News & Events

A Year In The Life Of St Andrew's

 

 

 For the year ended 31 December 2019

 

St Andrew’s Church, The Parish office, 2a Cants Lane, Burgess Hill, RH15 0LG

 

Incumbent:                          Revd Dr Andrew Angel

Independent Examiner:           Mrs Tracy Rhys-Williams

Bankers:                             CAF Bank Ltd, 25 Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, MH19 4JQ

                                         Barclays Bank PLC, 1 Church Road, Burgess Hill, RH15 9BB

The parish is a charity registered with the Charity Commission as charity number 1131284. This report covers the activities of the parish and the Parochial Church Council in 2019.

Mission Statement

The primary objective of St Andrew’s Church is promoting the whole mission of the Church, in the ecclesiastical parish of St Andrew’s. The PCC has the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent, in promoting this objective.

 

Achievements and Performance

St Andrew’s Church understands the whole mission of the church as presented in the Bible and received by the Anglican Communion. For convenience, the vicar and the PCC understand this mission as comprising three broad areas: (1) mission and evangelism; (2) discipleship and pastoral care; and (3) worship, teaching and prayer. These areas are facilitated by the ministries of oversight (or governance) and administration.

 

Mission and Evangelism

St Andrew’s Church has a broad understanding of mission which includes evangelism, serving the community and providing for the poor and those in other kinds of need. Most of this mission and evangelism is focussed inside the parish of St Andrew (Burgess Hill) and the surrounding area, but St Andrew’s Church also supports mission elsewhere in the United Kingdom and the wider world.

At their 2018 vision day, the PCC recognised that alongside its many strengths, St Andrew’s Church needed to grow stronger in the area of evangelism. They agreed to supporting the following initiatives for 2019: (1) encourage all church members to write their testimony, to share it with another Christian and to share it with someone who does not yet know Christ; and (2) encouraging the homegroups to do the “Talking Jesus” course. The vicar (Andy Angel) and PCC did encourage the whole church to participate in these activities with the result that many homegroups did the talking Jesus course and many testimonies were shared—with a testimony shared with the whole church most weeks in 2019. The clergy have continued to encourage church members to invite friends and family to Alpha courses.

Other ongoing church activities have focussed on evangelism and wider mission. These are not the only activities which have contributed to people coming to know Christ, but they are activities for which this is the sole or main purpose.

Alpha

Leader: Andy Angel.

In the last few years, St Andrew’s has offered an Alpha course once a year in January. In 2019, the church began to offer back to back Alpha courses. The reason for the change was that sometimes people were exploring faith or enquiring about baptism and the church was not offering an introduction to faith for six months or more. The church ran one course between January and March 2019 for twelve participants, and another course between April and June 2019 for nine participants (one of these was repeating the course, having attended in the spring). Of these, eight were members of the church who wanted to grow in their faith, and were taking this as a discipleship course. Six attended the course to explore faith and either came to faith or came back to faith. Three were exploring the faith through the course and have not yet made a decision to follow Christ, although all remain in touch with us as a church and one of them has said that they are going “to get there one day”. Both Alpha courses were enjoyed by all who attended. One of those who came to faith was baptised later in the year. Two of those who attended courses have become members of other local churches.

Confirmation, Baptism and Thanksgiving Preparation and Services

Leaders: Andy Angel, Isaac Pain (curate).

Changes were made to preparation for services of baptism during 2019. Preparation of candidates is required if they are of an age to understand and of their parents and godparents if a child who is not of an age to understand is being brought for baptism. In line with the example of Jesus and the teaching of the New Testament, the tradition of the Church expects those who are baptised to be regular worshippers and to grow through Christian teaching at Sunday worship. It was clear that many people who were bringing children for baptism at St Andrew’s, and the occasional adult candidate, did not understand the commitment they were making. So, in consultation with the PCC, the clergy tried different forms of preparation for baptism during 2019. Andy Angel and Isaac Pain together wrote and delivered a six–week baptism preparation course. This was well received by those enquiring. Simultaneously, Isaac Pain used the Christianity Explored course to prepare a family for baptism and Andy Angel used the Alpha courses the church runs to help prepare people for baptism. Of these three courses, the one which seemed to have most success in enabling people to join the church and live out the commitment they were making at baptism was the Alpha course. The Alpha course was used again in 2019 for confirmation preparation.

During 2019, one child was baptised and one adult was baptised. Another adult renewed their baptismal vows by full immersion. There were thanksgiving services for four children and their families. Five children were admitted to Holy Communion after preparation.

 

Youth and Children’s Mission

 St Andrew’s Church has and leads a number of ministries to children and young people in the parish and more widely in Burgess Hill. Some of these are based on the church premises and others are off site. Although there are no Church of England schools in the parish, St Andrew’s Church has developed excellent relationships with the two non–faith primary schools in the parish, and with the three secondary schools in Burgess Hill: St Paul’s Catholic College (Roman Catholic), the Burgess Hill Academy (non–faith) and Burgess Hill Girls (non–faith). The Hub team ceased to organise Youth Collective events during 2019 in order to concentrate on planning for large scale evangelistic events for young people in 2020. St Andrew’s also continued to work with the diocese and hosted the Mini May Camp in November for 180 young people across Sussex.

Secondary Schools

Leaders: Jonny Lewis (schools missioner); Andy Angel.

Most of the work in secondary schools is undertaken by The Hub team (a team of youth pastors and other volunteers from St Andrew’s Church, Centre Church, The King’s Church and The Point). Day to day this was led by Jonny Lewis, meeting with Andy Angel once a week to discuss the work, discern and pray. The Hub team met six times in 2019 for training sessions on the following six topics: evangelism in schools, spiritual and moral education, psychology of adolescent religious development, building bridges between churches and schools, leadership development and big questions in youth ministry. Each session had an hour of Bible study relevant to the topic and learning in the area specified for the session. Andy Angel oversaw the delivery of the program. The police commissioner for Mid-Sussex came to deliver a session on crime and the needs of youth for the “big questions” session. The chaplain of St Paul’s Catholic College helped deliver the session on building bridges between schools and churches. The Diocesan Youth Office and Chaplain of St Paul’s Catholic College attended most training sessions. The Hub team has grown in numbers of members and availability during 2019.

The partnership with each of the schools has been established on the basis of conversation with the school leadership. Andy Angel and Jonny Lewis (prior to 2019) visited each school Head and explained that as churches we want to win people to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and to serve the local community. Activities undertaken in each school are agreed with the leadership of each school individually, and the safeguarding procedures of the Diocese of Chichester and each individual school are followed in each partnership. 

Burgess Hill Academy. The Hub team led three lunchtime clubs in term time: on Monday for years 10 and 11, with an average attendance of 49 students; on Tuesdays for years 8 and nine, with an average attendance of 120 students; and on Wednesdays for year 7, with and average attendance of 130 students. The focus of the clubs for years 7 to 9 have been building relationships with the young people. Various opportunities have been provided for the young people at these clubs to discuss spiritual and moral issues, including aspects of the Christian faith with members of the Hub team. The focus for the years 10 and 11 club has been more on issues of life and faith, beginning to explore the claims of the Christian faith through conversation. The Hub team began leading whole weeks of school assemblies this year, after the school gave them the opportunity to lead blocks of assemblies six times per academic year. The Hub team led four blocks of assemblies on the themes “God’s Unconditional Love” and “God drives out fear” in 2019. During 2019, the school gave over a large double classroom for the use of the Hub and two adjoining rooms. Over the summer holiday, a team of twenty volunteers helped the Hub team to refurbish the double classroom. As from the beginning of 2019, the Hub team were given permission to share their Christian faith openly with members of the school.

St Paul’s Catholic College. The Hub team led a lunchtime club for years 7 and 8 on Thursdays with an average weekly attendance of 30 students. This was a great opportunity to share the Christian faith and explore apologetics with the student body. This club discontinued in Sept due to a new school timetable which offered different opportunities. Plans were made with the school chaplain to start worship breakfast and worship lunch clubs in 2020. In September, Jonny Lewis joined the senior student’s council, where The Hub team offered support to the student body through new initiatives. The Hub team also lead assemblies in the school. The Hub team also lead seminars and year–group wide plenary sessions for year 9, 10, 11 and sixth form Spiritual Formation days.

Burgess Hill Girls. In September 2019, the Hub team started a Christian Union at the Burgess Hill Girls school in collaboration with two staff members. This meets at lunchtime on Wednesdays and an average of 15 students attend. Andy Angel delivered some teaching on Christian sexual ethics for the sixth form Religious Education A level students. The St Andrew’s team that visits residential homes was joined by a choir from the school who helped lead the Christmas worship at one of the residential homes (Rookwood). The Hub team worked with an Acts 4:35 advocate from St Andrew’s to help one student who was in particular need. St Andrew’s hosted and the clergy led the service of Nine Lessons and Carols for the school.

Hurstpierpoint College. Once a term Isaac has visited the college for the Light Lunch, which begins with the students watching a film clip of about 20 minutes, followed by an evangelistic talk around the themes of the film clip. There is usually some time for some ‘back and forth’ with the students, questions, and prayer. Isaac has spoken on: Finding Dory, Shrek, Harry Potter, and The Trueman Show. The students have enjoyed this and asked and explored insightful questions.

