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Friends of St.Andrews (FOSA)

 

 

Fundraising for the Church

 

Some dates for your diaries:

 

On Saturday 9th March book sales/coffee mornings will begin again at Margaret’s – Highbanks, 1,Broadway. 10am to 11.45am. There will be Seville orange marmalade for sale plus jigsaws, lots of books, a raffle and cake. Margaret 01449 767121

 

On Saturday 13th April at 7.30pm we shall have one of Pete’s quizzes at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. There will be some devilish questions and food at half time. More info. to follow. Liz 01449 766622

 

The village’s two-yearly Flower Festival will be held in church on 4th, 5th and 6th of May thanks to Margaret Knights. Lots more info. to follow.

 

Thank you for all your support – Margaret 01449 767121

 

 

St Andrews Church Tower Roof – in need!

We are fortunate to have a fine ring of bells in the tower of St Andrew’s, hung on a good 19th century oak frame under an oak roof which is covered in lead. Lead roofing lasts a very long time but, as temperatures fluctuate, it expands and shrinks, any weak spots crack, and water gets in. During 2022 we had extreme temperatures and new cracks have opened up which will only get worse. The interior wood is getting wet so we need to do something about the small area of the tower roof ….now.  The main roof leadwork has been repaired many times and it now urgently needs more repairs. If left, it will require total replacement. FOSA have received an anonymous match-funding donation of up to £1000 on condition that the Church can raise another £1000. If you can help, please talk to Liz Davidson or Margaret Jones-Evans.

 

Apart from that problem it costs St Andrew’s about £1300 per month to stay open to the public for worship, funerals, weddings, concerts and visiting. Prices continue to rise, even for the church. We get no government help and have to raise all the money ourselves. Can you help? You can give a one-off donation or set up a regular payment. You can use the donate option on our page on A Church Near You (https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/2088/) or visit www.parishgiving.org.uk and then search for “St Andrew’s, Wickham Skeith” or scan the QR code in the church porch & village hall noticeboard or use the card machine in church or speak to Liz or Margaret about how you could help.

 

 

 

 

  

Wickham Skeith Churchyard Conservation

Churchyards are a mosaic of habitats which are great for wildlife. They can be peaceful havens containing old and distinctive trees, wildflowers, lichens, rare fungi, mosses and ferns and they provide food and shelter for many animals including small mammals, amphibians, slow worms, insects and birds. Even the gravestones and the churches themselves form an important part of the churchyard habitat.

 Churchyards are not just communities of the dead; they are thoughtful places, reflecting the impact of time on humankind and our efforts to escape oblivion. They are expressions of history – full of personal and community stories.

The big challenge with looking after church land is that it is often seen to be most cost effective to mow and prune everything and concrete over everything else! We are lucky that the churchyard at St Andrews has been managed carefully by volunteers according to a plan to safeguard areas of wild flowers. There are barn owls and pipistrelle and serotine bats that use the churchyard and recent work in the church took this into account.

We have recently engaged contractors to cut the grass and this will be an ongoing commitment. Now we have to carry out some sensitive tree surgery to remove dead and falling branches and make the churchyard and adjoining footpaths safe for walkers.

We would be grateful for any donation, large or small, towards the upkeep of this special area. We have a small ‘churchyard conservation fund’ which contributes to the cost of grass cutting. Thank you to those who have already contributed.

If you use the churchyard for quiet reflection, for dog walking or just visiting, we hope you enjoy its peace and its wildlife. If you don’t know the churchyard, do take a stroll up there and enjoy this peaceful part of our village.

Donations towards the Churchyard Conservation Fund should be given to the church wardens Liz Davidson or Margaret Jones-Evans . Either cash or cheques to Wickham Skeith Church Fund (Churchyard) will be most welcome.