An update from Frances

I am writing to share two updates: first, regarding the plans for the redevelopment of our church ancillary buildings and secondly, concerning the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions by the Government on 19 July.

Redevelopment at St Andrew’s

Since the last BYC update, we have been awaiting The Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) response to our plans, and also taking time to absorb the feedback about evolving church and community needs post-covid. The DAC’s site visit (delayed due to lockdown restrictions), has taken place and the Steering Group has subsequently received their report.

In the report, the DAC have raised some challenging questions to help both them and us be sure of our options amidst the complexities of climate crisis and post-covid. Archdeacon Martin has subsequently reassured me that they have no query with our Vision, only with how we develop the very best buildings and space around them to serve that Vision. We know we now need to take time to build more personal relationships with the DAC in order that we might work together to achieve the best outcome for our buildings at St Andrew’s. An important meeting is to be held next week between representatives of the DAC and the St Andrew’s Steering Group to begin this vital process.

Obviously, the timing of the BYC project has been affected. As a result, we have taken the decision to withdraw from the current round of CIL applications, and we are reassured that our re-application will be welcomed.

In the meantime, can I ask you once again to be committed to praying for this initiative as we ask God to encourage and guide us as we attempt to follow His plan for his church in Oxshott.

What will church be like after 19 July?

The second matter I wanted to update you on concerns the Government’s plan to remove all remaining restrictions on 19 July. Whilst this is obviously a wonderful point to have reached in the Covid-19 pandemic, it does not mean that life (and, specifically, services and activities at St Andrew’s Oxshott) will immediately ‘go back to normal.’

Throughout the pandemic, the Anglican Church’s response to Government guidelines has been interpreted for local churches like ours by the House of Bishops. This will remain the case even after 19 July.  In addition, ‘Just because we can, does not mean we should’ (to quote the Diocese of Guildford’s Mission Enabler). In other words, even though restrictions may no longer be imposed upon us by the Government, the wardens and clergy of St Andrew’s will be monitoring things very carefully after 19 July, with no changes being made immediately. I will write to let you know about any proposed changes or lessening of restrictions in church as these are developed, in the same way as when restrictions were first introduced.

I do hope that this is reassuring for everyone.

If you feel that you would like to comment upon either of these updates, please feel free to send your comments or concerns to me via the following email address: (please note carefully the spelling of Frances!)

Blessings,

Revd Frances Trickey, Vicar

Join St Andrew’s in giving thanks for our vaccines

For so many of us in Oxshott, and for millions across the UK, the availability of a free vaccine has brought a deep sense of relief and hope. However, we are increasingly aware of the huge disparities in how communities and families are able to protect themselves in places around the world. We are the ‘Haves’ and so many are the ‘Have nots.’

As a gesture of thankfulness for our vaccines, I would like to challenge the community of Oxshott to give generously in support of this St Andrew’s initiative in tandem with Christian Aid. Whether you can give just a few pounds or a much larger sum, it will be an opportunity to share hope and love with our brothers and sisters across the world.

For more information, please visit our Just Giving page Giving Thanks for our Vaccines in Oxshott

Thank you for your generosity at this crucial time,

Sharing our gifts

Christian Aid Week is fast approaching, giving us a chance to share the generous gifts that God has given us. Mark Currie is our local representative…

Now is your chance to share what you have with those in greater need! In order to inspire us to share our love for our neighbours, we are planning to hold another quiz event, and communications about this season’s quiz will be routed through the Life Groups.

I will also be taking on a personal challenge involving a bike (or two); a cathedral (or two or maybe more) and possibly some sheep. It will be a carbon neutral challenge, so will be in keeping with the theme of this year’s Christian Aid Week, which is focused on Climate Justice.

The world’s poorest communities are suffering the most whilst they have contributed the least to the problem of global warming. The devastating climate crisis robs people of the water and food they need to live.

Please donate this Christian Aid Week. Your gift could help a community build an earth dam, providing a regular and reliable source of water in affected areas of Kenya and other affected countries.