Primary Schools

Leaders: Jonny Lewis; Isaac Pain; Andy Angel.

Jonny Lewis, Isaac Pain and Andy Angel led school assemblies at Manor Field and Birchwood Grove schools on the school premises every half–term. In addition to these, the St Andrew’s team led a Harvest service on the school premises at Manor Field, and leavers’ service (Summer Term), Christmas and end of Christmas term services on church premises for Manor Field. The team also hosted Christmas services for Birchwood Grove on church premises. The team love to take assemblies in our primary schools and have developed healthy relationships with senior staff in both schools. The young people seem to have enjoyed the assemblies, and it has been a privilege to support the schools in this way. With permission from the schools, the team talk openly about Christian faith and beliefs and invite the children to join in prayers at the end of each assembly. 

PreSchool

Leader: Andy Angel.

Andy Angel met with members of the St Andrew’s Pre–School committee early in 2019 to talk through financial questions the pre–school had asked and the concerns that they felt over the building of the new toilet blocks. The meeting clarified both that the pre–school had been generous in giving money towards new building projects and the church had been very generous in offering a charity discount to the pre–school although the pre–school did not further the charitable purpose of St Andrew’s Church. All agreed that it would be good to grow closer relationships between the church and pre–school. The church hosted a tapas party in the summer term for the pre-school staff which was warmly received. Janet Davies (chair of the pre–school committee) led a prayer meeting for members of the church and pre-school which went very well. All indicated they would like to continue with both the prayer meetings and with social events at which pre–school staff and church members can get to know each other better.

St Andrew’s Church continued to run three events on church premises which sit alongside the ministry to primary schools: Light in the Night, the Pancake Party and Holiday Club. The purpose of these activities remained inviting children and their families into part of the life of the church, to build relationships with them and to share something of the gospel message with them. Invitations to Alpha courses were given to parents and carers.

Light in the Night (took place in the evening of 7 November)

Leaders: Jonny Lewis; Isaac Pain.

Isaac, Jonny and a team of fourteen volunteers set out to create and build upon relationships within the local community, with the hope of being able to invite these families to Church and other evangelistic events—as well as presenting the gospel in the short talk. The event began with various craft activities in the main church building, then there was a short evangelistic talk. This was then followed by food and fireworks on the front green. Somewhere over 70 parents and children attended Light in the Night.

Pancake Party (took place on the afternoon of 5 March)

Leaders: Isaac Pain and Jonny Lewis.

Isaac, Jonny and a team of ten volunteers set out to create and build upon relationships within the local community, with the hope of being able to invite these families to Church and other evangelistic events—as well as presenting the gospel in the short talk. The event began with various craft activities, followed by a time of fun games which the parents were encouraged to take part in, and then by a short evangelistic talk, and the eating of many pancakes. Forty-five children and parents attended the Pancake Party.

Holiday Club(took place on the mornings of 29 July to 2 August, and 4 August)

Leaders: Jonny Lewis; Isaac Pain.

Jonny, Isaac and a team of twenty volunteers set out to reach out with the gospel to non-church children and families and also to disciple and nurture the existing faith of children who are believers in the 2019 holiday club. The theme was Jonah, with each day progressing the storyline of Jonah. As the children arrived, they undertook a ‘holding craft’ in their areas until it was time to gather at the front for a couple of energetic and lively songs. The story of Jonah was then performed through a drama. The children then went either to games or craft time and returned to the front for a short talk on the bible passage for that day. They would then split into three groups for some discussion and question time on the talk and passage, and then split into their groups to do their booklet activities which helped them to engage with the story further. Other activities during the morning included a ‘science spot’, refreshments, and competition and joke time. The Friday afternoon session was our usual BBQ and fun afternoon, which saw many families stay for. It was really great to have 70 children come to Holiday Club this year. Within the local schools it is evidently known about and talked about by parents as a really well run and appreciated ministry. We were fully booked and had to turn some away due to the number of leaders. To share the gospel with parents and carers, at the end of each session they were encouraged to see or engage in part of the event themselves. It was good this year to see at least one non-church family come to the Holiday Club Sunday service. It was also really good to see some new church volunteers serving this year for the first time.

Cafés and Community Outreach

St Andrew’s Church offered a number of community focussed activities for local families which brought them onto the church premises. Some of these offered prayer and support to members of the community, some invitations to Christian events (like Christmas and Easter services, and Alpha), and others offered insights into and invitations to Christian faith. These included two toddler and baby groups, one weekly café, a community breakfast café, a men’s breakfast, and a monthly men’s pub night.

Sunbeams (met on Monday afternoons in term time)

Leader: Lucy Monroe.

Sunbeams is one of the St Andrew’s toddler and baby groups. Weekly attendance is between 12 and 15 children plus parents/carers. Activities included free play with variety of toys, ride-ons, play-doh, jigsaws, books, and lego. They gathered together for a welcome song, prayer, a short Christian story and singing nursery rhymes. There are refreshments and a drink. There is also a craft activity – supervised by one of the Sunbeams team in which children and parents participate. Sunbeams celebrated their 8th birthday in June with a buffet lunch and also had a winter party lunch.   The children also filled several Shoe Box Appeal boxes.

Melody Makers (met on Tuesday mornings during term time)

Leader: Katy Perrett, and then Jimmy Darn

Melody Makers is the other St Andrew’s toddler and baby group. On average ten children attended with their parents or carers. Melody Makers is a pre-school drop-in singing session, which runs alongside the Tuesday Café. The children and their carers were led through 20-25 minutes of well-known children’s songs with the use of puppets, props, and instruments. The group was held within the main church building in an enclosed area.

Tuesday Morning Café (met on Tuesday mornings during term time)

Leader: Lucy Griffiths, and then Judith Fish

The Tuesday café remained a very popular meeting place for the local community. The café opened at 9.00 am on Tuesdays for the St Andrew’s pre–school parents/carers to attend. Some stayed to Melodymakers. There were a number of individuals who popped into the café to meet up with family and friends. The refreshments and cakes were offered for free with the opportunity to make a donation towards the work of the Diocese of Chichester Family Support Work. In 2019 the Tuesday Morning Café raised £1,331 in total to FSW from the café and other fund-raising initiatives.

Community Breakfast

Leaders: David and Judith Fish.

Six breakfasts were held on a Saturday morning as a place for the community to gather and as a form of outreach for the church. The breakfasts cost £1 per family so that no one need be excluded on financial grounds and all other costs were generously met by members of the church. The numbers attending the community breakfast had been declining in 2018 and continued to decline in 2019, with the result that it was decided that if this trend continued the breakfast would be discontinued.

Men’s Breakfast (held three times in 2019).

Leader: Andy Sherlock with Trevor Beckett (Sheddingdean Baptist).

The purpose of the breakfast remained providing a comfortable environment where uncommitted men can come to a living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and so to spread the gospel to the men of Burgess Hill and the surrounding towns. On average 65 men attended each breakfast. Each of the events started with prayer followed by a continental breakfast and bacon rolls. After eating a speaker talked on their chosen subject and its relation to their faith.  In 2019 the breakfast talks have covered a wide range of subjects including: (a) “Purpose, Is it really the end of the world if we live without purpose?” (b) “As good as it gets? Is there more to life than this?”, and (c) “A Story of shame and deception, A search for Masculinity, A search for grace”. The men’s breakfast is a joint ministry with Sheddingdean Baptist church. During 2019, the group who oversee and run the breakfast decided to switch from a full English breakfast to a continental breakfast and to drop the entrance fee as the team seek to reach more men. The changes were well received.

The Men’s Pub Night (the first Tuesday evening of each month)

Leaders: Andy Sherlock; the clergy.

Men of the church met with one another in order to get to know each other better, and to encourage one another in our faith. The three Pub Nights that fell after a Men’s Breakfast also served as opportunities to invite non-church men into this fellowship. Somewhere between three and eight men meet up each time.

The Mark Drama (the evening of 14 September and the afternoon of 15 September)

Leader: Isaac Pain.

Isaac Pain led a team of volunteers from St Andrew’s and The Point to present a dramatic performance of the entirety of Mark’s Gospel performed ‘theatre in the round’. It was designed to be an evangelistic event, to which church members could invite friends, family and colleagues.  Naturally, the event also served to build up in the faith believers who came along. The event was extremely well received by those who came. There were many who commented about how powerful the performance had been, and how it had helped them to experience Mark’s Gospel in a new light. A number of people have asked when the next performance will be!

Relief of Poverty in the Local Community

During 2019, St Andrew’s began to grow the work of the Acts 4:35 team and the Hardship Fund which had been set up the year before. The purpose of both these initiatives was the relief of poverty.

Acts 4:35

Leaders: Sheila Smith, Mandy Anstee, Nicky Duckworth, Richard Garbutt and Robert Monroe.

Acts 4:35 is a web–based, crowd–funded charity which works with local partners, one of which is St Andrew’s church with the purpose of helping support those in financial need with the purchase of items up to the value of £120. A number of people were helped during 2019, both members of St Andrew’s Church and those in the wider community.  This has included, for example, the purchase of a young person’s railcard and train ticket, contribution towards floor covering and electronic goods. Due to the charity’s requirements for confidentiality, it is not possible to report more specifically on particular achievements. However, the team made a good start on helping those in need financially and making people more aware of the scheme. The advocates have also become familiar with the process of applying for money through the website. Four grants were made in 2019.

