St Andrew's Church, Isleham

A member of the Three Rivers Group of parishes 
Chippenham, Fordham, Isleham,  Kennett & Snailwell

The Diocese of Ely, The Church of England


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Prom Praise 2016 - Saturday April 2 at the Royal Albert Hall

Members of the Three Rivers Prayer Group are planning to attend Prom Praise 2016 at the Royal Albert Hall which will be led by the choir and orchestra of All Souls Church, Langham Place, assisted by other church choirs and guest soloists conducted by Noel Tredinnick, Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and Organist and Director of Music at All Souls.

We invite you to join us in a wonderful evening. Priority tickets costing about £25 each (based of 2015 price) need to be booked before the end of December and if enough people are interested we will arrange a coach.

If you would like to come please contact any of the following people before December 13:

Roy and Janet Vatcher in Isleham 
Jan Broad in Chippenham 
Daphne Wilding in Foirdham 
Terry and Jeanette Malkin from High Street Church, Isleham.

Prayer changes everything... join our prayer group... next on December 3 at 96 The Causeway, Isleham 

Are you interested in co-operating with God in this venture? It can change the world, our five churches, those around in need and yourself too.

We meet on a weekly basis to pray together about current affairs and needs for approximately one hour, and would welcome any who would like to join us, whether you wish to pray aloud or in your heart.  

On Thursday December 3 we meet at 10.30-11.30am at 96 The Causeway, Isleham.

Chippenham Christmas Market - Friday December 4

This popular annual event is taking place on Friday December 4 in Chippenham Church from 6-9pm.  A reminder to anyone with items for the Church Stall to drop them off at Chippenham and Fordham Vicarages or on the morning/afternoon of the event. Gifts suitable as Christmas presents for all ages will be greatly appreciated.

Festival of light at St Andrew's Isleham 
December 5/6 and 12/13

  • Saturday December 5 - 3-6pm including Christmas Fair.

  • Sunday December 6 - 3-6pm Christmas tree display.

  • Saturday December 12 - 3-6pm Christmas tree display.

  • Sunday December 13 - 3-6[m Christmas tree display including Christmas Carol Concert

Please support this wonderful occasion at the beginning of Advent.

Snailwell Christmas Fayre - December 12

This super annual Fayre is on December 12 from 2–4pm in church.

Donations for the church stall to Helen or Maureen please, together with your support on the day would be much appreciated.  

Three Rivers Branch of Mothers’ Union - dates for your diary  

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

This is the third year Three Rivers Mothers’ Union is supporting this campaign. There will be prayer trees with the opportunity to pray for many who suffer or have suffered physical and mental violence. Also there will be a box for donations of toiletries (soap, face flannels, toothpaste etc.) which will be given to women’s refuges in Cambridge and Huntingdon. The Campaign begins on Wednesday November 25.
As the MU Social Policy Contact, Helen has organised a Silent Prayer Vigil in Ely Cathedral (St. Catherine’s Chapel, just inside the west door, on the right hand side) to raise awareness of violence against women and girls. This is being held for an hour on Thursday November 26 from 11:30am – 12:30pm. Everyone is welcome. Please contact Helen Banyard 721616 for further information.

Christmas lunch - December 7

Our next meeting is our Christmas Lunch which is being held at the Walnut Tree, Worlington on Monday December 7 at 12:30pm. Please let Jenny Bowen 720820 know if you would like to join us and if you need a lift.

Building works

The builders have nearly finished Isleham’s porch roof. It looks very good. 

At Fordham the builders are currently making the new choir vestry cupboard off site. 

At Chippenham the DAC has approved the plans subject to East Cambs Planning Dept. agreeing too, so that we can start work there too.

Bishop of Ely's statement on Syrian refugee crisis

Thank you to everyone who focused their prayer last week on the refugee and migrant crisis. Please continue to pray for a sane and just solution.  

Suggestions of what we can do as individuals and as churches are included in the Bishop of Ely’s statement on the crisis.

Speaking about the Syrian refugee crisis, the Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway said: ‘The Bible tells us to love our neighbour, but many more times to love the stranger. The Syrian refugees, whether they have made it as far as Europe or not, are our sisters and brothers. We need to offer a Biblical welcome. The refugees’ burden of fear, loss and deprivation is our burden. We must find a language of welcome, not suspicion.

‘We should be proud of Britain’s ongoing commitment to overseas aid and humanitarian relief. We must support people in refugee camps in and around Syria. And we also have a responsibility within Europe to share the burden of countries like Greece and Italy, among the first entry points. 

‘Britain must participate fully in a European welcome for those who are vulnerable and fleeing violence and oppression. We must welcome all – Muslim and Christians equally; but we should remember that many refugees are Christians from villages which have lived the faith since Apostolic times.

‘I invite us all to continue to pray and to consider what other help we may provide, for example supporting one of the charities at work on the ground.’

A number of charities and non-governmental organisations have opened appeals specifically aimed at helping the plight of refugees.



Please don't forget to bring your contributions to church or the local Co-op shops. Your contributions are still very much needed and really valued. 

Serving the villages, including those around Soham, has depleted the stock held in Ely. 

At the moment the Foodbank particularly needs sugar and long-life milk.


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Mums+ - next on December 11 at Fordham Garden Centre

Mums+ is a monthly coffee morning for fun, conversation and sharing our questions of life, faith and parenthood – all ages welcome.  

We meet at the Fordham Garden Centre cafe from 9.15am (after dropping older children off at school). All welcome.

We meet on Fridays: 

  • December 11 at Fordham Garden Centre.

For more info: Helen Banyard – 721616. 

Messy Church - next on December 13 at 3.30pm in Fordham

For families - Crafts, story/song session and a simple meal at Fordham church from 3.30-5.30pm on the second Sunday of the month.

