyall and on his death in 1881, by Miss Thomas.  Miss Thomas visited the house for the final time on 21st April 1904 before returning to her house in London.  The following night the house caught fire and was left as a ruin, parts of which are still visible from the churchyard today.  The land then passed to Mr Alexander Lonsdale Fell.

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

Youth-focused lectionary launched

Dan Jones, Youth and Children's Adviser for the Diocese of Bristol, invited his counterparts from Bath & Wells to work on his idea of a weekly youth-specific and versatile discipleship tool based on the lectionary. And the LecDeck was born!

The LecDeck is a deck of 52 cards for engaging young people in God’s word. Each card contains a Bible reading selected from the principal service, thought provoking questions; prayer focus, a weekly challenge and quotable quotes to stimulate thought, discussion, learning and application.

Dan said: 'I am incredibly excited about the LecDeck. The deck of cards can be used in a number of ways; at youth clubs, home groups, Christian Unions, families at home, personal study or given to young people to flick through in a pew.'

Find us

Getting in touch


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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