The Hardship Fund 

Leader: Isaac Pain, Nicky Duckworth, Sheila Smith, Andy Sherlock and Robert Monroe.

The Hardship Fund was set up to help support members of the St Andrew’s Church family in financial need. A number of people have been helped during the past year.  This has included, for example, contribution towards floor covering, the purchase of various goods including white goods and also electronic items. The Hardship fund was started with donations of £1500. During 2019 a further £340 was donated and £330 in grants were issued to two beneficiaries.

Support for Mission in the UK and Abroad

In addition to the work of homegroups in supporting mission agencies and ministries around the world, St Andrew’s Church maintained its long–standing tradition of supporting mission and evangelism both in the UK and Abroad. It remained the case in 2019 that St Andrew’s tithed its income toward the work of other missions and ministries. There were specific services at which collections were taken for each of the ministries named below during 2019.

A collection was taken for the TLA Charitable Trust (which spreads the gospel in the Muslim world) in March and £1,660 was given towards their work. A collection was taken for the Church Mission Society (which works in many areas of mission and evangelism around the world: https://churchmissionsociety.org/) in May and £2,700 was given towards their work. A collection was taken for the Bible Society (which works to produce Bibles, Bible translations and Bible study materials around the world: https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/) in July and £1,660 was given towards their work. A collection was taken for Tear Fund (which works for the relief of poverty around the world: https://www.tearfund.org/) in October and £2,950 was given towards their work. A collection was taken for the Children’s Society (which works to help children in need: https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/) at the Christingle service in December and £1,560 was given towards their work. A collection was taken for Chichester Diocese Family Support Work (which works with vulnerable families in Sussex: https://www.familysupportwork.org/) over the Christmas services in December and £1,714 was given towards their work. A collection was taken for Off The Fence (which works with the homeless and abused: https://www.offthefence.org.uk/) over the Christmas services in December and £1,714 was given towards their work.

Additionally, St Andrew’s Church continued to support Caring and Sharing, a charity who support the poorest communities around the world. They have fifteen projects providing childcare and education for children, and for health and support for adults. In 2019, St Andrew’s Church donated £242 towards their work.  St Andrew’s also twinned eight toilets and two urinals during 2019 and on Christmas Day gave various gifts to the poor and vulnerable: twelve chicks for families in South Sudan; a twinned toilet block in Bangladesh and a toilet in Gananadouo; two Bibles for children in Malawi; a beehive, a turkey and a computer for people in Africa; support for persecuted Christians and refugees from Nigeria; a pair of shoes and school things for refugee children in the Middle East; two chickens and a knitting machine for families in Africa; five mosquito nets to protect children from malaria; £50 to the Boys’ Brigade and £60 to Barnabas Fund; a cow and two nanny goats in Ethiopia; two twinned urinals (with toilets in Nicaragua); and a goat and lunches for ten children for a year in Loyangalani.

Discipleship and Pastoral Care

The ministry of pastoral care, which has been a hallmark of St Andrew’s ministry over many years, remained strong in 2019. Given the number of regular and occasional worshippers, much of the day to day pastoral care was undertaken by members of the congregation caring for each other. The pastoral coordinator oversaw much of this work with a network of people who helped. The homegroups also undertook a great deal of the pastoral care for the congregation in their regular meetings, and through the various social media they used. This sharing of the burden enabled the clergy to focus their pastoral care on those with greatest need, particularly the dying. The vicar (and sometimes the curate) and the pastoral coordinator met weekly to try to ensure that all were receiving the pastoral care they needed. Afternoon Fellowship and Oasis continued to provide pastoral care and fellowship, particularly for older members of the congregation. Pastoral services, the preparation for them and the follow up after them, continued to support people at key points in live—particularly those who have been bereaved in 2019 and previously.

The homegroups also continued to support members in their Christian discipleship. The vicar and homegroup leaders began a conversation about how to become more intentional about growth in discipleship, following the suggestion of the vicar that the focus of homegroups became the question “how are we growing more like Christ?” The discussion evolved into a discussion of particular holy habits (e.g. daily Bible reading and prayer, weekly worship) in which homegroup members might encourage one another. Homegroup leaders took this discussion to their groups with the idea that group leaders and the vicar would agree on the next steps in 2019. St Andrew’s church was very involved in training people for ministry in the Anglican and Pentecostal churches as part of its ministry of discipleship.

Pastoral Coordinator and Pastoral Team

Pastoral Coordinator: Howard Hitchman

The pastoral care team work alongside and in conjunction with the Bereavement, the Care Home and Home Communion teams. The pastoral team seeks to bring Christ’s love and hope to wherever they are called and provide both spiritual and practical support. In support of these objectives during the last year members of the Team have provided pastoral care including visits to members of the congregation in their homes, visits to those in residential care homes, hospital visits, the provision of lifts in respect of medical appointments, collection of shopping and medications, lifts to church services and associated activities, provision of Home Communions, telephone calls and on occasion those in need of pastoral care outside of the church family. Where appropriate and where people are qualified, members of the pastoral care team have communicated with families and helped them with difficult life decisions concerning care for relatives no longer able to look after themselves, supported them as they worked out care and support packages, and helped those who have moved into full time care with making the transition. Members of the team, where appropriate, have supported people both in the church and wider community who suffer mental health problems as well a major and terminal illness. In addition to the provision of formal pastoral support, there is a considerable amount of informal pastoral care within the St Andrew’s church community built around longstanding friendships and relationships. Whilst it is difficult to provide exact figures, it is likely that at least 50 people receive regular pastoral contact with at least 20 people regularly providing such support.

Homegroups

There were sixteen homegroups meeting during 2019. The homegroup leaders met twice during the year with Andy Angel to share what had been happening in the groups, share good practice and think through the developing role of homegroups within the mission and ministry of the church. In line with these discussions, a number of homegroups have opened themselves up to new members, particularly people recently come to faith, to nurture them in their new faith. The homegroup leaders also began to discuss what kinds of holy habits they might commit to encouraging in their members.

Alpha(met fortnightly on Mondays at 7.30pm)

Leaders: Don and Linda Gubbins

The group has eight members, one of whom joined during 2019. Most members are present at most meetings. Meetings start with talking over tea and coffee. They pray, study the Bible and then pray some more. Over the last year, the group has studied Hosea and Romans. The group support Marlene Early who coordinates knitting teddies for children in the majority world, distributed by Mercy Ships. Don reports that the group has seen some marvellous things happen during 2019.

Beta Path (met fortnightly on Tuesday evenings)

Leaders: by Sue Gumbrell and Sue Sindall, and hosted by Mandy Anstee.

The group has six members, one of whom joined during 2019 after completing an Alpha course and coming back to faith. Normally the whole group attends meetings.  Meetings start with talking over tea and sharing lives together. Then group members study the Bible together and pray. During the last year, they have studied courses, amongst others, on the resurrection, self-esteem and women of the New Testament. The group supports Mandy Anstee who coordinates St Andrew’s seasonal services (Harvest, Christmas and Easter) in nursing and residential homes. They also support Tear Fund.

Chanctonbury Pilgrims(met weekly on Tuesday evenings between 8 and 9.30pm

Leader: Amanda Hanlon.

The group has nine members, most of whom attend all meetings. One new member joined in 2019, having joined the church a few months earlier. Meeting start with coffee, biscuits and fellowship. Then group members share prayer requests and pray for each other, after which they study the Bible, ending the evening with the grace. During the past year, they have studied “Talking Jesus”, the Diocese of Chichester Lent course on vocation, and a study of bible characters. The group supports Action Aid, sponsoring a child. They keep in touch with Tieresong, sending photos and giving news from church and the group – and they receive news and photos from him. He is hoping to be a policeman when he grows up.  Over the last year, the group has been involved in mobile prayer evenings when they drive to roads in the parish where they prayer for the people who live there. Group members have really valued the fellowship and sharing of testimonies.

Encounter (met weekly, except school holidays, on Wednesday mornings from 10am to 12 noon) Leader: Rosemary Burgess.

The group has five members, and all attend most meetings. Meetings begin with a chat over coffee and biscuits. Then they have a Bible study, followed by prayer for families, things that are happening in the world, and for each other. They end with the grace. Over the past year, they have studied courses on busyness and decisions. The group supports the Church Mission Society.

Fabi and Hazel’s Group (initially met monthly but then met fortnightly on Thursday mornings)

Leaders: Hazel Teather and Fabi Angel.

The group started in 2019 and so all six members are new. Three of them have attended Alpha courses in recent years, two being new to faith. All members come to the meetings. Meetings start with coffee and a catch up. The group prays and then studies the Bible. Then they pray some more and finish with more coffee and fellowship. During 2019 they studied “Talking Jesus” and 1 and 2 Timothy. They report that they have grown in knowledge and grown through the support that they have received from each other, in their words “we have seen incredible spiritual growth”.

Ferndale (met monthly on Thursday mornings)

Leader: Pat Peers.

The group has six members. Meetings began with coffee and chat, followed by prayer and Bible study. During 2019, they studied prayers of the New Testament and women of the New Testament.  The group supported the Samaritans’ Purse Christmas appeal.

