This page is a structured copy of the annual report presented in April 2019 to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.
Simply scan through the topics below and click on the Blue Banner to read all about it.
We're quite a busy church so there is lots going on.
The PCC comprises 22 Ex-Officio, Elected and Co-opted Members. During 2018 there were initially eight Ex Officio members, the Vicar (PCC Chairman) who left office on his retirement, Churchwardens (2), Deputy Churchwarden and Deanery Synod Representatives (3) and the Deanery Synod Treasurer (Sheila Warburton). In June John Carey was elected to the Diocesan Synod, so also joined the ranks of ex-officio members increasing the total to nine.
Our electoral roll numbers currently allow twelve elected members who serve for a period of three years, retiring in rotation, hence four new members should be elected each year. At the end of their term of office members standing down are not normally eligible for re-election for a period of one year unless they have some specialist skills to offer. Two additional co-opted members are allowed. In 2018/2019 two members were co-opted on to the PCC.
If an elected PCC member resigns, or there is a casual vacancy, the place may be taken by co-option, the co-opted member serving the remainder of the term of the previously elected member. As only two members were elected at the APCM held in April, two further members were co-opted to fill the vacancies, and there were a further 4 members who had been co-opted to fill casual vacancies in previous years; one of these was transferred to ex-officio during the course of the year.
Since the last APCM the PCC has met six times, with an average attendance of 75%. There was also an Awayday during which the topic was the forthcoming Interregnum.
Since the incumbents retirement, the Parish Profile has featured as an important item on the agenda. Finance and stewardship were, as usual, major items at each meeting. With the Parish Share (set by the Diocese, the Deanery setting the parish share for each church) being the major item of expenditure there is little room for manoeuvre, but a close eye is kept on PCC finances.
Regular reports are also received from our Deanery Synod Reps to keep the PCC up to date with events at Deanery level. Other items discussed have included:
The PCC continually reviews maintenance and health and safety issues, particularly items highlighted from the quinquennial inspections (the most recent being carried out in December 2014). It also regularly reviews policies and Cornerstone hire charges and terms and conditions.
The PCC operates with several groups working on behalf of St Peter's PCC to cover all aspects of the life of the Church; all groups provide regular reports to the PCC.
To assist with Church Maintenance issues, a Fabrics Committee has been established, reporting to the PCC.
The PCC also receives regular reports on Safeguarding, Deanery Synod, The Well and from the Foundation Governors of St Peter's School.
Approved PCC minutes are displayed on the PCC notice board.
Barry Marsden TSSF – PCC Secretary
The past year has seemed to have been a very busy one for St Peter’s, in addition to all our normal activities we have had to prepare for the incumbents retirement, and for the vicar and his wife leaving Burnham. They will be greatly missed, and we send them on their way with our love and prayers for a long and happy retirement.
During the year our regular maintenance work has gone on, and we would like to express our immense gratitude to all those whose efforts keep our church and its surroundings beautiful, we would particularly like to thank the dedicated band of church cleaners and the churchyard maintenance team who do such good work (when they aren’t falling out of trees). A particular word of thanks must go to Fiona and David Burridge for their work on the flowerbed by the south door and in the Garden of Remembrance.
You may have noticed that we now have new, more modern, energy-efficient light fittings in Cornerstone. Also, in Cornerstone, users of the kitchen have been very pleased with the new gas hob which was supplied by Paul Millson.
The project to renew the lighting in the church is progressing well and we hope that we will have it installed before this summer. When that is completed, we can move on with having the building redecorated once the necessary faculty has been obtained from the Diocesan Advisory Committee.
You may also have noticed that we have a new lectern, this was made by a local craftsman and generously donated by Barry Marsden in memory of his wife, Liz, and we are very grateful.
This year we have launched the Parish Giving Scheme, and we delighted that over forty church members have joined the scheme. If you haven’t joined yet don’t worry, there is room for plenty more!
We are currently in the process of appointing a new vicar and we look forward to the challenges ahead of us.
Pam Rogers and Pete Lewis
The Deanery Synod met on four occasions during 2018.