If you know anyone who would like to take part, or you would like to help in any way please do speak to one of the Ministry Team.  

Upcoming dates - December 13.

Do encourage those you know to come along. It’s great.  

Healing Eucharist - next TBA 

Healing Eucharist is usually on the 3rd Sunday of the month in the evening and is held at Fordham at 6.30pm.

Julian Prayer Group - next TBA

Most of us find silent prayer on out own difficult. but praying together provides support and a profound sense of God's presence with us. If you would like to deepen your prayer life do come along.

We prepare for a period of silent prayer through a combination of words, music, and sometime images, then come out of the silence with music and prayer together.

We usually meet once a month on a Monday evening at 7.30pm. We usually meet at Fordham vicarage.




The Foodbank in Soham is open on Thursday mornings from 9.30-11am at the Salvation Army hall in Chapel Lane.


If you would like to find out more about the Foodbank operation in this area just drop in and introduce yourself to Howard Laver or one of the helpers who'll be pleased to tell you all about it.


Your contributions are still very much needed and really valued.


In Isleham we have been collecting an average of over 50 items a week - and one week we had over 100 items - thank you.


Do pick up a bookmark about the Foodbank with a list of what’s wanted in church.  

Stocks are currently relatively low in the central store at Ely that supplies the Soham Foodbank distribution centre which serves Soham, Fordham, Isleham, Chippenham and the surrounding villages, which receive more food than they contribute.

At the moment the Foodbank particularly needs long-life fruit juice, jam, sugar and Smash instant potato- but not beans, pasta or soup.

At Isleham we welcome donations of food at our Sunday service and at our Coffee mornings at the Social Centre on Tuesday mornings; we can also accept donation of cash.

In Fordham and Isleham, we also have collection boxes in the Co-op stores, so you can also donate there.  

If you can’t see the box in the Co-op then please ask the staff, it is there, and it would be good to make sure that they are used as much as possible.

Mike Banyard is a voucher holder for the Three Rivers Group; and in Isleham Foodbank vouchers are also available from the Revd Christopher Goodwins, 102 The Causeway, or call 01638-780284. Please leave a message if you get the answering machine.

Reading the Bible

The website

The missing weeks, with commentary, are now up, and further weeks will be added as we come to them.  Remember - it'll be over by Christmas!  Well done if you're still with it - I'm a bit behind, but gradually catching up, so I too can say 'I read the whole Bible this year!'  Jenny

Children and Holy Communion

All five PCC’s have now agreed that our church family younger children (aged 7 and above) may be admitted to Holy Communion after appropriate instruction. 

Muriel Hood and Ruth Ogden have agreed to instruct our young people. If there are young people in your family who would like to receive communion, then please do speak with Mike.

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Fairtrade at Isleham

Fairtrade has always played an important part of Isleham's shopping experience!  Our own Co-op in Isleham has an excellent range of Fairtrade goods.  Now at church, from November 4, there will be a selection of Christmas cards and gifts from around the world.  For more information contact Amy Bridgeman on 780539.  The Fairtrade 'shop' will also be at the Tuesday coffee morning in the Social Centre when possible.

Christmas is coming!  Take a look at the Fair Trade catalogue - you'll find gifts, decorations and everything you need for the Christmas puddings and cake.  And don't forget the basics - loo roll, kitchen roll, tissues, ...  

See Amy in Isleham or Lydia in Fordham and help support communities in need, while getting ahead in your own preparation.

Keyboard Lessons

Geoff Symon, professional organist and teacher, is keen to encourage church musicians living in the parishes.  He is happy to teach keyboard players in their own homes.  Beginners and all grades are welcome.  All styles of music are encouraged.  Give him a call on 0785 259 6351.


 We are experimenting with a new layout for the weekly pewsheet.

If you have items for inclusion in the pewsheet then do speak to any of the Ministry Team, or ring Carol Noble (Group administrator) on Wednesday mornings, when, usually, it is compiled on 01638-721616.

Bell ringing

Our bells are rung from just after 9am each Sunday to call people to worship at 9.30am, and again on Friday practice nights from 7.30pm for an hour or so (but always stopping by 9pm).

We also ring for weddings and other special occasions. 

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Thefts from our churches

Both Kennett and Chippenham have had substantial amounts of lead stolen from their roofs. A section of Fordham's lightning conductor was also taken, making the building unsafe and unprotected.  Do please keep an eye out for any illegal behaviour around our churches and report it speedily both to the Police and to Churchwardens. Vigilance is essential these days I am afraid.

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Regular Giving envelopes

if you would like Regular Giving envelope please see Robert Savage. If you are UK tax payer we can reclaim tax if you complete a Gift Aid form (also available from Robert).

St Andrew's is a member of The Three Rivers Group

The Three Rivers Group, a United Benefice, comprises the parishes of:

  • Chippenham - St Margaret
  • Fordham - St Peter & St Mary Magdelene
  • Kennett - St Nicholas
  • Isleham - St Andrew
  • Snailwell - St Peter

Each parish has its own Parochial Church Council (PCC), looks after its own finances and has its own style of worship.

The ministry team comprises:

  • The Revd Mike Banyard, Rector.
  • The Revd Dr Jenny Gage, Associate Priest.
  • The Revd Sue Potts, Curate.
  • Helen Banyard, Licensed Lay Minister.

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Isleham history on-line

Read about the history of Isleham on the British History Online web site.

A visitor's view of our church

"St Andrew's is a wonderful church – a beautiful building filled with an array of treasures" .

"St Andrew's has the grandest clerestory we’ve encountered in Cambridgeshire."

Read more....

view this panoramic image full-screen (approx 1Mb download)

Click on the image above to view a panoramic image of the church

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Last updated November 27, 2015
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