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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook - www.facebook.com/bactonbenefice
Rural Dean: Rev Canon Diane Williams 720316, mobile 07714016554 email@example.com
Readers: Helen Matter 780379, Elaine Miller 770337, Sheila Wright 766392
Elders: Peter Paine 767897, Janice Shea 781263, Jean Willoughby 766621
Bacton, Old Newton (Wednesdays & Sundays) and Wyverstone churches are now open for visitors for private prayer. Please observe social distancing when you enter (if there are others in there) and use the hand sanitizer provided. Please also 'sign in' when you enter. St Andrew’s remains closed.
Services will continue online this month, on our Facebook page. Revd Carl is providing an online communion service each Sunday at 10.30am and Choral Evensong at 6pm plus a Songs of Praise to lift spirits on a Thursday at 11am. You don’t need to join Facebook, just go to their website, search for Bacton Benefice and ‘like,’ then open the video – when the message to join Facebook appears click ‘not now’.
Drive-In Church! On Sunday 23rd August, we are hoping to hold a Drive-In church service somewhere in the benefice. More details will be available from Margaret or Liz when all the details have been finalised, but this will enable you to attend worship whilst staying in your car!!
Sunday 20th September - BACK TO CHURCH SUNDAY. This is the first Sunday we will be back in our churches since the pandemic took grip. Services will be as follows:
9.30am Wickham Skeith and Bacton, 11.00am Old Newton and Cotton, 6.30pm Wyverstone
These will all be services of Holy Communion, following the relevant government guidelines on social distancing and so on. Please BOOK this date into your diary. There will still be a service live streamed to Facebook, as usual. Please note: If you are shielding or fall into a 'vulnerable category' outlined by the government, you must weigh up if you should come to church or stay at home. If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, then you must not enter the church buildings.
More information about the service pattern from 20th September will come next month.
Obviously before we have services in church again we will have to carry out a thorough clean. Our new carpet will arrive in early September so a session in the last week of August seems a good idea. Some people should not, or won’t want to, be involved but if you would be willing to help please let Liz or Margaret know with an idea of days that you could be available. That will help the decision on when to choose. It will probably be advisable to wear a face mask/covering as there is bound to be a lot of dust and bat droppings. Thank you in advance.
The Benefice is also creating Church Bubble Groups - a group of 5 or 6 to meet with, share fellowship and pray together, suitably distanced, in a host’s garden. If you are interested in joining a group and haven’t heard from your Wardens yet please get in touch with Margaret or Liz who will find you a suitable group. You will need to bring a chair and refreshments if you want them. Revd Carl is attending as many groups as he can in order to begin to meet and get to know parishioners.
Of course no services mean no collection plate and thus no income for St Andrew’s. Alongside all the regular payments we now pay to have the grass mown and have recently paid for the new heating. We are waiting for the checks, delayed by the pandemic, on last year’s building works and we will then have the retention fee to pay as well. If you would normally put cash in the collection could you consider setting that money aside until it is possible to give again or even setting up a standing order or making a BACS payment online if you are able? The PCC is very grateful for the support received so far.
The BOB Foodbank continues to go from strength to strength. Any donations of money we receive are going towards making small grants to households in need or supplying food vouchers for our local shops. You can make a donation towards the work of the Foodbank, making cheques payable to 'St Mary's, Bacton, PCC' and write FOODBANK clearly on the back.
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 - 01449 766219 or email JOCELYNBRYANT712@GMAIL.COM
I'm at Highbanks, 1, Broadway and Liz is at Stow House, Daisy Green Lane. Take care everyone from Margaret Jones-Evans.
Thoughts from Revd Carl Melville
Cancelling holiday, avoiding touching others and wearing masks are just a few of the things we are learning to adjust to. This whole pandemic has shaken us as a society – as a world! One thing hasn’t changed and that’s God. God remains the same – steadfast and stable. His love endures for ever and ever. The church may have had to shut its doors, but God never stopped working. Christians have been unable to meet together yet have found a joy in their faith as they watch online services and pray at home.
The church will open again – September 20th to be precise. When we return back things will look different. There will be social distancing, no singing (for now), no refreshments and shorter sermons (every cloud!) However, I can assure you that YOU will still be made welcome into church. You will still find the love and peace of the God who never sleeps or slumbers. We will re-enter our church buildings will a new sense of community and faith, a new hope in the God who never left us or let us down during the pandemic.
YOU would be most welcome to join us at any of our services. At the moment we are meeting online www.facebook.com/bactonbenefice/live
So come along and join us. Come and ask questions, come and seek. Come and find peace.
Prizes to be won. Cost: Make a donation to your local church
There will be another quiz in August, date to be decided.
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