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St Andrew's Parish Church


St. Andrew’s Parish Church is the Church of England place of worship in the ecclesiastical parish of Wickham Skeith; it is part of a group of churches known as the "Bacton Benefice" which includes Bacton, Cotton, Wyverstone, Wickham Skeith, Old Newton and a chapel at Gipping.







Here are the contact details for the Bacton Benefice

Rev. Carl Melville - 01449 781650 Email carlmelville@hotmail.com

Facebook - www.facebook.com/bactonbenefice

Rural Dean: Rev Canon Diane Williams 720316, mobile 07714016554  diane.rev@btinternet.com

Readers: Helen Matter  780379,   Elaine Miller  770337,  Sheila Wright  766392

Elders: Peter Paine  767897,  Janice Shea 781263,  Jean Willoughby  766621


For all enquiries about baptisms and weddings, please contact the Rector.



Services in September 2021


5th Sept          10.00am         Old Newton Village Hall

12th Sept        9.30am           Wickham Skeith Church

19th Sept        9.30am           Wickham Skeith Church

26th Sept        9.30am           Harvest Festival in Church

For other benefice services, please view our Facebook page.


Vision Day – on 5th September the whole benefice will join together for a special service, lunch and activities to think about ‘What Kind of Church’ we want to be going forward. All are welcome – please join us and help decide our future. 10am start at Old Newton Village Hall.

After 5th September Wickham Skeith Church will return to having a service every Sunday at 9.30am, except when there is a 5th Sunday of the month when it will be a joint Benefice service. Follow our Facebook page for up-to-date service times, or see the Church notice board.

Please remember the guidance in relation to COVID that our Benefice is using:

-We will encourage and practice social distancing whilst moving around the building in order to protect those who need to keep a safe distance for whatever reason. We must respect their wishes to keep distance.

-Refreshments may be served but people should sit on chairs/in pews or go outside to chat

-There will be NO sharing of the peace – we will continue with waving or nodding.

-Communicants may receive the wine (from the single chalice), or they may choose to continue to receive in one kind (bread only).

-We should continue to use hand sanitiser and sign in where possible.

-Masks should be worn when moving around the building and can be removed when in seats/pews.

-Singing can go ahead, without masks.

We would like to open St Andrew’s church daily from 10am – 4pm but will need more help in order to achieve this.  If you could spare time to open up or lock up, please get in touch with Margaret Jones-Evans to put your name on a rota.  If you visit the church, please sign the visitors book to give us an idea of how much it is used.

Holiday Club – our Bible Holiday Club was a huge success and we had loads of fun exploring Faith, Hope and Love. Thanks to all who came and to all who helped!

Evensong – once a month, Gipping Chapel hosts an afternoon service of Evening Prayer (Evensong). It is a peaceful, relaxing service which uses the Book of Common Prayer. We welcome all ages to join us – why not give it a go?

Harvest – this year Wickham Skeith’s Harvest Festival takes place in Church on 26th Sept, 9.30am. Windowsill decorators please note.  We will be collecting tins of food for the Stowmarket Foodbank, so please bring these along on the day or if you’re decorating a windowsill include tins there.


Diddy Disciples - a short service for parents and tots, 10.30am at Bacton Church followed by refreshments, Sept 1st and 15th, Oct 6th and 20th, Nov 3rd and 17th.  All welcome.


Cash for Charities – FOSA has received £122.64, not a huge sum but nevertheless very welcome after an expensive project followed by an enforced lack of fundraising.  Thank you to everyone who contributed tokens.



Weekly Email and News – if you’d like to sign up to receive our weekly news email, please contact a Warden or the Rector.



Rector’s Ramblings

September is the month for celebrating Harvest Festival. Even though the actual harvest has been and gone, we celebrate and give thanks before God for all we receive, for food, health and wealth and for all the blessings of life.

It is important to give thanks for all we have and for all that we are given, praying especially for those who work the land.

‘Giving Thanks’ is something we are told to do, as Christians, in all circumstances. That might seem a bit odd, particularly in situations where harvests have failed or where there is drought, where families in our own community struggle to make ends meet.

