St Mary the Virgin Church,

Church Walk,

Higham Ferrers,


St. John the Baptist Church,

Caldecott Road,

Chelveston cum Caldecott




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Benefice Newsletter

WELCOME to today’s organist at Higham, Richard Heyes, and to our Guest Preacher at both churches The Very Revd Chris Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough.

CONGRATULATIONS to Lara Tate who is being baptised today at Morning Worship.

BENEFICE CONFIRMATION & INSTITUTION OF MICHELLE AS INTERIM VICAR will take place on Sunday 24th November at a joint Benefice Service at 10 am at St Mary's at which Bishop John will preside and preach.  Please pray for those preparing for confirmation and come along to support them, and join in with a Bring & Share Lunch in the Bede House afterwards (see list at the back of church for food items - thank you.)

THANK YOU to all who supported last week’s Gin Tasting evening by St Mary's Tot's Group.  They raised an amazing £1400, part of which goes to the Bede House improvements.

ADVENT 2019 begins on Sunday 1st December when we light the first candle on the Advent Wreath and mark the beginning of the new Church Year.  There will be a BENEFICE ADVENT SERVICE of readings, music and candlelight at 5 pm at St Mary's.  During Advent Revd Michelle, Fr Tom, Revd Linda, Revd Lesley and Brenda will be sharing their faith stories each Sunday and inviting you to join in conversation with them in the week following.  Please see Advent leaflets and posters for further information.

SPARKLE WEEKEND (23rd November):  HELPERS NEEDED – please put your name down on the rota at the back of the church if you can help out, either in church or in the Bede House.  TOMBOLA PRIZES NEEDED, please place in box at back of the church. 

We are having CRAFT STALLS in the Chantry Chapel to sell products that we are making over the next few weeks.  If anyone in the congregation is creative and can make items for us to sell to make money for the church please let Karen know.

REMINDER:  St Mary’s is hosting the CHARITY PERFORMANCE of The Railway Children at Sharnbrook Mill Theatre on Tuesday 26th November.  Tickets £15, to include a glass of wine, from Sue Dennis, 01933 317648, email  or Sidey Design Associates, Market Square.  This is a great way to raise much needed funds for St Mary's, so we need a full house!  If you can't attend on the night perhaps you could support the fundraising effort by sponsoring a bottle of wine for £5?  Bob Dennis will be delighted to hear from you if so!

CAROL SINGING IN THE STAR AND GARTER PUB, CHELVESTON:  Monday 2nd December, 8 pm.  Come and join us for some festive singing, cracker jokes and fun.  If you miss this opportunity we will be there again on the following two Mondays, 9th and 16th December at 8 pm.  Any queries call Sara Owst on 07814 406731 or Brenda on 07816 771702.

A BIG THANK YOU for all the Children’s Christmas Shoe Boxes that were collected and blessed on their way from Higham church.  More details and photos in the December magazine.


GOD CALLING?  Is God calling YOU to serve in the church in lay ministry, work with children and young people, chaplaincy, pastoral care or ordination?  All these and other forms of ministry will be explored at an informal day on Saturday 23rd November at All Saints School in Northampton.  See the poster and cards with more details at the back of church.

COME AND JOIN US!  On Wednesday 4th December St Mary’s Mothers’ Union are hosting supper at Pizzeria Venezia in Rushden, followed by a short talk by a speaker from the anti-bullying charity Kidscape.  Cost £14.95 for starter & main plus coffee, payable in advance; drinks and dessert payable on the night.  Please sign up on the list at the back of church.  More information from Jane, or 01933 357707.


CHRISTMAS WREATH MAKING WORKSHOP: Saturday 7th December at 2 pm in the Bede House.  Tickets £25 available from Karen Holmes and Nicky Way.


CHRISTMAS CAROL SERVICE with Reverend Richard Coles and Paul Needle’s Diamond Jazz Quartet at Rushden Lakes (Boardwalk if fine, Cineworld entrance if not) at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 18th December.  All welcome.

CHOCOHOLICS WINTER CATALOGUE is now out, if you would like to order your Christmas chocolates please see Karen.  Remember the more orders we get the more money we make.

SINGERS FROM THE BENEFICE & BEYOND:  We are looking to expand our choir for all the major services during the Christmas season - Advent & Town Carol services, Midnight Mass, & Christmas Day.  St. Mary`s & St Johns people who can`t commit full time to the choir we would love you to join us.  More details from Keith, 07788491703 /

GOOD NEWS!  The Bede House has been chosen to be a beneficiary of the Co-op Local Fund during the year October 2019-2020.  Please support us and encourage family and friends to do the same by becoming a Co-op Member (if you are not already) and nominating us as your preferred local cause every time you buy Co-op own brand products.  We receive 1% of your spend each time you do this.  Becoming a member costs just £1 and more details are here  Thanks!

PLANNED GIVING & STEWARDSHIP REVIEW:  as we approach the end of year, we can see that our financial picture at St Mary’s is not as rosy as it needs to be if we are to meet our outgoings for upkeep/ running costs and pay as much as we can of our Parish Share which pays towards the ministry we receive.  We will be looking towards a Benefice Stewardship Review in Lent 2020, but for now, we would ask that you might be willing to consider if you are able to increase your giving, even if only by a small amount, and if possible, become part of the new Parish Giving Scheme (some of you will have received letters about this in the summer and forms are now available on the Bookstall) which helps with financial planning plus improves the way in which we receive any Gift Aid recoverable.  Stewart Wiles and Brian Behagg are very happy to give any assistance with the forms or answer any questions you may have. 

ADVANCE NOTICE:  Quiz Night hosted by St Mary’s Tots Group on Friday 28th February 2020 in the Bede House, £15 per team (max 6), bar available plus food to order on the night.  Contact Sarah Garley < to book, tables are selling fast! 

FOOD BANK:  We currently need tinned potatoes (preferably small tins), pasta sauce, long-life semi-skimmed milk & jam.  Thank you for your support.




William Abbott, John Arkell, Wallis Beard, Richard Bedells, Madge Boxall, Daniel Boxall, Tony Brown, Maureen Coles, Hazel Cragg, Angela Fulcher, Cynthia Hobson, Noreen Holmes, Leigh Kingdon, Tim McGuire, Annette Norman, Freda Pack, Gerald Sanders, Anna Sauntson, Elizabeth Swindley, Garth Ward, Sara Whatley, Margaret Whiteman.

Chelveston:    Joan Amos, Muriel Palmer, Diana Wright.

IN MEMORIAM:    Tony Bonito, Bernard Coker. 

YEAR’S MIND ANNIVERSARIES:  Robert Alton, Percy Knight, James Frankham, William Edwards, Arthur New, John Braybrook, Graeme Whitecross, Brenda Wood, Dennis White, Daniel Neville, Frances Wagstaff, Gertrude Gorley, Mary Stuttle, Edward Evans, George Hunt, Hazel Adams, Annie Masters, May Marriott, Bernard Simmons, Richard Hackett, Maria Mommersteeg.