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

At the moment their is a particular need for small bags of sugar and instant coffee.

A message from the Ely Foodbank: Through the Foodbank we have the ability to help the many people who find themselves in crisis today. These people are our neighbours, and we provide parcels for people as they present themselves – we don’t stall or say ‘come back another day’! Our work is very much about people in their current situation. Yet we are also conscious that we live and operate the Foodbank by faith: faith in the generosity of donors, faith in the voucher holders identifying genuine need, faith in clients receiving appropriately, as well as faith in God giving us the resources of people, food and finance as and when we need them. As a team we obviously don’t want to operate with too little, but we can also learn to live without having too much! And so we provide help today, because day by day we have learnt to trust God that we will have the ‘daily bread’ that we need for each successive month’s operations.

Thanks for all who help with this from our churches.


Can you help the homeless?

A shelter for the homeless in London is urgently in need of unisex/male hats, scarves and sleeping bags. Contact Lydia Cant on 01353 665943 if you can help.

Healing Eucharist - next on February 19

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

Would you like to join our church Eco-Church group?

An opportunity to discuss and be involved in questions concerning our faith, our church and the environment. 

We held an initial meeting this Friday January 28.

Our next meeting will be on Friday March 10 at 7.30pm at Bridget a& Nigel Cooper’s, Philadelphia House, West Street, Isleham.

Spring 2017

As we engage with the Ely 2025 strategy for growth, would you like to deepen your faith and be more confident in sharing it? This Spring/Lent there will be three opportunities to explore J. John’s ‘Natural Evangelism ‘course to help us 
‘Know Christ and make Him known’.

Fordham: The Vicarage. Wednesdays, 10-11.30 am
Feb 22nd, March 8th, 15th, 22nd 
Isleham: 1,West Street. Thursdays, 1.30-3 pm
Feb 9th, March 9th, 16th, 23rd 
Chippenham: 8, Badlingham. Mondays, 7.30-8.30pm
March 6th, 20th 27th, April 3rd

Please let Revd Sue know which venue you would like to attend 
01638 721662 
As we engage with the Ely 2025 strategy for growth, would you like to deepen your faith and be more confident in sharing it? This Spring there will be three opportunities to explore J. John’s ‘Natural Evangelism ‘course to help us 
‘Know Christ and make Him known’.

Fordham: The Vicarage. Wednesdays, 10-11.30 am
Feb 1, 8, March 8, 15, and 22. 

Isleham: 1,West Street. Thursdays, 1.30-3 pm
Feb 2, 9, March 9, 16, 23. 

Chippenham: 8, Badlingham.
Mondays, 7.30-8.30pm
March 6, 20, 27, April 3.

Please let Revd Sue know which venue you would like to attend 
01638 721662 

PROM PRAISE 2017 - April 22 at the Royal Albert Hall

If you are interested in joining a group to attend the above celebration, please would you let Roy & Janet Vatcher know as soon as possible? Tel: 01638 780481.

Messy Church - next on March 12

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 - 

March 12
April 9
May 14
June 11
July 9.
August: No Messy Church.

Healing Eucharist - next on February 19

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

The Thursday Prayer Group  - next on February 23

The Thursday Prayer Group will next meet on February 23 at 96 The Causeway, Isleham.

We now 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.

Mums+ - next on Friday February 24

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

Upcoming dates - at Fordham Garden Centre, (Scotsdales) from 9.15am.

Friday February 24
Friday March 24
Friday May 19.

For more info: Helen Banyard – 721616.

Three Rivers Mothers' Union - next on February 25

The MU had a very interesting evening on 15 February hearing Sue Murfitt talk on the Life and Culture of China”. 

On Saturday February 25 some members will be going to Burwell to hear our young member,  Alice, tell us about her marathon run round the Diocese, she will be running through Fordham on the way to Burwell on Saturday 25, so if you see her cheer her on her way. 

Advance notice the MU is going on a trip to Langham Glass in early April. Ring Jenny on 720820 for more details.

Ash Wednesday - March 1

Group Eucharist at Snailwell at 7 pm.

Advice and guidance on security for places of worship

"The news from France and the random, cold blooded murder of the Roman Catholic priest Father Jacques Hamel has been a shock to many of us. It is also very unsettling as it is a Priest doing what so many of us do, simply going about our normal ministry. However, that doesn't mean we should be fearful or overly concerned. We do need to be careful. "

The Ven Hugh McCurdy, Archdeacon of Huntingdon & Wisbech and The Ven Dr Alex Hughes, Archdeacon of Cambridge write: 

"The police have been working with church leaders in the UK to establish a communication network through which reassurance and guidance to the Christian community can be passed. Last week’s murder of a priest in France is a terrible tragedy, but we must use it to test our ability to communicate to this wider network and I want to offer the following advice. 

Church leaders and their congregations should remain alert not alarmed.
There is no current intelligence to suggest any attack planning of this nature in this country. However it makes sense for all church leaders to review their security plans and to encourage their flock to be vigilant. Any suspicious behaviour should be reported immediately through 999."

Fees account - help sought

We are looking for someone to run our fees account. Some knowledge and ability with figures would help. Time needed probably an hour and a  half a week. Do speak to Mike or Sue if you can help.

Parish profile

The Churchwardens met with Mike and Sue last Sunday afternoon to talk through the processes involved in identifying our parish profile and what the churches feel they need in a new priest. So do talk with them about this matter, and also pray for us all. John Bridges from Chippenham has volunteered to collate a new and up to date Parish Profile.

Fordham School expands

Work is continuing at Fordham Church of England Primary School in the new build of classrooms, an enlarged Hall and various other facilities too. The school will be able to use some of the spaces by this September, and the work will be completed ready for a grand opening in September 2017. The school roll will double, meaning that all the children in our villages will be able to attend their local schools.

Church Schools

Our Diocese of Ely Multi Academy Trust (DEMAT) is growing fast.  When schools become Academies, Church Schools have to go into a Church Trust.  So far in our Diocesan Schools’ family (83 Primaries and 1 Secondary), some 20 plus primaries are part of the Trust.  Canon Peter Maxwell is the Chair of the Trust and Mike is a Director.  The two schools in our Parish are considering Academy Status.

There will be a Government White Paper in a couple of months time and we expect it to propose that all schools become Academies very shortly.  If you would like to know more about Church Schools then do ask Mike or Peter.

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. 

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Julian Prayer Group - next TBA

Most of us find silent prayer on our 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!' 

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.  

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 Sue Potts, Associate Pries
  • The Revd Duncan Dalais, Associate Priest.
  • Helen Banyard, Licensed Lay Minister.
  • Mrs Carol Taylor (Licensed Lay Ministers)

  • Mark Liversidge is Authorised Lay Minister (Music) at Isleham.

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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....

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Last updated February 18, 2017
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