Food and Fellowship (met monthly on a Monday evening mostly, but weekly during Lent)

Leader: Haydn Peers.

The group has ten members, and all attend their meetings. Meetings begin with fellowship over a meal, followed by prayer and Bible study. They close with prayer. During the past year, they studied the Diocese of Chichester Lent course on vocation, a study on the parables of Jesus and they began a study of the gospel of John. They support the Diocese of Chichester Family Support Work, the Gatwick Travel Care charity, Rotary and Tear Fund (particularly toilet twinning during 2019).

Heather’s Group(met fortnightly on Tuesday evenings at 8pm)

Leader: Heather Griffiths.

The group started in 2019 and so all nine members were new. Meetings have attendances of roughly six members. They begin with social chat, pray, study the Bible and pray some more, particularly praying for the needs of group members. They end with a drink and biscuits. During the past year they studied Hosea. Individuals within the group support various mission organizations and charities, including Fairtrade, Open Doors, the National Trust and Send a Cow.

Manor Road(met weekly on Tuesdays between roughly 10.00am and 11.30am)

Leader: Isaac Pain.

The group has seven members who all come to each meeting. Meetings begin with members gathering for coffee and a chat. Then they share prayer requests and note them down. After this they have a Bible study and end with prayer. During the last year, they studied the Apostles Creed, Philippians, Daniel and Mark. They support the Church Mission Society. The group reports growing in their faith week by week.

New Encounter 2

Leaders: Iain and Emma Mackrory-Jamieson

The group has ten members most of whom attend meetings, with an average attendance of between seven and ten members. They met together to study and pray. The group enjoyed the Christmas leaflet delivery with many hands making light work of the long drives in the Janes Lane area. The Christmas group meal was also a highlight when the group gathered along with partners who do not come to the meetings. God had his hand over the choice of study selections when a new study book was found in a Christian bookstore following a member’s trip to the Cotswolds. The group have seen many answered prayers.

New Encounter 3(met weekly on Thursdays between 8pm and 10pm)

Leaders: Ed and Katy Perrett.

The group has seven members, most of whom attend meetings although one joins via WhatsApp video link as they are often unable to leave home. Meetings begin with welcome, drinks and catch–up conversations. This is followed by Bible study for about an hour and then roughly forty minutes of giving each member of the group opportunity to share and then they pray. Over the past year the group has studied “The Bible Course”, “Christianity Explored”, “Talking Jesus”, Storylines and a Bible study course on Hosea. The group support and encourage each other.

Noel Rise (met weekly on Wednesday evenings)

Leader: John Dawson, and hosted by Kathy Pyle and sometimes by Rob and Jean Lowes.

The group has twelve members, one of whom joined during 2019 having recently come back to church and faith. Meetings begin with tea and chat, followed by a worship song or hymn. Then they study the Bible together before sharing prayer needs with one another and then prayer. During the past year, group members studied books including 1 and 2 Peter and Jude, Ruth and Galatians. The group supports the Church Mission Society and regularly prays for the bereavement group at St Andrew’s, Tiddlywinks and Oasis.

Skinners’ Saints (met monthly on Wednesday evenings)

Leader: Rob Lowes.

The group has eight members, with six of them able to attend meetings. Meetings begin with a catch-up session and sharing news over coffee and biscuits. Then they study the Bible and pray, including prayers for healing. During 2019, they studied a Grove booklet on holy habits.

The Branch(met weekly on Wednesday evenings)

Leader: Andy Sherlock.

The group has thirteen members, with between eight and thirteen attending each meeting. Three new members joined in 2019, having attended Alpha courses and having come to faith (or come back to faith). Meetings take two forms. Some evenings they begin with prayer and often sung worship, have a Bible study, take time to share and discuss things with each other and then pray. On other evenings, they have a meal together and have an evening of fellowship. During 2019, groups members studied the York Lent course, a study on growing friendship, a study on angels in scripture, “Talking Jesus” and “The Bible Course”. In terms of mission, the group hosted the annual Easter Egg Hunt, organized the clothing collection for “Off The Fence” and the Whitechapel Mission, organized the Shoe Box appeal, and hosted the annual quiz for the Loyangalani Trust. The group has a Facebook page where they share prayer requests and support each other throughout the day.

Tracey and Sylvia’s Group (met weekly on Wednesdays)

The group has five members who meet on Wednesdays. Their focus in their meeting has been praying for each other and praying for things that God put on their hearts. They have engaged in studies together on the armour of God, Esther and Angels. They have supported each other in their callings and ministries outside the group, in the church and the wider community.

Youth Encounter (met weekly on Thursday evenings)

Leader: Jonny Lewis.

Youth Encounter continued to provide time and space each Thursday evening for our youth to come together and ‘do Christian life’ together. We emphasised our collective family identity as we looked to spur the youth on in their faith. In 2019 we saw new young people come to our group, as well as others ‘graduating’ into adult ministry and study at college or university.

Additionally, Jonny Lewis made home visits to young people and provided mentoring. He also supervised the placement youth worker, Olly Margry, in visiting one young person. These provided support for young people facing various difficulties in their lives, provided Christian nurture, and welcome to those who were new to the church and the youth group. 

A highlight in 2019 was seeing our young people develop and grow in their confidence to invite friends to church. It was great, off the back of Soul Survivor in the summer, to see young people who weren’t previously committed to church, coming week in week out. 

Other Youth Activities

Leader: Jonny Lewis.

St Andrew’s youth took part in three large events in 2019: May Camp, Soul Survivor and Mini May Camp. At May Camp, around five hundred youth from across the diocese of Chichester came together in Plumpton for the late May Bank Holiday weekend for worship, teaching, and fun! In 2019, eighteen young people attended from St Andrew’s with a team of six leaders. Jonny Lewis, our schools missioner, led some seminars on ‘how to reach out to your friends with Jesus’. The young people enjoyed time relaxing together, creating the campsite, worshipping with all who had gathered and getting stuck in! 2019 saw out the last ever Soul Survivor. It was a privilege to take a group of twenty–nine young people from St Andrew’s, the Centre Church (Burgess Hill) and Rudgwick Parish Church to the festival in Peterborough, with a team of seven leaders. Mini May Camp reunited those who attended May camp and launched May Camp 2020. Mini May Camp took place at St Andrew’s for the fourth year running, as we welcomed two hundred young people from across the diocese of Chichester, including seventeen of our own St Andrew’s youth. Those who attended enjoyed a night of fun, worship, teaching and excitement. At both May Camp and Soul Survivor, young people gave their lives to Jesus for the first time, and those new young people who attended have since been committed to attending St Andrew’s Youth groups. Another highlight was seeing how close the youth group has become through these events. Supporting one–another in their faith is second nature to some members now, as St Andrew’s looks to extend the invitation to more and more young people to come and join us.

Other Fellowship Groups and Meetings

St Andrew’s other fellowship groups and occasional meetings, in addition to the homegroups. Some are long–standing, like Oasis and Afternoon Fellowship. Others are more recent.

Afternoon Fellowship(met the second Wednesday of each month)

Leader: Carol Smethurst.

Afternoon Fellowship continued to cater for the ‘more mature’ ladies who mostly belong to the congregation, with some from outside the St Andrew’s Church. The group provided prayer, friendship and pastoral care for each other given that many members were living on their own. There were 19 members with a regular attendance of about 16.  Meetings commenced with a brief act of worship and there were speakers on a variety of subjects, including: waste recycling, Chichester Diocese Family Support Work, Chailey Heritage and Lewes Prison Chaplaincy. There has also been music from Golden Vienna and a trip to Reunion. In July the group joined with the Oasis group for an Organ Music Recital by Judith Miller with afternoon tea. During 2019, the group donated funds to Prison Chaplaincy (£25), a Parkinson’s charity (£20) and the Air Ambulance (£25).

Oasis(met on the fourth Tuesday of every month)

Leader: Pat Peers, Jenny Bennett and the Oasis committee.

 

During 2019, Oasis continued to put on activities to provide an opportunity for anyone regardless of age or circumstances to enjoy social interaction with others in a loving and nurturing environment. On average, about 15-20 members attended each meeting. Activities in the past year were wide ranging but regularly included our ‘thought for the month’, chair–based exercises, and always tea and homemade cakes. We have had recycling explained to us by the local Council and the Police to talk about fraud in the home. The garden centre was a very popular outing. Craft activities included making Christmas cards, doing lots of quizzes and an enjoyable organ recital in the church on the hottest day of the year. The highlights of the year were our Christmas lunch and our afternoon tea with a piano recital in Church. The Christmas lunch was declared by one of our members as the best he could remember, and we were well supported by the clergy and the Men’s Bereavement Group. We could not do this without our brilliant catering team. Our August meeting was a combined meeting with the Afternoon Fellowship, and we were treated to a delightful performance on the piano by Jan Kippax with a lot of audience participation. This was followed by an afternoon tea. In January members were asked to bring in some of their memories from the past and a real treasure trove was revealed. Last year OASIS twinned a toilet in the Church with a village in Africa. Over the years we have developed supportive links in many areas of the Church especially with Pastoral Care, the Clergy, the Afternoon Fellowship and recently with the Alpha teams. We try hard to adapt our activities to meet the ever–changing needs of our members and hope that the following testimonials support this: one member said “I have spent many enjoyable and informative times with some very lovely people since I joined the Oasis Club in 2010, at the Tuesday afternoons and many events which have been so very well thought out and organised. I would like to thank all the Oasis Committee and the helpers for all of their time that they give to make the Oasis Club such a friendly, interesting and informative place to go Some of the subjects that have been presented and discussed at the Tuesday afternoon meetings have been a great help to me and I am sure they have been to other members, even at times when you want to ignore them. I wish that there were more clubs like Oasis for people to join”; another commented, “I love Oasis because it has a very varied programme”; and another “I like Oasis because I get to talk to people that I do not have time to talk to in Church”.