Our representatives were the incumbent, Liz Wat-kins, Barry Marsden and Ian Fordyce. Additionally, Sheila Warburton has been co-opted as Deanery Treasurer, and Jo Saunders, who, as a member of the Diocesan synod was an ex-officio member until July, acted as Lay Chair for part of the year, until a new Lay Chair could be appointed.
John Carey was elected to the Diocesan Synod in August so is now an ex-officio member. The incumbent was a member of the Standing Committee, and Ian continued to sit on the Education committee.
There were two Wednesday evening meetings, one Tuesday evening and one Saturday morning.
This year’s income has struggled due to the loss of several of our congregation and their generous, regular planned giving. Many of the congregation and supporters of the church have reflected on and prayerfully increased giving in order to respond to the need for ensuring mission and ministry from within the church and out into the community and onwards, however our current finances are of great concern.
Credit and thanks must be given to Sheila, our fantastic Treasurer, who makes sure that every pound (and penny) received is meticulously considered, and the best deal sought before spending on bills and running costs, thus maximising what is available for mission and ministry.
It’s been a few months since the introduction of the Church of England’s Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) which many of us have joined. The PGS is a direct-debit system originally developed by the Diocese of Gloucester to provide a professional, effective donation management system to support parishes in funding their mission and ministry, maximising cash-flow and minimising administration. Pete, one of the churchwardens felt it an ideal pastime during retirement to lead on facilitating our change over to the PGS and he did a great job informing us about the necessary form to complete. Please do speak to him, churchwarden Pam or me if you have any questions about the scheme and how to sign up.
Talking about money is not the easiest conversation to have when the cost of living is high and many people are struggling, but it's essential to ensure everyone knows how to give and the difference even the smallest increase, gift aiding and a regular commitment to give can really make. It is after all God’s provision to us that we are acknowledging and giving thanks for.
In the year ahead I will to continue to be a visible gentle but regular reminder, supporter and adviser keeping the need to 'Plan and Give' in the forefront of the minds of all who visit, celebrate and find comfort and solace through this church. After all St Peter's Church is such an important place where through sharing in fellowship and teaching we can grow in faith, nurture and support one another and let God’s light burn brighter than a single flame.
Giving thanks for our blessings,
Liz Watkins – Planned Giving Officer
Note: St Peter's receives no external funding so all monies required to run the church must be raised through giving or fundraising.
A question frequently asked at the APCM is about our mission, outreach and outward giving, mainly because it’s difficult to identify in our annual accounts.
Our Mission, Outreach and Outward giving come in different forms, sometimes it’s about money, sometimes it’s ‘giving in kind’ and sometimes it about what we do in the community (outreach).
A rough list for 2018 is as follows:-
This is just a flavour of what we do.
Every Sunday a lively group of children meets in Cornerstone during the 10am service - except for the 2nd Sunday when we all join together for All Age worship.
The children enjoy learning about the Bible through drama, music, videos, craft, games, discussion, puppets & of course, the amazing stories of the Old and New Testament.
At the beginning of the year we invited members of our St Peter’s family to share some of their stories. The children especially enjoyed Cliff talking about the Psalms & Barry’s story of St Francis. After Easter we talked about jobs in the Bible, starting with the Puppets performing the story of The Wise & Foolish Builders. Other stories included farmers, spies, fishermen, queens, soldiers and healers. The stories were reinforced with craft sessions during which the children made disguises, a prayer wall, fish, arm-bands, a giant soldier and other amazing creations.
This year’s Christmas presentation was a multi-media production of The Mystery of the New Noisy Neighbour from The Bible Society. The children performed enthusiastically & sang beautifully. Thank you to our fantastic actors & musicians, Steve for producing the PowerPoint and animation, Tower Teens for narrating, Jenny for co-directing, Justine & Olivia for doing the readings, Ruby, Grace, Emily & Fay for the prayers ,the congregation for excellent audience participation and not forgetting the Holy Stitch-ers for their amazing costumes.
