Christian Aid Week

Christian Aid Week: 15th to 21st May 2022

The horrific war in Ukraine and the impact on refugees is rightly getting priority for charitable giving, but Christian Aid Week gives us an opportunity to think of other challenges around the world. The war in Ukraine will drive up food prices in Zimbabwe, over 7,000 miles away, and in many other struggling societies around the globe. Without the fertiliser and food – like wheat and cooking oil, which Ukraine and Russia produce – vulnerable families will be pushed even deeper into long term hunger. 

Your gifts this Christian Aid Week could help set up water taps on a farm, enable families to grow food, and provide seeds that thrive in drought – giving the people all they need to turn the dry, dusty land into a garden of hope.

Donation envelopes will be available in our Churches and during the week look out for collection tins at key locations. (There will be no house-to-house collection)

You can also give online to our Bank Account:

Sort Code: 60-23-32

Account No: 53356640

With every gift, every action, every prayer, we celebrate and share hope with our sisters and brothers facing crisis around the world, from Ukraine to Zimbabwe.

Thank you for your support.

Ukraine Appeal

Our appeal closed on 31st March. We raised just over £8000 which once gift aid and matched government funding has been added should total some £20,000. An amazing response.

From Sandford to Poland and on to Ukraine

In Sandford, Angela Morris, set up her house as a hub for donations to Ukraine. It started in a very small way in early March with a place where people could drop off clothing and other items to go to Ukraine. It soon became part of a major network, set up by Joanna Krupa on Facebook. Joanna is a 42 years old Polish-born American model, actress and animal rights activist, whose husband Douglas Nunes is in Poland trying to help evacuate refugees from Ukraine. She has her own TV show in Poland.

Angela took the items to Worle Community Centre where they were sorted. They were then sent on to a huge barn in Kingston Seymour, where volunteers packed and crated them and loaded them onto vans and articulated lorries going to Poland.

The first lorry left on 7th March

Angela received items from Sandford, Winscombe, Banwell, Churchill, Langford, Cheddar, Axbridge and Blagdon. She had a cash donation of £100 specifically to be used to buy fuel for the lorries and vans going to Poland. The response was absolutely fantastic.

Joanna was interviewed on local TV. She said “My husband is there trying to organize some transportation.” “It just warms my heart to see how much good is being done at this really emotional and critical and sad time,” she said. When the whole war started, Douglas said, ‘I can’t just sit back and do nothing.’

The priorities have changed now. Huge amounts of clothing have been donated, but the real need now is for medical supplies for those injured in the conflict. The best way for these to get where they are needed is through the Disasters Emergency Committee – DEC Ukraine Appeal. Angela is still much involved and she can be contacted by telephone on 01934 852327.

Messy Church is Back!

House on the Rock!

A memorable restart to Messy Church thanks to Reverend Robin Mann’s sandcastle versus rock-built house demonstration in a sandpit outside the Church Centre! We sensed our loving Father God’s hand upon us with fine weather for this and with enough willing helpers available to welcome the 20 children from 10 local families.

The House on the Sand.

Three craft activities included decoration of wonderful house-shaped cookies provided by Enid Clark, individualised sandcastle flags for future use, and pictures of the children’s houses to be fixed to the ROCK on our wall frieze in the Church Centre.

Then 3 songs: Remember “The wise man built his house upon the rock”? -we sang with actions and with enthusiasm, old favourite “Our God is a Great Big God” and “My Lighthouse”. This was followed by a short drama with the two house-builders building their houses in alternative ways, a prayer, and drinks and snacks to finish. We thank God for the positive restart to Messy Church.

Please do PRAY for enough ongoing willing helpers to welcome the children and their parents, and most of all, please pray that a small seed of God’s Word will be sown and grow in the hearts of the children and families who come, and that the younger families will be able to come to the future sessions. Liz and Tim Harland

If you would like to see all three videos visit the Messy Church page

Easter Sunday

We arrived at St James’s on Easter Sunday to see a thought provoking Easter Garden in the porch reminding us of the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Inside the church were most beautiful displays and flower arrangements created by our talented flower arrangers.

The Easter Garden Experience

A number of creative and inspiring gardens appeared at the Church Centre on Easter Saturday for the Easter Garden Experience, a display of Easter Gardens organised by St James’s, All Saints and St. John’s.

