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Friday 27 April 2018

Wednesday 25 April 2018

This Sunday - Benefice Communion

This Sunday we have a 10am benefice Holy Communion in Long Crendon, led by Rev Richard Phillips.  It is an opportunity for our whole Benefice (Long Crendon, Chearsley and Nether Winchendon) to worship together.

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At Cafe Church on 6th May, the speaker is from the Food Bank in Aylesbury and so St Marys are collecting some food as a gift.   If you would like to donate to the Food Bank, then please bring along something non perishable on 29th or 6th.  Thank You.

For the full pew sheet, please follow this link

Habitat for Humanity

You might remember back in 2010, the church raised £1300 for the amazing charity Habitat for Humanity, so that they could build a home for a family living in poverty.  We built shacks out of cardboard boxes and bits and pieces, to make it a bit more real for the children.

This next picture is quite poignant as it shows the difference between the life a child like Annabelle with that of a child in a poorer country.

Well this year, Oliver and I are going a bit further for Habitat for Humanity, all the way to Kenya actually, to help build one of those houses.

I’m not exactly well-known for my DIY skills, so I’m pleased to know that we will have a skilled builder on the team!  I am assured that this could be life changing experience, both for us and for the family we help. 

In Kenya, there are a lot of marginalised families who struggle to have a home of their own, and as a result are stuck in a cycle of poverty.  These include families headed by orphaned children or mothers on their own.  Once they have a safe secure home, they can get a job, pay for education, put down roots, grow food, and lift themselves out of poverty.  This is not just a charity hand-out.  The family to receive the house, will build it with us and will pay towards the cost via an affordable loan from the charity.  Habitat for Humanity also make sure there is adequate sanitation and water and help advocate for people’s rights like land ownership.

We need to raise £3000 between us to help pay for the cost of the build, so Oliver and I would be very grateful if you would consider taking a look at our donation website. Any amount would be gratefully received and if you are a UK tax payer we can also reclaim the gift aid, which will add an additional 25%.

Many thanks
Darren and Oliver

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Monday 23 April 2018

Meet our new PCC

Yesterday we had our annual general meeting which, as well as lots of gorgeous cakes, included the election of our new Parochial Church Council (PCC).  Find out who they are here.

Sunday 22 April 2018

Changes to Services

Vicar’s Open Letter - 22nd April 2018

2nd Sundays – From October, Morning Celebration to be replaced by Messy Church in the afternoon in the Village Hall
4th Sundays – From May, the new-style Family Service will revert back to its original, more-traditional, style and be named “Chearsley Praise”
Family Communion, Evensong, Said Communion remain unchanged 

When I applied to become vicar, I signed up to the principle that we would continue to offer the most-diverse range of services the Church of England can offer – from traditional services such as BCP Evensong to what are known as fresh expressions of worship (shaped specifically for people who don’t come to church) such as Morning Celebration here.
I also signed up to the principle that we wanted to do more to engage families in our villages who don’t regularly come to church. This is not just about services, but opportunities to worship are part of this.
I am committed to both these principles and will encourage our church to hold true to them. This takes courage as it means we won’t all be comfortable with every form of worship we offer. It will also mean we will try some things that may not work out the way we hope or expect. I believe this is all part of being a healthy Christian Community living out our purpose of worshipping God and showing everyone in Chearlsey how much He loves them. 
In February 2018, the PCC undertook a formal consultation with a number of families in the village (my thanks to those who took part). This revealed a diverse range of preferences. Some prefer traditional-style services for their children whilst others prefer informal worship. Some valued services where children can take part whilst also appreciating services during which the children are supervised in separate groups. Others were drawn to more-creative and less-structured events at different times of the day.
In addition, I received helpful feedback on our Family Service from others in our church family.

Morning Celebration and Messy Church
Morning Celebration currently seeks to engage families and others who don’t have a traditional church background. Hence it is deliberately informal, with words, modern music, and films projected on a screen.

However, each service requires a huge amount of time and creative energy, and attendance over the past 2 years has been significantly lower than in the past. This prompted the question whether that creative effort could be directed more fruitfully elsewhere.