I would like to say a big thank you to all the Young Church leaders - especially Rhonda & Olivia who will be leaving us in 2019, parents, and Puppets4All for their continued help & support.
If anybody would like to join the team we are always looking enthusiastic people to help either leading the session or preparing activities.
Our small but committed group of teenagers meets monthly during the service but sadly in the first 3 months of this year we have not been able to meet due to other commitments by the leaders. I personally feel that having a solid group of church friends for teenagers is so important, and they also need a chance to be able to discuss their faith and ask questions of each other and of trusted leaders.
Our young people have so many decisions to make and so many demands made of them in life that they need to have a solid base on which their faith is built and that is what, in Tower Teens we aim to give them. Many of our youngsters take an active role in the Church as musicians, servers and puppeteers so sometimes it is difficult to find a time to meet.
I would like to do more but Chris and I both struggle with time which saddens and worries me. Work with our teenagers is something I would like to really develop over the next year and your prayers, encouragement and any help by anyone who feels that God is calling them into this ministry would be very welcome.
The Meditation group has continued meeting weekly on Thursdays at 1 pm throughout the year. The Thursday group meets for around 30 minutes, usually followed by coffee and socialising in Cornerstone and has a regular attendance of around 5. Unfortunately the Friday evening group membership declined to such an extent that it ceased to be viable, and was closed down. Although we are a Christian group, mostly coming from St Peter’s we are pleased to welcome members of other faiths, and we have one regular who is Buddhist.
The members of the group all find that Meditation is a valuable part of our prayer life, and we believe that it makes a positive contribution to the prayer of the Church. It is also known to have health benefits and helps to promote general well-being.
We have maintained our affiliation with, and support of, the World Community for Christian meditation.
Barry Marsden TSSF
Listening Ears has been a service undertaken by the volunteers within the pastoral care group, for several years. Our original aim was to provide a listening ear to people who felt a need to offload their concerns and personal worries, in a compassionate and confidential way.
Much of the group’s work has been with the bereaved. We are a small group of five whose names are displayed within the church porch. No requests for active listening have taken place over this year except informally or through everyday conversations within the parish. The listeners do, however, remain keen to use their skills. Therefore, should you need to talk to a listener, one will be made available for you. Please make yourself known to the Cornerstone office and contact will be made as soon as possible, to arrange to meet you at a mutually convenient time and place. Literature, including telephone numbers of organisations that may be helpful, are available in the prayer corner and prayer cards are there, that can be taken away.
We welcomed Maggie Hockin to the pastoral visiting team this year and she joins Barry, Ian, Jo, Martin, Chris and me. After a short sabbatical, Chris returned to the group in September. All of us, with the exception of Martin who attends the 8am service, are usually available on Sundays at 10am. Team members all have current DBS clearance and have been or in the process of completing training in Safe-guarding to the appropriate level, in line with Diocesan directives.
We have continued to visit those known to us in hospital or in their homes, and members of the congregation who can no longer get to church. Home Communion can be taken to those who are housebound, upon request. Regularly Eucharist services are held by our Ministry team at Forget-me-not, Nicholas House and Lent Rise residential care homes.
Some of the Pastoral group assisted at the Commemoration Service held in November, in which we re-member loved ones who have passed away. Names of the departed were read out and family members invited to light a candle. Refreshments were served after the service, giving those who attended the opportunity to talk to us or other families, if they wished.
It is hoped that we can promote some sort of crossover between two very separate groups that use our church building. Ian, who leads our very popular weekly toddler group is keen to encourage parents and children to attend our family (2nd Sunday) service. Hopefully, this may motivate children to try out Young church as they reach school age.
May I thank all of the Pastoral Care Group including the listening team for their sensitivity, empathy and continued commitment. Also, I personally wish to acknowledge that there are many others, who quietly and without fuss, contribute in various ways to the pastoral ministry of our church.
We would continue to welcome new members to the group, and will provide support and direction in this role.
Here at St Peter's we take safeguarding very seriously and have made extensive use of the training facilities made available to us by the diocese.