  • £4.40 could teach 10 farmers how to plant drought-tolerant crops that can survive the drought.
  • £10 could buy a pair of taps at a water point, which will be installed at an earth dam making it easier for people to fetch water.
  • £42 could buy 350 kg of cement, which is needed to build an earth dam.

Please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-currie8 if you are able to make a donation, so that we can associate the donations with the St Andrew’s community, and I can keep you updated on progress.

Creator God, from the tree of the garden of Eden, to the tree in the city in Revelation, we thank you for your vision of creation healed. Help us to be your agents of restoration, tending to the beauty of the Earth, and enabling your healing of the nations. Amen.

Mark Currie

Welcomers wanted

Welcomers (formerly known as sidesmen and women)

Our loyal team of Welcomers fulfils a vital role in our openness to the community. We are currently looking for more people who feel able to offer a warm welcome to everyone who arrives at church, whether ‘regulars’ or visitors. At this stage, please just leave your name and details with the office team to register your interest and the wardens/Gwen will arrange to have a chat about the role. If you decide to go ahead, you will be put on the rota for whichever style of service you prefer to attend, and the commitment is likely to be roughly once per month.

 

Find out more about GRCT

Dear Friends

Would you like to find out more about the GRCT and our on the ground projects? Join us for a short but informative zoom meeting to learn more.
When?

Wednesday 12 May, 10am and 8pm
What?
The GRCT is hosting a zoom presentation on our work “Who, What, Why, How?” The event will be one hour long, and will be lively and informative with a short presentation and time for Q&As.
Where?
We are hosting it twice on zoom on the same day – at 10am and 8pm, so if you are interested in attending you can choose the time that suits you best.
Zoom link 
Please RSVP with your preferred time by emailing  and we will forward the Zoom link to you. We do hope you can join us!

With best wishes
The GRCT Trustees

PCC & Ministry Team away day 2021

On 24 April the PCC and Ministry Team at St Andrews held our second virtual Away Day. Although it is true that we all would have preferred to meet in person we were still grateful to be able to get together by zoom. Contact has been necessarily limited throughout the year and it was a real blessing to have the time to catch up with each other.

As Frances asked us to reflect on the work of the church during the lockdown, and in particular things we would like to celebrate, we were able to come up with a surprisingly long list. Many were things that I was aware of, such as the enhanced technical capability which has allowed us a live streamed Sunday service, the invaluable work of the pastoral team and the enhanced role of life groups. However it was great to hear of the work done by the StAks@home team and that the Open the Book online service has been viewed by around 80-100 children weekly.

Small breakout groups allowed us to have lively discussions about how we will welcome people back into church and how we will serve the community of Oxshott.  This was very much the beginning of the process of reopening but nonetheless it was a very productive and encouraging time.

Jill Perrett

Thy Kingdom Come 2021: 13-23 May

The ten days of celebration, prayer and witness takes place this year between 13 and 23 May.

 

After the very first Ascension Day, Christ’s disciples gathered to pray and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and, over the centuries, Christians have used this period to pray in the same way. Thy Kingdom Come was started in 2016 by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York as a global prayer movement, inviting us to light up the world with prayer for families, friends and communities to experience the love of God. Since then, it has become a truly worldwide event gaining the support of church leaders across the globe.

Last year it culminated in a truly interdenominational on-line service lead by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, with contributions from Pope Francis, the heads of the Pentecostal and Coptic Orthodox Churches in London and many others.

We are encouraged to use this time to:

  • Deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ
  • Pray for 5 friends or family to come to faith in Jesus
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower us as we share our faith with others

Here’s how we can get involved:

Visit the Thy Kingdom Come website, watch the short introduction video and join with thousands of other Christians and pledge to pray.

