Pews News – 15th March 2015

15th March 2015 – Mothering Sunday & Fourth Sunday of Lent

St. Andrew’s Church welcomes allcomers, whether this is your first time or thousandth time in church. You are welcome whatever your age, gender, marital status, disability, race or sexuality. You are welcome whether you have a deep and mature faith in Christ; are uncertain and still seeking; or have no faith. If you are new to church, please do take a welcome leaflet to be found in the pews; and do not hesitate to ask one of the welcomers if you have any queries.

Mothering Sunday
Happy Mothering Sunday to all mothers and mother figures. You are amazing! Thanks to those who helped prepare the posies yesterday morning.

StAPH and Bannerbrook Park
This morning, the Bannerbrook Park Mission Team is going to be decommissioned (and warmly thanked) and the lead responsibility for mission on the estate taken over by the StAPH congregation. To remind us that this is as much St. Andrew’s mission, undertaken by the StAPH congregation on our behalf, we too will be invited to pray a prayer of commitment to this mission.

Discipleship Survey
Every two years, we conduct a short survey which helps us plan our ministry with the congregation. For the survey to be really useful, it requires everyone to take part. The questionnaire takes less than 60 seconds to complete, asking only 4 questions. Unless you are a visitor, even if you have been attending for only a few weeks, please do fill in a questionnaire. It is entirely confidential.

Tea and Coffee
We have introduced a new self-service system for tea and coffee. Hot drinks dispensers are sited at the back of church for people to help themselves. We have introduced this to encourage more people to stay after the service for fellowship. Please do take the opportunity to stay for a few minutes to meet with old friends and make new ones. If you have comments about the new system, please feed them back to a churchwarden or other member of the PCC rather than our hard working coffee team.

Budget Headlines
The Church Council recently approved the new budget for 2015. We are anticipating an increase in expenditure of 8% on last year’s budget. This includes an increase of 4% on the money we pay the diocese (as our contribution to help poorer churches increases); an increased musician budget; and an increase in the amount we are paying Phil Richardson since he will work a full year in 2015 compared to the seven months of 2014. We will not be hosting a gift day, which raised £4,000 last year, but we are hoping that those members of the congregation who are able to increase their giving will consider doing so. We would also like to encourage those who put money on the plate to consider switching to the envelope scheme or direct debit. We continue to be grateful to the Diocesan Mission Fund for a £4,000 grant to support the work of StAPH. We are also immensely grateful to Pat Yates and Doris Pratt for generously remembering St Andrews with bequests. Greg or Jackie Lynch will be happy to answer any questions about the budget.

Home Groups
Following our series on home groups, we would want to encourage members who have never tried a home group to think seriously about joining a group on a trial basis. Please speak to Sue Masters if you want to know about how to find the right home group for you.

Electoral Roll
We are in the process of updating our electoral roll. This is the record of church membership and anyone who attends St. Andrew’s regularly should be on it. A brief form must be completed before the end of March and is available from our Electoral Roll officer, Lesley Harrison or Greg.

Our monthly service for primary school aged children and their families takes place next week at 4pm. The theme of this month’s service is ‘creation’. Informal, family friendly service with lots of activity and a warm welcome.

Roy Emery
Sad news that Roy Emery, a St. Andrew’s stalwart from years gone by, died very suddenly at home on Monday at the age of 75. His funeral takes place on Tuesday 17th March at 2pm at St. Leonard’s Church, Sandridge, St Albans.

Talent Show
St. Andrew’s has got talent show will take place on Saturday 21st March from 6-8pm in the village hall, assuming St. Andrew’s has got talent and people are ready to display it for a fun evening. You don’t have to be very good, just brave! Please speak to Victoria Kaczur if interested at

Drama Course
A 5 week drama course for 8-14 year olds at Jardine Youth Centre on Mondays from 5.30-6.30 pm continues tomorrow, March 9th. Please see Greg, Selina or Ben for further details.

Lent Group
Our Lent group continues to meet on Tuesday afternoons in the Vicarage at 2-3.30pm. All are welcome. We are studying Stephen Cotterell’s book, The Nail.