Each garden had so much thought put into it. As well as more traditional gardens created from natural materials, there were some beautiful paintings and drawings, poetry, an amazing lego tomb and garden, one generated using ‘Minecraft’, paper sculpture and other demonstrations of individual and collective talent. It was lovely that several of our local organisations contributed including the Youth Group, Rainbows and Brownies, RNLI and WI.

Visitors could follow the story of Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday through looking at the different gardens and were invited to engage in short reflections on the meaning of the Easter story. There were also a number of activities based on aspects of the Easter message which were particularly enjoyed by the children who visited.

Refreshments and an Easter Egg Lucky Dip were also very popular. As it was a lovely day we were able to throw open the doors and enjoy tea and coffee on the ‘terrace’ in the sunshine.

Here are a few of the gardens but they can all be viewed here.

Easter message from Reverend Andrew Hiscox

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be apparent to all. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’. Philippians 4:4-7

This year we are able to gather again to celebrate Easter in a way which we have not been able for the last three years. It is a cause for celebration and thanksgiving. And as we remember together once again our Lord’s dying and rising in glory, we find the Easter message as relevant today as it was to the first followers of Christ two millennia ago. After that first Good Friday, the disciples were consumed by grief. And we too have ‘mourned with those who mourn’ during the worst of the pandemic, now in its third year. We too have lost loved ones and had our community life curtailed. There are times when it has felt like it is still Good Friday for us. And we continue to uphold those in prayer for whom their own Good Friday is a very real and brutal experience, like those suffering in Ukraine.

The disciples were also consumed by grief and sorrow, so much so that they hid themselves away in fear; but it was at that moment that Christ appeared and drew alongside, to strengthen their faith (Luke 24:36). So it is in these difficult times, we also have been able to give witness to our Lord walking with us and strengthening us. There have been so many ways we can trace the Lord’s hand at work in our parishes: through the continued growth and outreach of our churches, through prayer and reflection, through our Lenten study groups, through music and our ecumenical worship, and through the many gracious acts of others. Thank you for all the ways you have contributed to this and most recently, for your abundant financial generosity in helping to bless others when we raised over £10,000 for our Ukraine appeal.

I want to encourage you to take hold of hope for what the Lord is going to do in us and through us in the future, as we move on to Easter Sunday. Whilst there is no Easter Sunday without Good Friday, the Christians gospel is the good news that God our heavenly Father can bring light out of the darkness, even the most dire of situations, as we continue to place our faith and hope in Him. The images of the resurrection we glimpse in everyday life, like spring new flowers bursting into bloom from seemingly dead bulbs, remind us that it is the same risen Christ who draws alongside us to offer us new life and hope, because he holds our future. ‘Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.’ (1 Thess 5:24)

Wishing you every blessing this Easter season,

Rev’d Andrew Hiscox

Appeal to support the people of Ukraine

Cafe Church and Appeal for Ukraine; Sunday 6th March 2022

Please see below for details of a special Cafe Church on Sunday 6th March. the service will launch an appeal for the people of Ukraine. Funds raised will be donated to the International Red Cross to support their work with refugees. The service will be suitable for all and will include the story of Jesus in the Wilderness told in Lego and a craft activity for the younger members.

We will direct our giving to the International Committee of the Red Cross who have people on the ground in Ukraine and Poland.  The Red Cross is a charity that is very well known and people will be familiar with and they are helping refugees from Ukraine with food, shelter and medicine.  Red Cross claim 93.5% of their received donations funds operations on the ground.

How to make your donation

You can donate by:

1.Putting cash or cheques in the blue envelopes (yellow at St John’s) and marking the envelope ‘Ukrainian Appeal’

2. An online payment direct to the Church Bank Accounts

St James’s & All Saints

Account Name: PCC of Winscombe

Sort Code   60-23-32

Account Number   53349822

Reference    Ukraine

St Johns

Account Name

Sort Code

Account Number

Reference: Ukraine

Thank you for your support for the people of Ukraine

Easter Gardens Project and Display

To help celebrate Easter this year the Churches of St James, St Johns and All Saints are inviting you to make a mini Easter Garden to represent any aspect of the Easter Story from Palm Sunday through to Easter Sunday.