Ladies’ Night

Fabi Angel and Sandi Wickens organised an evening of fellowship and testimony for ladies. Around twenty ladies attended and enjoyed drinks and nibbles. Sandi shared her story of what led her into training for ordained ministry and those who came prayed together.

The Gathering(met monthly on a Sunday)

The Gathering was a joint venture with the Centre Church to provide a group for 16 to 20 year olds, meeting monthly in Hannah Siragusa’s home (Youth leader at Centre Church). This ceased to run in September 2019, as members moved on to gap years and further education. 

Pastoral Services and Ongoing Support

St Andrew’s offers ministry to people living in the parish through the pastoral services (marriages and funeral services, interments of ashes and memorial services) at times of great joy and also times of grief. St Andrew’s offers preparation and ongoing support to people who come to the church to get married and to say goodbye to loved ones who have died.

Marriages      

Authorised ministers: Andy Angel, Isaac Pain, Sylvia McLarnon.

Four marriages were conducted at St Andrew’s in 2019. Prior to all marriage services, the couple meet with the minister who will marry them to talk through what Christian marriage is about and couples are given space to work out whether they want to make the kind of commitments the Bible teaches people should make in marriage. Exploring Christian marriage offers the opportunity to explain what the Christian faith is about in a non–threatening way (as biblical teaching says marriage is for everyone, not just Christians, so you do not have to be a Christian to get married in church). The couple meet with minister again to reflect on the things they explored in the first session and fix details for the marriage service. Couples are invited to church to hear their banns read, and where appropriate invited to church events and courses like Alpha.

Funerals

Authorised ministers: Andy Angel, Isaac Pain, Rob Lowes, Sylvia McLarnon.

During 2019, ministers from St Andrew’s conducted eleven funerals in church (two of which were burials) and six funerals at crematoriums. Prior to funeral services, clergy visited the families or nearest of kin of the deceased, spent time listening to them and offering them consolation, as well as organising the funeral service with them. Sometimes, there was a lot of communication (both offering comfort and organising the service) in between the initial visit and the funeral service. Mourners were always put in touch with the bereavement team and offered ongoing support, as described in the reports below.

Interments of Ashes

 Authorised ministers: Andy Angel, Isaac Pain, Rob Lowes, Sylvia McLarnon.

 During 2019, two services of the interment of ashes were conducted by ministers from St Andrew’s. Where these services follow on from funeral services taken by ministers from St Andrew’s, the family is contacted, and the service is arranged together. Where the funeral was taken by another church, ministers from St Andrew’s visit the family in the same way as for funeral services. Mourners are always put in touch with the bereavement team and offered ongoing support, as described in the reports below.

 

Memorial Services

Authorised ministers: Andy Angel, Isaac Pain, Rob and Jean Lowes.

During 2019, ministers from St Andrew’s conducted three memorial services. These were services to celebrate the life of the deceased and comfort each other in our loss, but without the funeral taking place at that point. Ministers visit families in preparation for these services in the same way as for funerals and the same ongoing support is offered.

In November, St Andrew’s hosted the yearly memorial service to which all who have been bereaved over the last year, and in recent years, are invited. In the context of worship, and after reading and preaching the Word, the names of loved ones who have died were read out and members of the congregation were invited to come to the front to light a candle in memory of those they have lost. This was followed by a wonderful tea which, as with every year, served as a great opportunity to catch up, share memories and offer support to each other.

Bereavement Support Group (met late morning for lunch on the third Thursday of each month)

Leaders and team:  Jean and Rob Lowes, Howard Hitchman, Janet Milligan, Joyce Rider.

During 2019, the Loss and Bereavement Support group continued to meet. Some people just pop in when they need to but there are between twelve and eighteen people who come regularly. The group exists to support anyone who has been bereaved or had any kind of loss, however recently or long ago. Everyone is made welcome, whether a member of St Andrews or not, and whether they have a faith or not. There is a drop-in morning on the third Thursday of every month. We keep going through the summer and included the one just before Christmas, which is often a very difficult time if you are bereaved.  These mornings have provided a safe space for those who value talking to others in the same situation, as well as an opportunity to talk in confidence on a one–to–one basis if preferred. Also, anyone who wishes to do so can light a candle in church and have some quiet time, and this has been appreciated during the year.

After a cuppa and time to talk, there is a simple lunch which seems to be much enjoyed by all.

We also contact the next of kin of those who have had funerals through St Andrews or indeed anyone we hear of who has been bereaved.  The phone call is to see if people would like to talk about things, to see if there is anything that they are particularly struggling with or are in urgent need of.  We have found that there are a number of people who do not wish to have a visit from the church once the funeral is over; though they always seem to appreciate the “Thinking of You” card we send on the anniversary of their loved one’s death.  There are others, of course, who do appreciate the offer of a listening ear, and that is really all it is ... none of us can “make it better” for them, or take away their pain... all any of us can do is offer a hand of friendship, and time to listen.  As we give them time, they sometimes tell us what they really need, and we can help if we are able to do so.

Bereaved Men’s Lunches(once a month on a Wednesday)

 Leader: Rob Lowes.

 A group of six or seven men have continued to meet once a month on a Wednesday to have lunch at a local pub—this year it was The Oak Barn.  We meet to support and encourage each other and enjoy a short discussion of topics of mutual interest, based on the Bible.  Friendships have formed, and a number of the men also meet socially at other times.

Training and development   

As part of its wider ministry of growing disciples, St Andrew’s offers placements to those who are in training for ministries of various kinds. During 2019, Isaac Pain completed the second year and began the third year of his curacy in training to become an incumbent in due course.

Sandi Wickens completed her third and final year of ordination training at St Mellitus College. She was ordained and became the curate at St Deny’s Church, Rotherfield. She also successfully completed her BA in Theology, Mission and Ministry. Diane Kutar completed her first and began her second of three years’ training for ordination at St Mellitus College. She was on placement at St Andrew’s throughout the year with a placement at St Peter’s Brighton to gain further experience of Alpha courses. St Andrew’s Church welcomed Mr Peter Sutton who joined the church family in September 2019 to undertake his placement here training for ordination. He began his first of three years of training with St Mellitus College. All three ordinands were supervised by Andy Angel.

During 2019, Olly Margry completed the first year and began the second year of his placement while training for youth ministry at St Mellitus College. He was supervised by both Andy Angel and Jonny Lewis.

During 2019, the diocese of Chichester continued to roll out its initiative of bishop’s permission to preach (with training and supervision). Prior to this, only those who were ordained or who had undertaken reader training or other ministerial training approved by the diocese were permitted to preach in Church of England churches in the diocese. The permission to preach entails the vicar agreeing a form of training and supervision for each person applying to preach with the bishop. During 2019, Andy Angel applied for permission to preach for Jonny Lewis, Sheila Smith, Olly Margry, Peter Sutton and Jimmy Darn. Andy Angel gave preaching supervision and guided study to Jonny Lewis, Sheila Smith, Olly Margry and Peter Sutton.

In addition to offering placements for ordinands and trainee youth ministers, and training preachers, St Andrew’s Church has become a placement church for the International Bible Training Institute. Groups of three to five students join our 10.30 am services during term time. Groups of fifteen to twenty students join our worship and teaching services at 6.30 pm during term time. Students participate in the studies and, with the agreement of the Institute, help lead our sung worship.

St Andrew’s Church also delivers a training program for those working with The Hub team in secondary schools. The Hub team met six times in 2019 for training sessions on the following six topics: evangelism in schools, spiritual and moral education, psychology of adolescent religious development, building bridges between churches and schools, leadership development and big questions in youth ministry. Each session had an hour of Bible study relevant to the topic and learning in the area specified for the session. Andy Angel oversaw the delivery of the program. The police commissioner for Mid-Sussex came to deliver a session on crime and the needs of youth for the “big questions” session. The chaplain of St Paul’s Catholic College helped deliver the session on building bridges between schools and churches. The Diocesan Youth Officer and Chaplain of St Paul’s Catholic College attended most training sessions.

Worship, Teaching and Prayer

Throughout 2019, services of worship continued to take place across the parish—not only in the church buildings. These services include services of Holy Communion for the housebound, as well as monthly services of Holy Communion in five local residential homes and the seasonal services in six residential homes at Easter, Harvest and Christmas. (For services with local schools, see the reports under Mission and Evangelism). As a worshipping church, therefore, we have become increasingly multi–congregational both on–site and off–site, and this trend continued in 2019.

