The United Benefice of
St Mary's, Henlow, and St Andrew's, Langford

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Please visit the St Mary's News page for updates from Henlow...

WELCOME to the St Andrew's news page, where you'll find details of recent events, most recent first. If you have news or photographs of church or church-related events that ought to be included here, please contact our webmaster, Phil Groom, via his blog, facebook or twitter.

Tuesday, 29 December, 2015

Thank you to everyone whose hard work and enthusiasm helped to give us yet another memorable Christmas at St Andrew's. Particular thanks must go to the members of Bedford Brass, whose superb playing livened up our Advent Carols evening; to everyone who donated so many delicious mince pies and prepared & served the mulled wine; to those who made the Christingles for the Christingle and Crib Service on Christmas Eve; and to the team of flower arrangers whose beautiful decorations brightened up the church so effectively.

Christmas at St Andrew's: Flowers, Crib and Advent Wreath
Bedford Brass (2)
Bedford Brass (1)
Mince Pies
Preparing the Mulled Wine
Christmas Flowers (4)
Christmas Flowers (3)
Christmas Flowers (2)
Christmas Flowers (1)

Tuesday, 3 November, 2015

The following announcement was made by the Churchwardens in both parishes on Sunday 1st Nov 2015:

We are pleased to announce that Sue has been appointed as the next Archdeacon of Wilts in the Diocese of Salisbury. Sadly, however, this means that she will be leaving us here. But don't worry - she's not going yet, she'll still be here for Christmas. Her last Sunday here will be at the Benefice Service in Langford on January 31st and we'd love to see as many of you as possible on that occasion, please, for her farewell.

We're very sorry to see her go, of course, but we take this opportunity to offer her our congratulations and best wishes in her new role. We will miss both Sue and Phil very much and thank both of them for all they have done in their six years with us.

Official Announcements

Articles/Reports Elsewhere

Wednesday, 30 September, 2015

Thank you to everyone whose enthusiastic participation turned last weekend's Friends of St Andrew's Quiz and Chips Evening into such a fun-filled fundraising event. The Church Hall was packed to capacity as eight teams of six pitted their wits against our special guest and quiz master, Simon, whose brain teasers and questions kept us on our toes: "What's the furthest thing you can see on a clear day from the top of Ben Nevis?" was one just one that caught many of us out! There were two table-rounds (puzzle sheets that we could work our way through at any time during the evening) and nine other rounds on a range of topics including beer, geography, literature, music and sport as well as the inevitable general knowledge.

Special thanks must go, of course, to Simon, without whom the evening would have seen us simply sitting there waiting for the fish and chips to arrive; to those who set things up and picked up the pieces afterwards, especially Shirley Morley, our Church Hall Manager, who also organised the raffle; to everyone who donated raffle prizes, including Charley's Hair Salon, Langford, and Sainsbury's, Biggleswade; and last but not least to Johnny's Plaice, Biggleswade, whose generous portions of fish & chips made sure that no one went hungry.

After all expenses were met, a grand total of 312.10 was raised towards our proposed reordering of the church building, which includes plans to install kitchen and toilet facilities, saving visitors a walk down to the Church Hall when nature calls! Our next fundraising event for this is our annual Gift Day on Saturday 10th October, 10am - 3pm: the Church and the Church Hall will both be open, with tea and coffee available along with a sale of St Andrew's souvenirs, home produce, cakes and books. Please look out for flyers and gift day envelopes which are being distributed to every home in the village.

World's Biggest Coffee Morning: We are Macmillan. Cancer Support LET THEM EAT CAKE!
Langford Coffee Morning raises 550 for Macmillan Cancer Support

Monday, 21 September, 2015

A massive thank you to everyone whose generous enthusiasm and support helped to raise 550 for Macmillan Cancer Support last Friday, 18th September, with special thanks to John Searle who coordinated the event; to Graham and Christine Isaac who organised the raffle; and to Kim Barnes who helped to publicise the morning and brought along additional campaign materials as well as a selection of her own gorgeous cupcakes. But it was far from only those few — so many people were involved that it's impossible to name and thank them all individually: the team of volunteers who helped to set up, served drinks and cleared away afterwards; those who donated so many delicious home made cakes; and everyone who contributed raffle prizes or items for the bring & buy stall.

