FEBRUARY 2020 NEWS


Contents

What's on in February - Services and Events

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

Sunday 2nd February: Presentation of Christ in the temple

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

Sunday 9th February: 3rd Sunday before Lent 

10am Holy Communion – Enjoying God’s Generosity
4pm Prayer for Church at Tadpole Garden Village at 15 Rackham Close (see below)

Wednesday 12th February 

11am Coffee, Prayer and Chat 
7.30pm PCC meeting at 15 Rackham Close

Sunday 16th February: 2nd Sunday before Lent 

10am Morning Prayer – Sharing God’s Generosity with Sunday School and refreshments 
6:30pm Evening Prayer (Book of Common Prayer)

Monday 17th February 

6-8pm IGNItE Youth group for school years 7-13+, 15 Rackham Close – Pancake Party

Tuesday 18th February 

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

Wednesday 19th February 

1:30pm Get together at Kingdom Coffee House in Redhouse NOTE: Coffee House is now closed - CANCELLED THIS MONTH

Sunday 23rd February: Sunday before Lent 

10am Holy Communion with an emphasis on wholeness and healing with Sunday School

Wednesday 26th February: Ash Wednesday

11am Coffee, Prayer and Chat
7.30pm Holy Communion with imposition of ashes

Thursday 27th February 7.30pm 

Deanery Synod at All Saints Southbrook Street

Sunday 1st March: Lent 1

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





Notices

Church at Tadpole Garden Village

We have had an enjoyable two years so far, meeting once a month for tea, chat and worship at Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy; however, we are aware that we may not be meeting the needs of the school or the local community so have decided to pause for a few months and think about what would be best going forward.  We are seeking the views of the local community and church members to help us find the right mix of services, or other events, to meet the needs of Tadpole Garden Village and St Andrew’s congregation, and potential congregation.  Please complete the questionnaire you’ll find by clicking here to tell us your views and continue to pray for the right next steps, including coming along at 4pm on 9th February.

Generosity

We will be considering God’s generosity to us and our response at our services on 9th and 16th February.  Please look out for the ways to respond following these services.

Safe Families

Also on 16th February we will be hearing from Safe Families, a Christian charity working with Swindon Borough Council to provide support for families in need.  They are working with families in our parish so it would be great to hear what they are doing and how we could help.  You can find out more at www.safefamilies.uk or come along on 16th.

Wholeness and Healing

Our Communion service on 23rd February will use the  liturgy focussing particularly on wholeness and healing.  This is a quarterly service so the dates for the others this year will be 24th May, 23rd August and 22nd November.

Ash Wednesday 26th February

Please return your palm crosses to church by 23rd February so that they can become the ashes for our Service of Holy Communion and Ashing at 7:30pm on 26th February.  If you’ve never been before, why not come along to start Lent in the right spirit of repentance?

Would you like to understand the Bible better?

For our Lent (and a bit after) Course this year, we will be following The Bible Course, from Bible Society.  It’s already proved very popular with many churches in Swindon and beyond and you can read more about it in below.

There will be a daytime group and an evening group running each week from week beginning 2nd March to week beginning 30th March and then again from week beginning 20th April to week beginning 4th May.  Day of week will depend on what is most convenient for those who want to come.

Please complete a form with your preferred time of day and day of week.  There will also be a charge of £4.99 to cover the cost of the comprehensive course booklet.

News from PCC

We have been thinking about how to make St Andrew’s more accessible and more sacred and have come up with some minor tweaks which we feel will help.  To implement these, we are planning a Spring clean and furniture moving day on Saturday 21st March from 9am.  Please come along if you can as the more people who come the more we will achieve.  Breakfast will be served!
We have also reconsidered the churchyard/car park wall and feel we cannot justify spending £25,000 on what is essentially a safe and functional wall, so this project has been put on hold.

Prayer

Please pick up the pink Winter Prayer cycle and especially pray for God’s guidance over Church at Tadpole Garden Village and alternatives we might consider. 





From the Vicar

Have you ever wondered…..?

In December, members of St Andrew’s Church were privileged to help at the Prayer Space organised by the pupil worship team at Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy.  It was great to watch children of all ages take part in the different prayer activities.  One of them was called ‘Big Questions’ and children were encouraged to think about what they would like to ask God.  They had some brilliant questions:

Why are cats not blue? Why is God so important?
What is it like being God? Why is school boring not fun?
Why can’t we have peace in our world? If you were alive now what would you do?
What is it like in heaven, will we ever go there? Why did you create the world?