A response to their suffering and plight that flows from us when we give thanks might lead to giving to the local foodbank, collecting money for a charity, lending a helping hand to a neighbour or giving away what we have to the benefit of others. We often take so much and harvest is a gentle reminder to give back.

We give thanks in all circumstances, even when it is difficult to do so, because the promise is ‘the One who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.’

So, what can you give thanks for this harvest? Friends, family, food?

Why not come and give thanks with us?                                                                           Revd Carl  



Geoff Homan 

Joy would like to thank you all for the love and support shown to her and the family following Geoff’s death.

It was wonderful and heart-warming to see how the village came together to decorate the church with beautiful flowers for the funeral, and for the generous catering for the reception afterwards.

We will always be grateful.

Thank you.





Flower & Cleaning Rota

Sept 5th   Mrs J Bryant & Mrs L Reinders

Sept 12th & 19th  Mrs M Rowe & Mrs S Wright

Sept 26th & Oct 3rd  Miss M Jones-Evans & Mrs J Keable



Suffolk Churches Ride & Stride – 

Suffolk Historic Churches Ride & Stride event will be going ahead on Sat 11th Sep 9am – 5pm. Many churches will be open & you can get sponsored to visit as many or as few as you feel able, by cycle or on foot. Of the money raised, 50% goes to the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust & 50% to your nominated church. I have done the ride for most years since 1987 & it’s a good way to see churches in Suffolk & Norfolk. It’s also a great way to raise money for the building fabric of the church.

If you would like to take part, I have sponsorship forms & further information. Alternatively, if you would like to sponsor me, please let me know.

If there is anyone willing to sit in church for an hour on 11th to welcome and sign in any cyclists/walkers and offer them refreshment please contact Liz Davidson.

Pete Davidson –  email pjdavidson42@gmail.com


 Church organ


Organ Recital plus wine and nibbles 7.30pm Saturday 18th September in Bacton Church

The Revd Canon Peter Godden is a retired clergyman who is Diocesan organs adviser for St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. He has very kindly agreed to play for us on the evening of Saturday 18th September, as the introduction to our Open Gardens event on the Sunday. He will also play for our 9.30 am service here in St Andrew’s Church on that Sunday.

The recital will take place in Bacton Church, which has a good organ and more seating than St Andrew’s Church. It will be live streamed.

Tickets are £7.50 and include wine and nibbles, available from Mary Paine 767897 who will also be pleased to answer any queries.


Open Gardens 2pm to 6pm on Sunday 19th September for Friends of St Andrews

Once again some of the beautiful gardens in this village will be open for us all to wander around.

Maps of gardens will be available for £5 at the Village Hall and there will be toilets, refreshments and craft stalls there too.

We are looking forward to a beautiful experience, admiring the artistry and hard work of gardeners. We hope to see you there.

Margaret Jones-Evans 7  


Face Coverings

Jocelyn Bryant has been making beautiful fabric face masks for Wickham Skeith folk, in aid of the church. She is now able to make some more. They are washable, made in beautiful cotton fabrics and just need a donation to Liz Davidson, or my post box, for our church. Let Jos know if you would like one or two email JOCELYNBRYANT712@GMAIL.COM


Wickham Skeith 1

Wickham Skeith 2

Data Protection

Like every other organisation the church has to consider the data protection legislation, so St Andrew’s Church and the Bacton benefice need your permission before they keep your name and details on file. The information will be used to send the weekly pew sheet, to record you as a voting member of the church on the Electoral Roll, for the Rector to know who the members of the church are so he can visit and get to know you etc.


You may have received an email with a form to fill in, or a paper form dropped through your door. Do please fill one of these in if you would like to be involved with the Church in this village and send to our new Rector, the Rev’d Carl Melville. He is eager to get to know the people in the churches and villages in his new benefice.

If you haven’t had a form through your door or via email do please ask for one from Liz Davidson or Margaret Jones-Evans

Keep safe everyone – Margaret Jones-Evans