Doors opened at 9.30am, an hour earlier than our regular Friday morning Coffee Shop, but the early start on a damp morning did little to dampen people's spirits: the first supporters arrived whilst preparations were still underway and it wasn't long before every seat was taken. After that, a steady flow of people through the doors kept the volunteers busy and the morning lively — and there was never any danger of running out of cake as more and more cakes kept appearing! Rather than charge for refreshments, everything was supplied on a donation basis and the policy clearly paid off: thank you once again to everyone whose support made the event so worthwhile.

A packed church hall
Cakes, glorious cakes! (3)
Cakes, glorious cakes! (2)
Cakes, glorious cakes! (1)

Cake and Bric-a-Brac Stalls (1) Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (12)
and a church transformed!

Sunday, 14 June, 2015

A huge thank you to everyone whose hard work, cheerful enthusiasm and determination to press on despite the weather ensured the success of this year's Summer Fete, held on Saturday 13th June. The day's activities raised almost 900 towards church funds, including 255 from the Log Cabin Quilters whose magnificent exhibition of flowers and quilts to celebrate their 10th anniversary transformed the church inside (photos below) and attracted many visitors whom we would not have otherwise seen.

Whether you donated cakes, prizes, plants, produce or other goods, looked after one of the stalls or simply ventured out and braved the elements to take part and support the event, you're the ones who made the day: without you the fete wouldn't have been possible. Congratulations must go, of course, to all our prize winners. Last but far from least, special thanks to those who arrived early to set up or left late after clearing up.

Click or touch any of the photos for a closer look.

Smiling in the Rain: St Andrew's Fete

Looking East
Looking West
Cake and Bric-a-Brac Stalls (2)
Cake and Bric-a-Brac Stalls (1)
Plants and Produce (2)
Plants and Produce (1)
Carrots for sale!
Beetroot for sale!
The Bookstall
A happy customer
The Grand Draw (2)
The Grand Draw (1)

A Church Transformed: Quilts and Flowers Exhibition

Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (2)
Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (1)
Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (4)
Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (3)
Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (6)
Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (5)
Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (8)
Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (7)
Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (10)
Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (9)
Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (12)
Quilts and Flowers Exhibition (11)

Revd Patsy Critchley with Canon Sue
The Revd Patsy Critchley (left) with the Revd Canon Sue Groom

Monday, 1 June, 2015

It was Patsy's day and it was a packed church at St Mary's as members of both parishes gathered to wish the Revd Patsy Critchley a fond farewell on her retirement from the Benefice on 31st May 2015. Patsy came to join us as Assistant Curate towards the end of 2010, having previously served as curate in the Benefice of Shefford and Meppershall.

Patsy's ministry with us has been gratefully and warmly received as she has not only led our Sunday services — frequently challenging us with thought-provoking sermons — but has also touched many people's lives by conducting baptisms, weddings and funerals as well as helping with small groups.

Canon Sue invited Patsy forward at the end of our Sunday service and thanked her for all that she had contributed to the life of St Mary's and St Andrew's, then the Church Wardens presented Patsy with cards, flowers and gifts as a token of everyone's appreciation for all her hard work and support over the past five years.

The presentations were followed by a delicious bring-and-share farewell lunch: as always, a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the lunch or helped serve, rearrange the furniture and clear up afterwards, with further thanks to Jim Dickson for these photographs.

The Revd Patsy Critchley with Canon Sue Groom
The Revd Patsy Critchley
Patsy with St Andrew's Church Wardens
Patsy with St Mary's Church Wardens
Patsy with Carol Donnelly, St Mary's Church Warden
Patsy with Sarah Riches, St Andrew's Church Warden
Framed painting of St Andrew's presented to Patsy
Framed photograph of the St Cecelia stained glass window at St Mary's presented to Patsy

Bedford Brass at St Andrew's (1) Bedford Brass at St Andrew's (2)
Bedford Brass at our Mulled Wine and Mince Pies Carol Service, 2012 and 2014
Monday, 25 May, 2015

Thank you to the members and supporters of Bedford Brass who wowed the Friends of St Andrew's on Saturday 16th May with a superb repertoire of live music for our latest Friends event. The evening's entertainment included a remarkable variety that ranged from the energetic Eagle Squadron March through a foot-tapping medley of Fred Astaire favourites and a lively selection of popular movie themes (Out of Africa, The Lion King, and Jurassic Park to name but three) to classics such as Faure's Pavan and Henry VIII's atmospheric 'Pastime With Good Company', all specifically arranged for a brass ensemble. Special highlights of the performance were a drum solo and a tenor horn solo by members of the band.