The new scheme has introduced may changes to safeguarding which has meant that we had to get everyone to do the training they needed to do, depending on the job(s) they are carrying out in the church. With everyone has completed the first stage of their training and we are now on the second phase of more advanced training.
This training training is a little different to that used in schools for example as it is being linked to situations which are likely to occur within a church situation and should therefore be more useful to you than training provided with another organisation.
Please remember that if you have any concerns or questions about safeguarding please come and talk to me.
Emma Warburton - Parish Safeguarding Officer
This year has been another busy year for the choir members. Apart from the regular Sunday morning services we have had a number of weddings to sing at and the occasional funeral. We are lucky enough to be able to tackle a communion anthem on most Sundays during the year, and our repertoire continues to grow. We have recently added “When to the temple Mary went” by Johannes Eccard, a motet for the feast of Candlemas, and an arrangement of “A child is born in Bethlehem” by Samuel Scheidt, which we sang at the Christmas Carol Service - a highlight of the year.
Once again we have joined the choirs of the Windsor parishes to sing a liturgical performance of the Fauré Requiem for All Souls Day in Clewer St. Stephen and St Agnes church. Another regular engagement is the performance of Stainer’s “Crucifixion”, which we hope to be repeating this year.
My thanks go out to all the regular members of the choir for their commitment and enthusiasm, and to the singers who join us occasionally for weddings or the Carol Service. A special thank you is due to Joan Haley who looks after the music copies, Fiona Burridge who acts as secretary and PA to the organist, and to Jenny Dobson, who assists regularly at Choir Practices and playing for the Sundays when I am away.
New members for all parts will be warmly welcomed.
Brian Henry - Choirmaster and Organist.
Keynotes continues to play at all the family services and we are very happy to have welcomed some of our young people into group with their ukuleles and recorders. We are a diverse group of musicians playing instruments from bass guitar to flute and lots in between and our aim is to enhance and lead the singing in our all age worship services.
We rarely have a chance to get together to practise so we try to meet early on 2nd Sunday mornings which gives the congregation a chance to hear some of the hymns that are going to be sung during the service. Every Christmas Eve we have an orchestral keynotes playing Carols and are always delighted to welcome back university students and graduates who long ago moved away from St Peter’s who come back to join us.
If you play an instrument which you think might enhance our worship, please speak to any of us. You will need to be a competent sight reader and if you play a transposing instrument, be able to transpose on sight but if that is your skill, we would love to welcome you.
The Social and Fundraising team has been very busy over the last year and we tried to arrange a social or fundraising event for each month. We arranged a wide range of events including a coach trip to Brighton, Wine Tasting (tasting British wine and cheese) , film afternoons, a harvest lunch, the annual quiz and of course the annual fête.
We raised a lot of money for the Church and most of all we gave people a chance to have fellowship with each other, get to meet new people and build new relationships. We are always keen to try new things as well as enjoy events which have been established over the years. We encourage others to get involved with social events and it is always good to welcome new members of the congregation to share fellowship at times other than a Sunday morning.
Our fête was sadly a very wet day last year and was also the last one headed up by me after approximately 15 years. It will take on a new look this year so watch this space.
This coming year’s social events look just as exciting. At the time of writing, we have already had a very successful Mamma Mia sing-a-long evening and a Pancake night both of which were enjoyed by a wide range of people from our church and from other churches as well as friends and family.
Drawing people in to the love of God through our social calendar is a very important part of our mission and we encourage you to get involved in all our social activities.
Cornerstone is the community hub of St Peter’s, welcoming visitors, providing hot drinks on weekday mornings and hosting various activities throughout the week.
Special events have included organising a lunch to celebrate Freda’s 90th birthday, and vicars leaving do following his last service in January.
We also receive regular supplies of bakery products from Tesco through their Fareshare initiative, which we are able to share with those in need free of charge.
In all that we do there is a lot of fun and laughter, bonding us together in our Lord Jesus Christ. We look forward to seeing you in the near future!