Regular and seasonal worship in the church buildings      

During 2019, there were three Sunday services on a normal Sunday: the 9.00 am service of Holy Communion, the 10.30 am morning worship, and the 6.30 pm worship and teaching service. There was also a service of Holy Communion each Wednesday. These services were led by the clergy with teams of helpers for leading services, preaching, Bible readings, prayers, sound and audio–visual, leading sung worship, prayer ministry, refreshments, and decoration (including seasonal decoration and the regular flower arrangements), and children and youth groups. There were various seasonal and ecumenical services in addition. Also, church members met for prayer on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for half an hour throughout the year, and there were occasional quarter nights of prayer for the church, its ministry and mission.

9.00 am Sunday Service of Holy Communion

 This weekly service of Holy Communion followed the pattern of using the liturgy in Common Worship Order One in the first and third Sundays of the month, and the liturgy in Common Worship Order Two (a slightly modernised version of the Book of Common Prayer service of Holy Communion) on the second and fourth Sundays of the month. During 2019, the services continued with the inherited pattern of singing on the first three Sundays of the month and having a said service on the fourth Sunday of the month. During 2019, the congregation continued to grow with an average of 71 people attending services. Some growth was due to people moving from the 10.30 am Morning Worship service, and some to people coming to faith and joining the church.

10.30 am Sunday Morning Worship

This weekly service of worship continued to be informal, following a pattern of opening prayers, worship songs, Bible readings, sermon, prayers (sometimes including times for the congregation to respond in prayers or activities), notices, closing sung worship and a blessing. During the service groups ran for those under eighteen years of age (on which see the reports below). This service continued with contemporary worship music led by various groups of musicians. The average attendance at this service was 104 people (81 adults and 23 children). This was down on the previous year despite people coming to faith and joining this congregation during 2019. Reasons include people not attending due to long term illness, death, people attending less frequently and people leaving for other churches. Reasons given for leaving for other churches included unhappiness with church discipline, needing to attend less often at another church to get a letter for entry into St Wilfrid’s and St Paul’s, and one family said “nothing is happening at St Andrew’s” (although a conversation followed about the many things God is doing at St Andrew’s).

Tiddlywinks is a group for children between birth and five years of age. The team grew substantially in 2019, with five new leaders joining. A new program was agreed which includes an action song, a Bible reading from The Beginner’s Bible, a craft activity, prayers with Tiddly Bear and play time. Numbers of children can vary widely from week to week.

Kidzone is a group for our primary school age children. Weekly attendance is on average ten children. The register includes eight regular families and periodic visitors. During 2019, Kidzone has continued to emphasise the importance of getting to know God and growing our relationship with Him through teaching the Bible, prayer and worship.  This is provided on a weekly basis throughout the year by a dedicated team in the form of games, craft, stories, discussion, drama, songs, puppets and all age interaction. The whole year has been following the excellent Jesus Storybook bible by Sally Lloyd Jones through short cartoon videos of each chapter narrated by David Suchet.  These were well received by the children and helped introduce the teaching slot each week. In 2019, Kidzone continued to operate as one group, this seems to have been a success.  The team is small and therefore grateful to the Youth who serve Kidzone on the first Sunday of each month; this has definitely been one of the highlights for the children. 

St Andrew’s Youth on a Sunday provided sessions during the service, designed to help them explore scripture, faith and church life. Also, on the first Sunday of each month, the youth were released from their group to serve across the life of the church, from helping to run kids’ groups to running sound and audio–visual in the main service. Although not all come each week, there are twenty–nine young people associated with the group.

6.30 pm Sunday Worship and Teaching

In each academic term, services of worship and teaching ran for ten to twelve weeks. They began with informal contemporary sung worship and open prayer for just under half an hour before a short break for coffee. The exercise of the gifts of the Holy Spirit continued to be encourage and there were a couple of prophetic words during the year. After coffee, there was an hour of adult education style study of a biblical text. The series that ran in 2019 were: life after death from January to Easter; Ephesians during the summer term; and James during the Christmas term. The International Bible Training Institute continued to send students to this service and during 2019, this became one of the placement services. The worship pastor worked hard with the Institute to include students in leading sung worship, which was excellent. The service continued to grow and the average attendance was 31 adults.                  

10.00 am Wednesday Service of Holy Communion

The service of Holy Communion on Wednesday mornings was informally formal, using the Common Worship Order One liturgy with something of a light touch. The sermons followed biblical books chosen by the congregation each term and included series on Genesis and Mark.

The congregation continued to grow, as did the fellowship over coffee (and often cake) after the service. People new to church continued to come into this service and some found faith in Jesus. Some have begun to bring their friends. The average attendance was 24 adults.

Seasonal and Ecumenical Services

During 2019, St Andrew’s hosted the annual January Burgess Hill churches’ Prayer United event (an evening of worship and prayer open to all churches in Burgess Hill), and members of the congregation also attended the other two united prayer events later in the year. The May united prayer event was a Thy Kingdom Come celebration and some church members attended the local event in Burgess Hill while others attended the diocesan event in Brighton.

St Andrew’s continued to celebrate Lent and Easter following its normal pattern. The Pancake Party on Shrove Tuesday (see in Mission and Evangelism above) was followed by the evening Ash Wednesday service of Holy Communion with Ashing. On Maundy Thursday, we had an all–age service with a shared meal and foot–washing and a celebration of Holy Communion. On Good Friday, there was an all–age service in the morning, after which many church members gathered outside the United Reformed church for the Good Friday March of Witness organised by the Churches Together in Burgess Hill. On Good Friday afternoon, we remembered Jesus’ death on the cross for us with space to meditate, pray and worship in the service of the Hour at the Cross.

On Easter day, we had our normal Sunday services of 9.00 am Holy Communion and 10.30 am Morning Worship, followed by a special service of Easter Praise at 6.30 pm. There  was a service of Holy Communion in the evening of Ascension Day as the church began to pray the nine days leading up to Pentecost. Members of the congregation were invited to keep prayer going all day and night for these days and most of the hour slots were filled. The keeping of the nine days of prayer was done in conjunction with Thy Kingdom Come. On Pentecost Sunday, we had our normal Sunday services. Attendance at services in the church buildings over the Easter season was 475 people. The combined number of people attending services in the building and the community (e.g. nursing and residential homes) was around 600 people.

At the end of the Burgess Hill festival, members of the congregation participated in Celebrate Sunday—a gathering of all the Burgess Hill churches together in St John’s Park to worship together, to share information about local services and ministries, and to share something of the gospel with anyone who joined us.

At Harvest, we tried to build on the tradition of St Andrew’s sharing with those who are poor and in need. In addition to the traditional collection for Tear Fund and the dissemination of information about their work, we hosted a fair–trade chocolate egg hunt, a talk on the fair–trade movement, and a jazz café with fair trade wines. Roughly one hundred people attended these events on the Saturday prior to Harvest Sunday. The fair–trade talk inspired conversations which led to the setting up of a Global Justice group in Burgess Hill, open to all, and hosted (at least for the foreseeable future) at St Andrew’s. The vicar invited all the parliamentary candidates to join this group and the candidates for the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrat Party and the Monster Raving Looney Party have all committed to help work with us on global justice issues.

Advent began as usual with the Toy Services on Advent Sunday when toys are collected at both morning services for Diocesan Family Support Work who give them to families in need as Christmas presents for their children. Advent saw many school carol services (see Mission and Evangelism above for details) and the number of people attending these services was 2290 adults and children. Special services took place throughout Advent and Christmas, including the Christingle service (at which we collected money for the Children’s Society) and the services of Nine Lessons and Carols. On Christmas Eve we continued our tradition of a congregational–participation nativity at the Crib service and the First Communion of Christmas leading up to Midnight. On Christmas Day, we had our regular Christmas morning all–age worship but with the addition of our very own version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to celebrate giving to those in need around the world just as Christ gave up heavenly glory for us that first Christmas morning (for details of presents see Support for Mission in the UK and Abroad above). The number of people attending St Andrew’s church services over the Christmas period (in the church buildings) was 1013 adults and children. The combined number of people attending services in the building and the community was just over 3300 people.

The Church Flower Team

Leader: Chris Cherry

Team: Rosie Elkins, Ann Lea, Joan Spencer, Geraldine Davey and for special events Janet Milligan, Eunice Hodgkinson and Nora Coles.

The team meets every Friday morning to arrange fresh, seasonal flowers in the church, normally comprising one large pedestal and two matching arrangements on the Church Altar. As well as producing the regular flower arrangements upon requests from parishioners, flower arrangements to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and memorial flowers for loved ones were also produced during 2019. The expenses for these flowers are covered by the parishioners who requested the flowers.

Special dates in the yearly calendar e.g. Christmas, Mother’s Day, Palm Sunday, Easter, Harvest festival are all celebrated with additional flower arrangements. During Lent, church flower arrangements are simplified, comprising mainly foliage and simple white flowers.

In 2019 flowers were arranged in church for six weddings. Wedding flower arrangements need to be booked in advance with the office. The cost of the flowers is covered by the Bride and Groom. The current charge for this service is £120. The wedding flower arrangements consist of two large pedestals, two large altar arrangements and one table arrangement for the registry. Matching ribbons can also be provided for arrangements and aisle chairs.

Worship in the Community

 Regular acts of worship take place in the community alongside those in the church buildings. These include home communions, monthly services of Holy Communion in five residential and nursing homes, and seasonal services in residential and nursing homes.