The concert was arranged as part of the church's ongoing fundraising activities and raised a total of 574 which will be used towards a proposed reordering of the church to provide kitchen and toilet facilities within the church itself (at present these facilities are only available in the church hall).

Special thanks must also be made to Jim Dickson, who coordinated the evening, liaised with the band and organised ticket sales, with further thanks to all the volunteers who helped move furniture, organised and served refreshments and cleared up afterwards: without your support and hard work, events such as this would not be possible.

Our next fundraising event originally scheduled for Saturday 18th July with Stotfold Christian Choir has been postponed: please keep an eye on our Services and Events page for further details when available; and Bedford Brass are booked for another return visit in December for our not-to-be-missed Mulled Wine and Mince Pies Carol Service (pictured).

LEARNING TO PRAY: Leading the Intercessions
Leading the Intercessions

Sunday, 22 February, 2015
Sarah Riches writes:

On Saturday 7th February a group of us met in St Andrew's church. We represented both St Mary's Henlow and St Andrew's Langford. With Canon Sue's guidance we worked through the St Albans Diocese Leading Intercessions course. We considered the nature and different types of prayer, looking at various Bible verses and then moved on to think particularly about the intercessions.

We noted that when leading the intercessions we pray with the congregation not for them, providing the pegs for people to hang their prayers on. We thought about the structure of the prayers, the language we use and how to use silence. We also considered how to use music and the use of different responses.

We then shared the different resources that we use to help us, both online and some of the many books available. We parted with new ideas and a renewed confidence that we can share with our congregations.

Would you like to learn more about leading intercessions at St Andrew's or St Mary's?
If so, please contact Canon Sue for details of future courses » Contact Us

SMALL CHANGE, BIG DIFFERENCE: Christian Aid Week: 10 - 16 May 2015
Christian Aid Needs You!

Friday, 20 February, 2015
Phil Groom writes:

Christian Aid Week takes place from 10-16 May this year and as usual here in Langford we'll be starting the week with a joint Anglican/Methodist service held at 9.15am on Sunday 10th May at St Andrew's: please come along and join us as we renew our commitment to helping some of the world's poorest people.

Small Change, Big Difference: Christian Aid Collecting Box 2015

This year we're taking a different approach to our fundraising: you could say it's a small change but it's one with a big difference — rather than house-to-house collections, we're inviting members of both churches to take envelopes and/or collecting boxes home then, as well as keep one for themselves, give them out to friends and neighbours. Envelopes and collecting boxes are now available at both St Andrew's and the Methodist Chapel and we hope that by giving people the opportunity to save their small change over a longer period, we'll increase awareness of Christian Aid's work and see a big difference in the total collected.

Andy Godfrey, Christian Aid's Regional Coordinator, joined us at this week's planning meeting to introduce this year's campaign. Thanks to Andy both churches also have copies of Christian Aid's introductory booklet, Let Us Love: Our work in the world, and the latest Count Your Blessings Lent leaflets, which offer bite-size daily reflections to inspire us to give thanks for the blessings in our lives and suggest things we can do to help transform lives — our own and other people's.

Andy will be back with us on Tuesday 12 May for a Christian Aid Lunch in St Andrew's Church Hall: please keep an eye on our Services and Events page for more details nearer the time.

There are other ways you can support Christian Aid as well, of course:

Go over the edge to end poverty!
Go over the edge to end poverty!
Register to take part or sponsor someone else.
Give 5 today
Give 5 today: text MILK to 70040
(standard network charges apply: please ensure that you have the bill payer's permission - see campaign posters or contact Christian Aid for full terms & conditions.)

» Supporting Christian Aid in Langford


Friday, 2 January, 2015

Thank you to everyone who took part in our annual service of Carols with Mulled Wine & Mince Pies held on Sunday 16th December 2014, accompanied once again by Bedford Brass: the service was even better attended than in previous years. Special thanks must go, of course, to those who kindly donated the mince pies and provided the mulled wine, as well as to those who served them and helped clear up afterwards.

If you were there you may well be able to spot yourself in the photos below, courtesy of Jim Dickson; and if you missed it, keep an eye on our diary page for details of this year's service later on when Christmas 2015 comes around!

Carols with Mulled Wine and Mince Pies 2014: Were you there?
Carols with Mulled Wine & Mince Pies 2014: Were you there?

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