Health and Safety
There have been no significant Health and Safety issues apart from the Health and Safety officer falling of a ladder in the churchyard and breaking his foot!
Once again, our thanks are due to those who have donated books to the Library. We have benefited from some parishioners who have left the area, among them our Vicar, who has cleared his office to increase our stock, particularly of Celtic books.
Do browse among the sections - Biography, Bible Study, Local History, Other Faiths and Miscellaneous. These can be found beyond the Font, whereas Theology, Philosophy and books for Parental use are in the Prayer Area. Children's Books are kept in the North Aisle and we still have a display, including copies of Round and About and the Cookhams Parish Magazine, by the kitchen door in Cornerstone.
Except for those marked for REFERENCE, all may be borrowed for a month for 20p, by putting your de-tails in the Borrowing Books. Children may borrow for 10p - please help them to record details correctly in the relevant books. Ros Townshend is to be thanked for continuing to keep an eye on this area.
I am particularly grateful to Jane Slatter for assisting me in cataloguing the books and with the occasional seasonal display. Please ask Jane or me if you require help in finding a particular book or special theme, and do make use of and enjoy this unique resource in our church.
2018 was the 125th anniversary of Girls’ Brigade and all over the country, as well as in Burnham, various celebrations were held. Among our celebrations we held a cream tea for members of the congregation as well as parents and friends which doubled up as a Royal Wedding party; our District Commissioner visited us at our end of term swimming party and BBQ and gave all the girls a celebratory gift and we did some special badgework celebrating ‘hope’ which was the theme of the year.
The girls also led one of our All-Age services and gave everyone a bit of a history lesson about the history of GB. With so many young people struggling with stress of school work and mental health issues, Girls’ Brigade aims to give girls breathing space to be themselves, give them a chance to socialise with others, have fun and learn how to live life in all its fullness. All our badgework still focuses on a 4 point programme of Education, Service, Physical activity and Spiritual development. We try to encourage girls to grow not just physically but spiritually and our motto which underpins everything is ‘Seek, Serve and Follow Christ’.
Some of our girls helped out with the village litter pick in the summer and some others were privileged to attend the Trooping the Colour ceremony where we had a front row view of the Queen and the Royal family both entering the parade ground and at the Palace gates for the Balcony appearance. We also took part in the village Remembrance Day Parade.
For camp last year we visited Street in Somerset where we had a beautifully sunny week and were able to enjoy the town’s heated outdoor pool, visit Longleat, the beach and the older girls enjoyed shopping in the Clark’s village. This year we will be revisiting Swanage and all the spaces have been taken so we are looking forward to that.
At Christmas we performed a musical about the Peace Child which was a great success and we are al-ways very happy when members of the St Peter’s Congregation attend our events to support us. On that occasion we also give out all our annual awards and we were pleased the Rev Bill Jackson was able to join us on that occasion and perform his last duty as our Chaplain by presenting our awards. Jo, Emma and Hannah also received their 10 year long service awards on that evening, and Hazel received her 20 year long service award a few months earlier.
We are delighted that Griff has agreed to be our interim Chaplain and it has been great to welcome him to our Monday evening meetings on many occasions. We have had a good start to the year with a trip to Jump in trampoline park to start the year and a big Pancake Party on the Monday before Shrove Tues-day which GB organised nationally in partnership with the Church Urban Fund. We sent a donation of to CUF and to GBHQ after our party which was organised by the older girls.
We have been busy recruiting and our numbers have increased but we are still very short of numbers in our youngest group ‘Investigate’ who start with us as soon as the girls start school. If you know any girls of school age, please encourage them to come along and enjoy the many varied activities we do in GB.
The Toddler Group continues to meet in Cornerstone at 10am every Thursday morning in term time. I have been ably assisted through 2018 by Daphne Chevous and Sandra Campbell (whom many of you will know from the Library), as well as Anne and Christine serving drinks, and now Maggie helping to set up, and tidy up afterwards. Play with our extensive collection of toys (donations are always welcome), is followed at 11.05 by a story, squash and biscuits, and then singing nursery rhymes. An average attendance was about 21 toddlers, plus carers.