Sometimes it’s good just to ask Big Questions even when there isn’t an answer available, so much of our lives is precise and understandable that we’ve lost the art of wondering.  We can see prayer as wondering with God and asking him to show us what’s important and what isn’t.

It won’t surprise you to learn that I think the Bible’s really important, so if you have any questions about how we should read the Bible or how such a big and old book can be relevant or make sense to us in the 21st century, please consider signing up for the Bible course, that we’ll be running in March and April.

We’re also asking our own questions this month about how we can meet the needs of people who can’t always get to St Andrew’s on a Sunday morning, so please complete the questionnaire (as mentioned above) to give us your views about that.

Sally

What happens on Ash Wednesday?

This year Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent, is on 26th February and we will be holding our annual “Holy Communion with imposition of ashes” service at 7.30pm.  You might be wondering what on earth that means and why we would do that, so here’s an explanation.

Lent, as you are probably aware, is linked to the 40 days that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry (you can read the story in Matthew chapter 4 verses 1-11).  Lent lasts for more than 40 days because traditionally the Sundays do not count as fast days.  Fasting can be a good way of reminding ourselves what is really important in life, both because it reminds us of the true value of what we have given up and because it helps to focus our minds on more important things.  However, it is not the only purpose of Lent.  Penitence, reminding ourselves of our need of God’s forgiveness and our unworthiness before Him, is another important theme and particularly relevant on Ash Wednesday.

Throughout the Old Testament people sprinkle ash on their heads as a personal response to a sudden (and unhappy) change of circumstances and Jesus refers to ash, as a normal expression of penitence.  Ashes are a particularly powerful indication of our mortality when they are imposed with the words

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ

In our service on Ash Wednesday, we confess our sins using a long prayer (which you can find here under the section Self-examination and confession) and then those who want to, quietly come to the front of church to be marked with the sign of the cross made with ash on their forehead.  Involving our whole bodies in moving to the front and receiving a visible mark is a powerful witness to ourselves that we are sorry for the way we behave and our response involves more than just words.  We then continue with the service of Holy Communion, reminding ourselves that God has dealt with our sinfulness through Jesus’ death on the cross and he willingly forgives us when we turn to him.

Such a physical act of confession is a good start to a period of examining ourselves and fasting during Lent.  We may choose to give up a food or another luxury, or to take up a kind deed each day, or some other way of disciplining ourselves to train ourselves to follow Jesus more closely.

You may be interested to know that the ash used in ashing comes from burning the palm crosses brought back to church in the weeks before the service.  The origins of this practice are rather obscure, but it does provide a practical solution to what to do to all the palm crosses from last year.  It is surprisingly hard to burn a palm cross and producing the ash takes more effort than you would imagine!  




Around the Parish

For our Lent (and a bit after) Course this year, we will be following The Bible Course, from the Bible Society. It has already proved very popular with many churches in Swindon and beyond and is described by the Bible Society like this:

An eight-session course helping you explore the world's bestseller.

The Bible is a big and complicated book to read and for many it can be difficult to know where to start. Maybe you’ve been part of a Bible study group and want to build your confidence so you can study the Bible on your own, or maybe you need help connecting together the bits you’ve been reading. The Bible Course is a great resource, whether you are familiar with the Bible or just starting out.

  • The Bible Course helps you see how the books of the Bible are part of one big story.
  • Using a unique storyline, The Bible Course will show you how key events, books and characters fit together.
  • The video teaching, course guide and daily readings will help you grow in confidence as you read the Bible for yourself.

There will be a daytime group and an evening group running each week from week beginning 2nd March to week beginning 30th March and then again from week beginning 20th April to week beginning 4th May.  Day of week will depend on what is most convenient for those who want to come.

Please fill in a registration form here.  There will also be a charge of £4.99 to cover the cost of the comprehensive course booklet.

Take a look at this video review of the course:





Wider World

Church legacy: a lasting gift to your church

A video provided by the Bristol Diocese, produced at St Michael & All Angels church, Alphington.
CofE Legacy St Michaels, Alphington Exeter from The National Stewardship Team on Vimeo.




Find us




Getting in touch

Priest-in-Charge


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

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

07588 594410

Churchwarden

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
helen.allen@nschurch.org.uk

Items for Online News (here)

Church School

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

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