Home Communions

 Coordinator: Francis Noel.

A team of fourteen members of St Andrew’s take services of Holy Communion (by extension) in people’s own homes when people are no longer able to attend services in the church buildings, or where illness temporarily prevents them from joining our regular acts of corporate worship. During 2019, seven people regularly received holy communion in their own homes.

Nursing Home Services of Holy Communion

Coordinator: Francis Noel.

During 2019, services of Holy Communion (by extension) were held in five nursing and residential homes in Burgess Hill: Oak Lodge Nursing Home, Rookwood Care Home, Woodlands Nursing Home, Hilgay Care Home, and Firgrove Nursing Home. There were eight people in the teams who take the services in the homes, and they have been clearly appreciated by staff and residents.

Nursing Home Seasonal Services(Easter, Harvest and Christmas)

 Coordinator: Amanda Anstee.

 Service leaders: Andy Angel, Isaac Pain, John Dawson.

Mandy, Andy, Isaac and John joined with team of around fifteen members (between three and eight of whom attend each service) and are led musically by Jan Kippax and Barry Lear on keyboards, to share songs of praise and carol services with nursing home residents who cannot get to church services. At each service, between six and ten members of the St Andrew’s team attended and between five and fifteen residents and staff, depending on the home and the day.

During 2019, we visited six local residential and nursing homes – Firgrove, Hilgay, Marten House, Oak Lodge, Rookwood and Woodlands – at Easter, Harvest Festival and Christmas.  We shared a short service of traditional hymns or carols, bible readings and prayer, together with a short talk or reflection. Afterwards, we spent some time chatting with the residents.

We have been made to feel very welcome at all the homes, and it is a joy and a privilege to share God's love with our elderly friends who are no longer able to get to church. A special highlight was the Christmas service at Rookwood, where we were joined by the music leader and 25 girls from the choir at Burgess Hill Girls; as well as joining in with our carols they performed some utterly beautiful choral pieces, to the delight of everyone there.

Another joy during 2019 was to see relationships building up with residents where members of the St Andrew’s team visit at other times, particularly the services of Holy Communion that are led monthly in some of the homes. There is a growing sense of these services becoming small congregations in their own right with the friendship and pastoral care that is being offered both to those residents who have attended church services at St Andrew’s for many years and those who have recently joined our congregations in the residential homes.

Structure, governance, and management

In order to support these ministries and ensure that they run as smoothly as possible, St Andrew’s has teams responsible for various aspects of administration and management. These are the Parochial Church Council (PCC), the Finance and General Purposes Committee (F&GP) and, as legally required, the Standing Committee. As the PCC decided not to delegate business to the Standing Committee, the Standing Committee did not meet during 2019. However, the membership is listed below as the committee was formed by the PCC, as required in law. Although the PCC works with the vicar to oversee ministry and mission at St Andrew’s, much of the day to day administration of the church is passed onto the church office. In conjunction with the church office, the wardens oversee various aspects of church administration. As for the greater part of 2019, the post of parish administrator was not filled, it should be noted that Mrs Sheila Smith and Mrs Diane Kutar did a remarkable job in keeping the administrative processes of the St Andrew’s Church running so smoothly. During the course of 2019, St Andrew’s adopted and began to use ChurchSuite for administration. The church address list, electoral roll, rotas, and information about homegroups were all moved to ChurchSuite during 2019. Although the vicar and the PCC, with the safeguarding officer, are ultimately responsible for safeguarding at St Andrew’s, there is a separate safeguarding report below.

Parochial Church Council

Membership of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) is determined under the Church Representation Rules and consists of certain ex-officio members (the Vicar, the Curate and a representative of the lay readers licensed to officiate in the church), the Churchwardens and members of the Deanery, Diocesan or General Synods and up to 12 members of the church who are elected at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM). The full PCC met eight times during the year. Standing items on the agenda at each meeting included: clergy reports, youth report, finance (including F&GP report), and safeguarding. Particular items which were addressed by the PCC during 2019 included, accepting Peter Sutton as an ordinand on placement, development of the youth work and the new diocesan strategy. The PCC vision day was given over to considering how St Andrew’s might grow and develop in the ministry of evangelism, part of which included looking at the new diocesan strategy. The PCC noted that much of this strategy was already in place in the day to day life together of the church members of St Andrew’s—although more work could be done on developing our evangelistic strategy. The PCC gave its approval to offering back to back Alpha courses (i.e. one from January to Easter, one from Easter to the summer, and one from September to Christmas), and to making Alpha our standard baptism and confirmation preparation. The PCC also agreed that we needed to work with the homegroup leaders on how we included people new to faith within homegroups and what kinds of Christian lifestyle options (holy habits) we could all agree on encouraging. The PCC started this conversation in 2019.

Those who served on the PCC during 2019 were:

Rev Dr Andrew Angel (chair)

Mrs Ginny Nicholls (secretary – co-opted resigned Jan 2019)

Mrs Dawn Spouge (secretary – co-opted May 2019)

Mrs Diane Kutar (General Synod resigned 02/19. Secretary co-opted Nov 2019)

Mr Andrew Sherlock

Mr Charles Graham (died March 2019)

Mr Steve Watson

Mrs Angela Tugwell

Mrs Carol Smethurst (until APCM)

Mr Bob Oliver

Mr Jonny Lewis

Mrs Susannah Anson (Reader)

Mr Martin Duckworth (Deanery Synod – resigned April 2019)

Mrs Nicola Duckworth (until APCM)

Miss Laura Cox (until APCM)

Mrs Linda Porter (Safeguarding Officer – co-opted October 2019)

Miss Sue Gumbrell (Deanery Synod)

Mr Ian Porter (Churchwarden)

Mrs Sheila Smith (Church Warden)

Mrs Sarah Wilson (Electoral Roll Officer – co-opted)

Miss Amanda Hanlon (Deanery Synod)

Standing Committee

The Standing committee is available to transact urgent business between PCC meetings. It currently includes the Vicar, the Curate, the Churchwardens and the Parish Treasurer. The PCC did not delegate any business to the Standing Committee during 2019, preferring to having extraordinary meetings of the PCC to conduct any necessary business between fixed meetings.

Finance and General Purposes Committee

The F&GP is a sub–committee of the PCC, meeting between PCC meetings in order to oversee the practical administration of the church premises, and to keep a watching eye on the finances of St Andrew’s. The F&GP also scrutinizes the various drafts of the budget at its September, October and November meetings before they go to the PCC. During 2019, the F&GP met seven times in the year to deal with the finances and building management of St Andrew’s, reporting back to the PCC where the necessary decisions were made on particular issues.

Fabric, Goods and Ornaments

As always, on a busy site there has been significant activity with respect to fabric. A new external light was fitted above the West Doors and a new lock fitted. The doors were varnished during the year. The preschool was given agreement to install some new fencing to create an outdoor, environmental area and this has enhanced the presentation of the external area of the Youth centre. The chapel cupboard had alterations made to it to facilitate the storage of some of the music equipment. There were issues with security of both the pre-school and scouts storage with both broken into and some scouts items stolen. Police advice on security was taken. New chairs were installed in the church, following DAC approval to the design and colour. This was funded by grants from the local council, HCF and a private donation. A new contract was entered into with respect to the photocopier. Agreement was given for the installation of a new dividing screen in the Rider Hall lobby, funded by the Preschool. This did not require a faculty as was deemed a Schedule B work after consultation with the DAC secretary.  The toilet project was signed off with all snagging completed. The maintenance contract with PDP for heating systems worked well with no significant heating failures in the year. Progress was made with the proposed closure of the graveyard and this will be completed in 2020.

Safeguarding

During 2019, St Andrew’s Church remained fully committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of everyone within our church community. During the year, Linda Porter took over the role of safeguarding officer from Sue Anson. St Andrew’s continued to operate according to the policies laid out in the diocesan Simple Quality Protects (SQP) programme—which the PCC had adopted in line with diocesan guidance in a previous year. (SQP is the required diocesan framework for safeguarding which enables churches throughout the diocese to ensure they follow best practice for safeguarding.) Implementing SQP has ensured that during 2019, St Andrew’s continued to be alert to concerns, and enabled the church to offer the safe welcoming environment, so much at the heart of our Christian faith. All concerns raised to the clergy and safeguarding officer during 2019 were dealt with confidentially, liaising with the diocesan safeguarding team in accordance with the SQP protocols, and reached positive outcomes for the safety and protection of all.

Past Case Review 2 (PCR2) was launched by the Church of England in August 2019. It followed a Past Case Review, commissioned by the Church of England commissioned in 2007, to look at the handling by the Church of child protection cases over many years. This entailed an independent scrutiny of the files of clergy and church officers to identify any persons presenting on–going risks to children and young people (i.e. anyone under the age of 18) which had not been acted on appropriately. The House of Bishops wanted to ensure that our churches and church-related activities are as safe as possible for children and vulnerable adults. Therefore, all Dioceses have been asked to extend the review in 2019 to include children, young people and vulnerable adults. The objectives of PCR2 are: (1) to ensure all known safeguarding cases have been appropriately identified and managed; (2) the needs of known survivors have been considered and supported; (3) all identified risks have been assessed and mitigated as far as is reasonably possible. PCR2 was due to run throughout 2020. St Andrew’s committed to co–operate fully with this process.