During the year I decided to reduce our price to £1 for the first child and 50p for any more, in case of any hardship. Mid-year our numbers were a bit down, so I took advertising space in 'Round & About'. It may have been a coincidence, but our numbers did pick up, and we now have about as many toddler families as we can cope with. We never turn anybody away.
Our tower has continued to be very popular with other ringers and we have had a number of visiting bands, quarter peal attempt and peal attempt bands again this year. A number of these groups have either returned each month or from a previous year.
To enable these groups, and our own ringers to continue to ring successfully, my thanks go to Rob and Paul for their continued maintenance of the tower. There are also a number of other people I need to thank who have helped throughout the year to enable the tower to keep going. Firstly, my thanks go to Lynn, Toby and Lisa for helping to lead and teach on practice evenings I am not there and also to Sheila for opening up for all the various visiting groups we have had over the past year. Finally my thanks go to the ringers from Dorney and Hitcham towers who continue to support our ringing on Sundays and for weddings, because without them we would not be able to ring all eight of our bells as often as we do.
There has not had to be any major maintenance of the bells this year, so we decided to start sprucing up the tower, which we will continue into next year. Having mainly white walls in the tower, which are not flat, means that a lot of dust has collected over the year. Even after we had just washed down the walls down to remove the dust we could already see that this was a job which was going to make a massive difference in the end; thank you to everyone who helped on the day: Rob, Paul, Toby and David.
We had a successful tower open afternoon at the end of St Peter's week in July, from which we gained two new ringers to boost our numbers, although we are always looking for new ringers! So if you know anyone who want to learn to ring please send then in my direction!
Emma Warburton - Tower Captain and Ringing Master.
St Peter’s Burnham Handbell Society
Our activities have been rather curtailed during the past twelve months, and none-existent in recent weeks, but we have plans for a revival in the near future. Watch this space for further news or, even better still, come and join us to enjoy the pleasures of handbell ringing. I will be delighted to discuss ideas with you after the 10.00 a.m. service on most Sundays.
St Peter’s Gore Ringers
We meet on Friday mornings in Church and have fun ringing handbells. We occasionally attend massed rallies and try to put new what we learned into practice – not always totally successfully, but it’s fun trying!
We ring at the All Age Services every other month and visit local care homes to entertain the residents. We performed “The Easter Story” at the Good Friday Workshop and rang during the Rotary and Carol Services. We also played during the first Christingle Service.
Fancy trying something new and have Friday mornings free, why not have a go at handbells? No previous experience necessary.
Another year is over and despite last summer's drought we managed to keep the church decorated with an abundance of beautiful flowers.
We arranged flowers for 17 weddings and 15 tributes for loved ones during the year. Rosemary has recently joined Chris, Steph and me in doing the flowers weekly and Veronica, Judy and Angela help on the occasions when we need extra help ie Easter, Christmas and Harvest.
If anyone would like to help us we would be delighted, just let one of us know.
Many thanks to all who help, especially Chris and Steph without whose ability and knowledge we would be the poorer.
Brian and Joan Nichols clean in the first week of the month, the remaining weeks are covered by Vic and Ros Townsend, Elaine Gruber and me. Having four means there are always enough of us to cover holidays and injuries, and the essential hoovering, dusting, and tidying always get done.
Beautiful Gate the Orphanage and Care Centre in Lesotho is a charity which we support in St Peter’s. I had the privilege of visiting again last October and am pleased to report that things are going very well out there under the leadership of Lindiwe Kirstein. There were 70 children in residence when I visited, all but 1 under the age of 8. Children are regularly being adopted into ‘forever families’ and we give thanks to God that those children have a chance of a new life where they will be loved and cared for in a family, whether it be in Lesotho, in the US, Canada, Sweden or The Netherlands - these being the countries which the laws of Lesotho allow adoptions to take place. I travelled out to Lesotho with a local builder, Christian McGill who spent the week refurbishing the bathrooms in the 5 houses that the children live in.