These gardens can also be personalised to reflect the person that created them, for example:A traditional miniature garden using plants

A painting / drawing / collage of an Easter garden

A garden made using recycled materials

A garden made out of Lego

A garden made out of plasticine

A garden made out of cake

A Minecraft Easter garden (like above)

Individuals of all ages and  community groups are  invited to participate.

We then invite you to display your Easter Garden for the community to see, in the way that’s easiest for you:

Either bring it along to the Church Centre on Saturday 16th April between 9.00 and 10.00am, where it will be placed on display with all the others for visitors to see during the day, from 10.30am.

Or send a  photo of your garden to so it can be displayed  at the Church Centre and on our website

The Church Centre will be open on Saturday 16th April from 10.00 am for people for visitors to see the display. We are hoping to offer refreshments. Bring the family!

There will also be an Easter Egg Raffle where you are guaranteed to win an egg. 

 £1 per entry!

We are asking for donations of Easter Eggs of any size for the raffle.

Please give to one of the Church Wardens or leave in basket in the Church Centre.

Tree Planting For the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Ah, but this wasn’t just any old spade. No, the special one with an inscribed silver blade, used in both Platinum Jubilee tree-planting ceremonies on Sunday, 6th February this year, was first wielded in February 1867.

That was for turning the first sod of the new railway line (the Strawberry Line), performed by Mrs Anna Victoria Yatman, Great Great Grandmother of Mr Hugh Gunn. More recently, his Mother used the spade in February 1999 when digging was begun to create Winscombe’s Millennium Green.

So it was very appropriate that Hugh Gunn formed one of the “Queen’s Green Canopy” planting party, along with John Penrose MP, Archie Forbes (Chairman of the Parish Council), Rev. Andrew Hiscox (Vicar of Winscombe and Sandford) and, at Sandford, trumpeter Cole Craggs from Wells Cathedral School. Tony Callow represented the Sandford community there, and Lois Brenchley did likewise for Winscombe. At Sandford, onlookers applauded Cider-maker Martin Thatcher on his recent appointment to the position of Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset, as he too used the spade. Thatchers was represented at Winscombe by Phil Smith. Two Union Flags held by dignified standard- bearers added patriotic colour to the scene.

The sparkling performance of a trumpet fanfare by Cole Craggs at both plantings heralded these memorable events in splendid style. Richard Noy was clearly in his element as a very effective Town Crier cum Master of Ceremonies. Residents who came to support the Sandford planting had the bonus of sunshine, but the midday clouds and wind didn’t deter the Winscombe crowd from equally spirited singing of “I Vow to Thee My Country” and the National Anthem. Both occasions concluded with a rousing Three Cheers for Her Majesty, after the Vicar had prayed God’s blessing on the trees and what they both symbolise.

The Primary Schools were represented by 11 year-old Saffron at Sandford and 5 year-old Josh in Winscombe, with his little sister, 3 year-old Emilia, when the children came forward to place a plaque beside each tree.

The enthusiastic mood of both ceremonies showed how young and old admire and honour our Queen and her shining example of dependability, dedication and service. Those qualities were themselves expressed by the people behind the scenes who enabled this whole occasion to be so successful: the Tree Wardens who procured the oak saplings, prepared the soil and ensured the trees had proper protection once planted; Strongvox for allowing the siting of Sandford’s tree by the entrance to its new housing development; not forgetting the indefatigable William Du Croz who cheerfully master-minded the whole event!

Service of Thanksgiving for her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

A well attended, special service of thanksgiving took place on February 6th at St James’s Church, to mark 70 years since Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne. Together we offered praise and thanksgiving for the Queen’s life and her dedicated service to our nation remembering her personal testimony: ‘For me the teaching of Christ and my personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to live.’

The music was specially chosen with hymns from the Queens’ Coronation and Diamond Jubilee celebrations including a special arrangement of ‘All People That On Earth Do Dwell.’

The service ended with our organist playing ‘Crown Imperial’ by William Walton.

The church was also beautifully decorated with flower arrangements in patriotic red, white and blue.

The service was followed by a two tree planting ceremonies, one in Sandford and the other in Winscombe. You can read about these on page ??