Deanery Synod

The diocese is divided into twenty–one deaneries (groups of parishes). Each deanery has its own Synod which is made up of the clergy of the area and lay members elected by each parish. St Andrew’s Burgess Hill is part of the Hurst deanery. In 2019, St Andrew’s was entitled to four lay representatives who were Susan Gumbrell, Amanda Hanlon and Celia Davis. There is one vacancy.  Robert Monroe is Deanery Treasurer and Celia Davis is Deanery Secretary. Deanery Synod meets three times a year, and the parishes in the deanery take turns in hosting the meeting. The chair of the meetings alternates between the Rural Dean, the Revd Paul Doick, and the Lay Chair, Lesley Webster. The standing committee meets three times a year, in advance of the main meeting, to plan the agenda, including financial reports.

In February 2019 Synod met in St Margaret’s Church, Ditchling. Revd David Willis gave the Parish Report. One year before the Beacon Parish and The Point had been given the Emmanuel Chapel in Ditchling.  They had embarked jointly on a £35,000 refurbishment of the building.  This was now used primarily for youth work.  The Venerable Fiona Windsor, Archdeacon of Horsham, then gave a presentation on ‘Living Faith’ and ‘Setting God’s People Free’ encouraging everyone to share their faith.

At a meeting in June, the new rector of the Downland Parish, Revd Tim Harford, gave the parish report and Martin Auton-Lloyd, chief executive of the Diocesan Association for Family Support Work (FSW) spoke of the Association’s work.  390 families were currently supported by the equivalent of seven full time social workers.  They also spent time supporting children with special educational needs.  Schools had been referring pupils who were in danger of being excluded, so FSW supported the parents and lobbied with the schools for extra support for the children.  They had also set up groups for parents of autistic or ADHD children within individual schools. They were very thankful for the toys given by the churches at Christmas.  Last year over 900 children needed presents for Christmas and birthdays, as well as incentives for doing well at school.  During the summer FSW ran fun activity days for children and they are hoping to raise funds for a full–time social worker for this deanery.

At the final Synod of the year, at Christ Church, Sayers Common (part of Albourne, Sayers Common and Twineham), in November 2019, the Church warden gave the parish report. They were undergoing their second vacancy (no priest) in 18 months. He thanked on behalf of the parish the Rural Dean and all the visiting priests, including Rev Debbie Beer, who are assisting them throughout the current vacancy. Revd John Naudé of The Point gave a presentation. He spoke about the term “Disabled”, and with the use of two role plays he spoke of “Disempowering Environments” and “Empowering Environments”. The latter role play was where those with a disability were listened to and treated courteously, gently and as equals.

As well as being sources of information, deaneries are also responsible for collecting the money pledges from the local parishes to cover their parish ministry costs (i.e. for clergy stipends, pensions and housing; for training costs; for diocesan church house; national church responsibilities etc.) Clergy fees as registrars and fees from weddings and funerals also go into this joint deanery pot. In 2019 Hurst Deanery covered their costs apart from a small shortfall, which is being paid back in 2020.

Electoral Roll

At the APCM in April 2019 there were 152 (266 in 2018) on the church electoral roll, 67 who were not resident in the parish. In December 2019 there were 173 members registered on the electoral roll. Known reasons for the drop in numbers on the electoral roll were various and included: some people on the roll not having attended St Andrew’s for many years, some people were no longer alive, and some people did not complete the form. This partly explains the addition of twenty–one members between April and December although some people did join the church in this period. Chasing up regular members to complete the form remained an ongoing job throughout 2019. Another contributory factor may have been that the purpose of the electoral roll (church membership which requires a profession of faith in Christ) was explained in the process of forming a new roll, and a number of people who attend church but have not made a profession of faith did not apply to go on the roll this time around. However, it was explained that membership of the wider church community was acknowledged and encouraged, and the place to log personal details was on the database in ChurchSuite. The number of people on the database in ChurchSuite stood at 336 (as opposed to the 266 on the previous electoral roll which included contact details of people associated with the church). By the end of 2019, the electoral roll no longer functioned as an address book for the parish, but as a list of church members who are committed to Christ, eligible to vote at the annual parochial church meeting and who may be voted onto the parochial church council. St Andrew’s did not lose its address book as this was moved onto ChurchSuite.

Financial Review: a Summary

The PCC gratefully acknowledges a very successful year from a financial perspective.  Following a year that involved a reorganisation of the Church Administration Roles, and some unexpected savings while establishing a new set of working practices, plus some welcome delay in the anticipated regular income reduction; a surplus of £24,019 in unrestricted funds was made in 2019 (surplus of £6,977 in 2018). Additionally, part of this surplus arose due to the new Worship Pastor post remaining vacant for part of the year. This follows transfers made to a number of Designated Funds and new Restricted Funds. Full details are given in the Financial Statements.

The total receipts on general unrestricted funds received were £210,352 (£206,037 in 2018).  Resources expended amounted to £186,333 (£198,945 in 2018).  Full details are given in the Financial Statements. 

Voluntary income (excluding grants and a single donation to the Worship Pastor Project) to the General Fund was £138,928 (£140,413 in 2018). The continued voluntary income (excluding grants) to the Reordering Fund was £26,564 (£39,873 in 2018). Tax recovered by way of Gift Aid in these funds was £26,292 and £5,021 respectively. The Small Donations Gift Aid allowance for 2018 was deferred to 2019 and received in full. Similarly, the 2019 claim will be deferred to maximise the claim and is not included in these accounts.

The final costs outstanding to the building project to link the church and halls and to reorder the church that was completed during 2016 were paid during 2017. At the end of 2019, the Reordering Fund bank balances (which are restricted for this project) stood at £68,017. This is required to meet ongoing term loan repayments.

Donors continue to make regular monthly payments via bank standing order with the benefit of the Gift Aid Scheme to meet the future monthly loan servicing requirements for the remaining Interest Free Loans totalling £110,000. Focus on regular giving to maintain these future payments remains a priority.

The PCC received no Grants in 2019 but awaits receipt of the final Diocesan Grant of £10,000 for Youth Mission work to help fund the Youth Pastor’s 2020 salary costs.
The first tranche of £20,000 was received at the end of 2017 with the second tranche of £15,000 at the end of 2018. The total funds available to assist with these costs within the Youth Restricted Fund amounts to £6,219 to which will be added the 2020 Grant of £10,000.
No Legacies were received nor are any anticipated.

The PCC gratefully acknowledges the Highmead Christian Foundation’s continued generosity in making available the house which it owns at 10, The Nursery, Burgess Hill to the Youth Pastor and his family at a peppercorn rent.

The largest expenditure of the PCC was the sum of £70,445 (£65,477 in 2018) paid to the Diocese to cover ministry costs.  This amount covers the housing, stipend and pension costs of the clergy and the church insurance and also a standard sum for diocesan central costs, clergy training and a contribution to national church funds. The church continues to meet 100% of its allocated costs.

The second largest item of expenditure was the overall contracted Staff costs of £53,051. The PCC employs a full time Youth Pastor and part time Assistant to provide for the expanding Youth work in the parish and also across the locality. The part time Administration Assistant and part time Site Administrator roles were combined in 2019, following the departure of the Administration Assistant, and one individual is now employed in the Church Office to ensure all administration tasks are efficiently undertaken. The PCC also employs two part time cleaners. The PCC currently has filled the vacancy for a part time Worship Pastor alongside the generosity of a one off donation of £10,000 to support this role, which the PCC gratefully acknowledges. Full cost details are given in the Financial Statements.

Repairs to church buildings were minimal during 2019. Payments into the Building Repairs Fund continue to enable future costs to be fully met. Review of church building repairs is ongoing.                                                

The PCC donated £14,200 (£14,430 in 2018) in missionary and charitable giving. Of this amount £4,572 came from special collections whilst £9,628 was donated from church funds. The PCC are grateful that charitable giving for 2019 remained at similar levels.  The principle of 10% give away remains the PCC policy.

Reserves Policy

It is PCC policy to maintain a balance on the general unrestricted funds (excluding fixed assets), which equates to approximately three months’ worth of unrestricted payments as contingency against unforeseen situations.  The general, unrestricted, reserve was £70,198 at the close of 2019 which is more than one quarter of unrestricted resources expended which equated to about £46,600 in 2019 (excluding expenditure from Designated Funds). We expect to have sufficient cash flow to continue to pay bills as they fall due.

Details of the balances and purposes of the various Designated and Restricted funds are given in Note 10 to the Financial Statements.

It is PCC policy to invest fund balances as deposits so as to maximise interest whilst protecting the sums involved. Not more than the amount guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme is invested in any one institution.  At the end of 2019 the PCC held accounts with the Church of England CBF, Virgin Money and the Mansfield Building Society in addition to CAF Bank and Barclays Bank who provide current account facilities.

Public Benefit Statement

In exercising its duties, the PCC has complied with their duty to have due regard to the guidance for public benefit published by the Charity Commission

 

 

Signed on behalf of the PCC

Revd Dr Andrew Angel (Chair)

Date 27th September 2020

 

 

Posted by: office on September 23, 2020