He did sterling work putting in all new basins with working hot and cold taps and I am very grateful to St Peter’s and other local supporters who helped us to fund this work. In fact there were some funds left from the purchase of the basins and new toilets that they were able to provide a wheelchair and a walk-ing frame for a young child who has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk. This will enable him to go to school and it means he can get out of his house without being carried.
Many of our congregation are part of the ‘Sponsor a house’ project and donate £20 a month to support the work of Beautiful Gate. I hold a UK bank account for them and send out money 3 or 4 times a year. This last year I am delighted to have sent out well in excess of £6000 received from fund raising in St Peter’s as well as other local donations. This along with other supporters all over the world enables Beautiful Gate to keep working to saving some of Lesotho’s 360,000 orphans from sickness, poverty, the sex trade and in some cases certain death. Your prayers are so important to support this work too and your interest and support for me as I travel out there each year are invaluable.
This year I am taking a team of 7 with me, many for the first time and this will include a teenager, a child (travelling with his dad) who is going to experience life in an African school for a few days and Emma Warburton from our own congregation. Your prayers in our planning and undertaking of this visit will be greatly valued. If you are interested in donating regularly (it can be any amount, it doesn’t matter) please talk to me.
The Holy Stitchers
The year 2018 has been exceptionally busy. We continue to knit squares and make up blankets for the homeless – around 200 to date. These have been given to the Slough & London Run and the Salvation Army in Slough. Hats, gloves and scarves have also been knitted and donated. We are always grateful for donations of wool for use with these knitting projects.
With Bill and Rhonda’s retirement in mind we made a stole in green with a design of a ship for Bill, a squared knee blanket for Rhonda in Suffragette colours together with a tote bag and a banner depicting “Light” for their use whilst working on cruise ships. Two members made the Trinity banner which was put on display in the church. We also made quite a few of the costumes for the Nativity play at Christmas.
The group provides friendship and support within the Church. It is set up as an ecumenical and informal group as a kind of Outreach in the community. We meet on Tuesday afternoons in Cornerstone 2-4 pm.
Mary Haskell and Gill Scurr
Churches Together in Burnham has now expanded to include Taplow, so its name has been changed to reflect that. It continues to meet regularly, and highlights have been the Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service at Our Lady of Peace, the summer picnic in Burnham Park and our presence at the Lyons Christmas Fair in the High Street, which provides a valuable outreach opportunity. Especial thanks are due to Sue Samson for her organisational skills with both of those events.
Having held the post since 2012, and with increasing commitments elsewhere I decided it was time to hand over the duties of secretary after the May meeting.
Barry Marsden TSSF
Puppets4All @ St Peters have again had another busy year. We have visited many places and per-formed to many people, both young and old and in between. In January we said goodbye to Vicar Bill. He was the force behind Gail and Michelle starting Puppets 4 All and all that we have done in the past 9 years. Rebecca will miss her cry of ‘Vicar Bill, Vicar Bill, Vicar Biiiiiilllllll’ every Christingle! Thank you, Vicar Bill, for being such a good sport – you let us rib you mercilessly on occasions.
However, we said hello to Emma Warburton in September. Emma was only going to come on the odd occasion we needed a hand, but she seems to appear every week, so she must be enjoying herself! She has very quickly become very useful and has even done some ‘out front’ stuff. Well done Emma – most of us are too scared!
This year has been one of exploration and faith. We are very lucky as we function very well as a team and are very fortunate to have some very talented people with us. This has lead to some very interesting and powerful scripts and performances which has come from thoughtful and mutual support. We are constantly trying to look for new ways to engage with people, and to produce talks and material which is easy to understand, along with the message we are trying to convey. Often writing scripts has been a very thought-provoking exercise and has raised questions about the writers own faith and belief. As for putting the rest of the performance together, every individual has input and sometimes the most ridiculous suggestion ends up being a really good idea with a bit of work! Prayers have been written, songs have been chosen and choreographed, props have been made and gear has been shifted without fuss. We’ve laughed a lot and hugged a lot and picked each other up when things got hard. Faith in God that He will give us the words we need is tremendously important, but also faith in ourselves and each other is needed too.