Here at St Andrew’s, please join us for the following events:

  • A short event to launch TKC on Wednesday 12 May, 8pm on zoom.
    This event has now finished
  • Thursday 13 – Sunday 23 May, Daily Prayer at 9am: a half-hour meeting via zoom for prayer and reflection using the TKC Novena booklets, including Ascension and Pentecost. (Copies are available free of charge from the Church Office or may be downloaded from Thy Kingdom Come).
    This event has now finished
  • On Saturday 15 May, our Daily Prayer at 9am will be incorporated in a ‘Super-zoom Breakfast’ led by Andrew and Ruth Burns. This will combine the day’s Novena meditation with a time of fellowship with others in our church family.
    This event has now finished

As we have done for a number of years we are setting aside a special time to pray for our local businesses and shops, schools and community groups. Join us for either or both of these two prayer events as we walk ‘virtually’ through our village on zoom:

  • Tuesday 18 May, 10.30am – Schools & Community Groups
    Download the Schools and Community Walk Map
    This event has now finished
  • Wednesday 19 May, 2.15pm – Businesses and Shops
    This event has now finished

And our children and young people are not forgotten either.  Both Bevendean and Royal Kent School are keen to participate through their own version of the Prayer Trees and a range of family resources and creative ideas for prayer will be posted via our StAks@home page.

Alpha Online!

St Andrew’s Church will soon be hosting Alpha Online, on Sunday evenings from 12 September.

We do hope you can join us!

An Easter update from Frances

It’s a while since I last wrote to you about BYC, and it may seem that all has gone quiet since the flurry of video presentations and feedback in December and January. However, the picture is more like the swan, apparently gliding on the water with no effort, but under the surface, a good deal has been happening.

Feedback

In my January letter (and at the APCM), I mentioned how grateful we are for the whole range of positive, constructive and challenging comments and questions you presented to us. I also explained how we were planning to address that feedback, dividing it into the things we had already spotted for the architect to address; new ideas we hadn’t yet considered; new or different requirements that need more serious discussion; concerns about timing and or the cost; and suggestions and offers of help.

Preliminary analysis has taken place, and in discussions with the PCC about the next steps, there was a renewed recognition that there are many strands to BYC, which we need to progress simultaneously.  Improving our buildings will be a key enabler of our Vision, launched in 2018, but we also need to understand the new post-pandemic context of our community, develop the ministries we want to prioritise so that they are up and running in good time, talk to our community and not least apply for funding and raise the finance required.  It is a complicated process.

Steering group

On 9 March, the PCC approved the creation of a Steering Group, designed to bring other skills into play alongside the ones so willingly offered already by Norman Steven, Frances Reeve and Jill Mengham. I am immensely grateful to each one of them for shouldering this enormous responsibility for us all thus far.

The additional members of the Steering Group are Ron Stewart (Chair), Ruth Burns and Patrick Fleming. I will join the Steering Group regularly in the role of Project Sponsor. The Steering Group is a temporary sub-committee of the PCC tasked with ensuring we progress our vision through BYC. We really are so blessed to be able to draw such an experienced and skilled group together from within our own church family to achieve this.

One of the immediate tasks of the Steering Group will be to take appropriate action on the detailed analysis of the feedback.

Thank you

Thank you for your involvement and prayers thus far. At this point the most important and valuable support everyone can give is through your prayer. Please continue to pray for every part of the BYC project: for those involved in leading it on our behalf; for God to call people to help with current and new ministries and activities; for Him to go ahead of us to external bodies and open their hearts and minds to this vision for Oxshott; and that God’s vision for the people of St Andrew’s and this community of ‘Followers of Jesus Christ Growing in Faith, Growing in Number and Serving the Community’ will become an amazing reality.

Easter Blessings to you all,

Developing Existing and New Ministries

Developing Existing and New Ministries at St Andrew’s Oxshott

As we begin to move out of lockdown it is time to prepare as a church for the post-pandemic period we will emerge into. To help the PCC and others in this prayerful and reflective preparation, we are inviting you to input your experience as members of the Church Family at St Andrew’s, and Community of Oxshott. If you would like to, please complete the survey below and press the ‘submit’ button. There are no ‘right’ answers, and responses will be dealt with as confidential, so do please tell us what you really think and feel! Thank you.

Please complete this survey by 20 April 2021