Bannerbrook Park Easter Egg Hunt
The Bannerbrook Easter Egg Hunt is taking place in the park on Bannerbrook from 12-2pm on Saturday 4th April. Do come along, and contact Phil on if you are interested in helping out.

Passover Meal
At the start of Holy Week on Monday 30th March at 7pm there will be a traditional Passover meal in church. It is a wonderful way of walking in the footsteps of Jesus – there is a sign up sheet at the back of church if you would like to come or please see Alex for details.

Easter Flowers
Volunteers needed to help decorate the church for Easter on Saturday 4th April at 9.00am. Also, if you would like to donate towards the cost of Easter flowers please see Ann Dove. Thank you.

Ladies Fellowship
Our next meeting is in the side room of the church on Tuesday 17th March from 1.30 until 3pm. Meetings consist of an opening prayer, a short informal talk, poetry reading or quiz etc. followed by tea or coffee, biscuits and general chat. We offer a very friendly and supportive atmosphere. New members are always welcome. Just come along on the day. The cost is 50p per visit. Thank you, Hazel Elks.

An Evening of Poetry and Prose
To take place on Saturday 9th May from 7.30pm until 10ish at Eastern Green Village Hall. Cheese, wine and soft drinks will be provided. Please Phone Stephen or Eileen Warne on 024 7647 1350 if you would be willing to contribute. Tickets cost £8 and are available at St. Andrew’s from Rita Muir and StaPH from Eileen Warne.

Weekly Giving Envelopes
Boxes of weekly giving envelopes for the new Tax Year beginning 12 April are now available at the back of the church. We are most grateful to all those who agree to donate regularly every week as this helps us to manage our budget for the coming year. Please continue to return your envelopes regularly. We are able to recover from the Inland Revenue 25p for every pound that is Gift Aided so please complete a Gift Aid Form (blue forms in the dispenser at the back of church) if you are a tax payer but have never completed a form. It is also important that we know if your circumstances change and you no longer pay tax. Last year our tax refund was£10380 making this an important source of income. Richard Marr (01676 522697).

The Foodbank have requested donations of the following items. Tins of: meat, fish, rice pudding and custard; jars of: pasta sauce, coffee and jam; toilet rolls, tooth brushes, toothpaste and kitchen roll.

Vulnerable Mission Conference
Avoiding Dependency in Global Christian Mission…Vulnerable Mission a potential answer. On 18th April a conference is being held in Coventry for anyone in the West Midlands, involved in cross-cultural mission or interested in supporting it, to discuss some of these issues and to see how they impact on our support. Please see the flier at the back of church for further details.

Sermon Summary
Children are a gift from God
In the ancient world, motherhood was prized because so few other options were open to women
With great gifts comes great responsibility

Prayer List
Please pray for Brenda & Neville Lawrence, Wendy Wilcox, Barbara Hesketh, Matt Monnington, Jo Hanney, Barbara Anderson, Colin Sanders, Beryl Poppit, Margaret & Albert Whitehouse, Kay Wilding and Lara Santostefano. To add names to the list please contact Julie at or 07756 918847.

Diary Dates
Mon 16th March5.30pmYouth Drama at Jardine Youth Centre
Mon 16th March7.30pmPalm Sunday Rehearsal
Tues 17th March2.00pmLent Group at the Vicarage
Tues 17th March7.00pmChoir Practice
Weds 18th March7.30pmAllesley Green Group at the Vicarage
Fri 20th March7.00pmSpring Harvest Social at the Vicarage
Sat 21st March6-8pmTalent Show at the Village Hall
Sun 22nd March4.00pmForall@4 service in church
Tues 24th March9.15amPram Service
Tues 24th MarchHome Group Leaders social at 7.30pm at the Unicorn
Readings1 Sam 1.20-28 (p 272) & Luke 2.33-35 (p 1028)
ReadersAnn Crowley & John Ross-Barnard
PreacherGreg Smith
PresidentGreg Smith
IntercessionsHarvey Wyatt
Comm AsstEmma Read
Next WeekJeremiah 31.31-34 & John 12.20-33