We again have another busy year ahead, with bookings right up to Christmas. Some of these are regu-lar events, such as Christingle at St Peter’s, Lighthouse Burnham, termly assemblies at St Peter’s School and the Disabled Friendship Club in High Wycombe and some are now becoming regular appearances, such as Christingle at St Andrews Church, Cippenham. However, we are always open to vis-iting new places and have recently entertained the WI over in Taplow, been to the Mother’s Union and St George’s, Britwell with Griff and appeared at the first Lighthouse Central Big Bash, which involves all the Lighthouses in the group We hope to add more to that list again this year!
Annette and Brian Cox moved out of area in mid-2018, and I, with extensive retail experience, was happy to take over.
It looked at first as if this gig would prove extremely short term, as 'Traidcraft' soon announced that they would cease trading at the end of 2018. 72 staff were given their notice, the reasons being reduced levels of trading, caused by increasing levels of 'fairtrade' goods in supermarkets.
Fortunately a 'downsizing' plan was devised, 12 staff were rehired, and Traidcraft continues trading in food products only into 2019.
Thanks to Heather Collins and Jo Saunders, who help by running the stall on the 1st and 2nd Sundays. If anybody else could help out (especially with retail experience) your help would be most appreciated. Ideally I would like somebody to come forward to learn how to run the ordering and stock side of the stall, with me.
During the second half of 2018 we turned over about £1200, plus £500 approx. sold on to St. Nicolas, Taplow.
Lighthouse is an annual week-long Christian holiday club run by local churches.
Each day the children and volunteers enjoy worshipping, dancing and praying together, messy games, Discovery (Bible teaching), craft, drama and sport.
Today it is attended by around 5000 children with 3000 volunteers of all ages, 2000 of which are teenagers, in ten Lighthouse locations.
St Peter’s congregation is heavily involved in Lighthouse Burnham, which this year took place during the first week of the summer holidays in the grounds of Burnham Park Academy. Over 50 of our church members attended this year either as helpers or participants. We were involved in puppeting, fundraising, craft, sound, refreshments, site & security, worship, crèche, first aid, special needs, office, prayer team, Age Group Teachers, Lighthouse keepers and Lamplighters. And our whole congregation helped in collecting over 700 toilet roll tubes which the children transformed into spiders.
2018 was the 17th year of Burnham Lighthouse and each day we welcomed around 750 children and over 380 helpers on site. The children spent the week enjoying sports, drama, craft, puppets, singing and learning about Jesus. This year’s theme was the life of Jesus from the Annunciation to the Resurrection and we used Scripture Union’s “Guardians of Ancora” resources.
As always we struggle with donations to cover our costs & were very grateful to the congregation for a bucket collection of £280, which covered the cost of five children to attend.
A big thank you to all at St Peter’s for your prayers, help and contributions to “The best week of the summer holidays”.
If you would like to know more about Lighthouse Burnham and how YOU can become involved in 2019, please go to lighthousecentral.org or speak to Michelle Dunster or Pam Rogers.
The Well at Lent Rise continues to go from strength to strength with an increase in numbers of both visitors and volunteers.
Currently there are two sessions in operation both of which are held on Wednesdays. Starting early is “Wake-up Wednesday” where our volunteers provide pupils waiting for buses to their schools hot chocolate and “bacon butties” which go down very well particularly on cold winter mornings. Starting at 9.30 is the Meeting Place where people can drop in for tea and home baked cakes. There are activities in which people can get involved like all the aspects of needlework, tutored art, chess, quizzes or some just like to sit and chat.
Our Friday afternoon activity of The Memory Book is currently abeyant. It had been hoped to re-start but the proposed leader had to withdraw. However, we are hoping to start a new Friday afternoon session for dementia/Alzheimers sufferers and their carers with the help of the County Council.
We have a monthly visit from the Citizens Advice Bureau and also regular visits from local police to warn on scams and for advice on security.
John Carey (Trustee)