So the PCC have decided to replace Morning Celebration in the morning of the 2nd Sunday with Messy Church in the Village Hall in the afternoon, before Evensong. Messy Church is a nationally recognised initiative which seeks to engage families and others who don’t regularly come to church with craft and activities, short informal worship, and a shared meal. It has recently been successfully introduced in Dinton on the 4th Sunday of the month and is publicised in Cuddington & Dinton School. It is hoped this will start in October 2018.

Family Service and Chearsley Praise

Last year I introduced a more-informal style of service, reflected in the introduction of an order of service with very little written liturgy, creative prayers, and a modern song with actions.

This was based upon my assumption that the term “Family Service” denotes a service which is aimed at meeting the needs of young children, whilst enabling adults comfortable with a less-formal style and newer songs to worship with them.

I now realise that this was not the original intention for the Family Service in Chearsley, and that it was a service that strived to meet the needs of adults wanting to worship in a formal but non-Eucharistic context, as well as children who could engage and participate in a traditional service.

What’s become clear is that this change has disenfranchised a number of Family Service regulars without seeing any growth in new families attending it. And as I have stated above, I believe it is healthy to try new things to reach out to different people in the village, and when it doesn’t work, to acknowledge this and try something else.

So the PCC have agreed to stop the new style of service with immediate effect, and revert back to a lay-led service much more like the old Family Service, with written prayers, well-known hymns, and children continuing to lead intercessions. The service will be called “Chearsley Praise”. This change of name will avoid confusion for families responding to the informal-style Family Services in Long Crendon and Nether Winchendon; and is flexible enough for communion and baptism to be incorporated into the service at times.


These changes effectively return our church to the balance of Sunday Services in place when I arrived, with the exception that the informal Morning Celebration on 2nd Sunday mornings evolves to Messy Church in the afternoon.

I hope this represents the best compromise in meeting the diverse needs of our village, whilst also concentrating all our creative energy into 1 service per month, rather than spreading it across 2 services.

I do intend to propose changes to the pattern of services across the Benefice in future, to reflect changes in our ministry team and to remove clashes on particular Sundays (for example moving Evensong away from the 2nd Sunday). However, there are no plans to change the services themselves beyond those outlined in this letter.

Thank you to all those who have contributed towards these changes; to all the volunteers who are prepared to make them happen; and to you all for your courage whilst we make them. I would appreciate your feedback as we discern whether these changes are successful or not over the coming months.

God bless you and keep you.

Rev Richard

Friday 20 April 2018

Monday 16 April 2018

Prayer - Saturday 5th May

We have our monthly Prayer Gathering this Saturday and this month it is in St. Nicholas’ Chearsley from 9:30-10:30 am.  We will focus on the three villages and wider issues.   All welcome.  

Don't forget that we also have a dedicated team happy to pray for you at any time. We can pray in confidence for you, or include your prayers in church if you wish.  We also have a pastoral team who would be happy to visit.

Geoff Hogbin        01844 201197

Joy Payne            01844 208513

Darren Sampson  01844 208740

Sharon Sampson 01844 208740

Correction - This Sunday

Come along on Sunday at 10am, for our Family Service,
an informal service designed for all ages to enjoy together.

For the full pew sheet, please follow this link.

Sunday 15 April 2018

APCM - Sunday 22nd April

3:00 pm in our new Village Hall

A key task of our annual meeting is to appoint our churchwardens and PCC members. 

If you are considering a call into church leadership then please talk to Rev Richard who can talk you through these roles and the nomination process.

Tuesday 3 April 2018

Evensong - 8th April

Do come along on Sunday to our 6pm Evensong service which is a traditional evening service from the BCP with sung responses, psalms, Nunc dimittis and Magnificat. Music from the Parish Psalter.

If you prefer, there is a BCP Holy Communion in LC at 8am, a Matins at 10am, in NW and a Holy Communion at Long Crendon at 10.30. 

Please note, there is no Morning Celebration this Month.

For the full pew sheet, please follow this link.

Sunday 1 April 2018


Apologies for putting the wrong time for the service today.  I hope it did not spoil your Easter.