Worship at St Andrew's

Worship on Sundays

The worship of the church is liberal catholic, and clearly focused on the Eucharist. The services are structured, but retaining an air of informality and active welcome. We include participation from members of the congregation - reading the lessons, leading intercessions, teaching in Children’s Church, being chalice bearers and singing in the choir. Our most recent incumbent was a woman, as is our Associate Priest, and we recognise the gifts that all are able to offer. We are inclusive and welcoming.

The main service on a Sunday is our Family Eucharist at 10am. On the first Sunday of the month this takes the form of an ‘All Age Service’ with active participation from young and old, and a more accessible talk. On the evening of the first Sunday we hold our Choral Evensong, when a robed choir is conducted by our Musical Director (and Church Warden) Trevor Dawson. They lead our worship with liturgical music of a very high standard. Our choral tradition is highly valued and the choir are annually welcomed at major cathedrals to lead worship. This service follows the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer. On all other Sundays of the month Evensong is said at 6.30pm, again using BCP.


The worshipping community is 129 as defined by the number on the Electoral Roll as reported to the APCM for 2022 but the average in-church attendance on a Sunday morning so far this year is around 55 with perhaps another 17 joining us live online. This number will typically be increased further by people accessing the recording of the live-stream after the live transmission has ended. Typical attendance at a choral evensong is around 30-36. The Parish Communion on Easter Sunday this year attracted 103 worshippers with 85 receiving communion. The demands on time mean for many regular attendance is not weekly and a challenge for St Andrew’s is to build greater commitment and involvement. We are pleased to have developed a significant online presence. During lockdown our services were streamed via our Facebook page and Morning Prayer was similarly conducted online. We now have over thirty international participants who actively engage, sending greetings and prayer requests, as well as a further dozen plus who join us from elsewhere in the UK - many former members who are very glad to re-connect. It is a challenge to integrate these different groups, but the feedback we receive is that St Andrew’s is an important part of their spiritual journey.

Refreshments after the service have recently been re-introduced allowing for the congregation to engage in conversation and get to know each other better. We sometimes include an ‘Introducing…’ slot at the end of the service when a member of the congregation is interviewed. Birthdays are celebrated and families and individuals are known and loved. Baptisms happen either during the main service or sometimes during the Sunday afternoon. During the last twelve months, there have been 9 baptisms.

The regular Sunday choir meets every Sunday morning to lead worship and is also led by Trevor (our Organist). He recently celebrated 50 years in this role.

Children & Youth

Primary school aged children are catered for within Children’s Church, led by volunteers, which meets during the service on the third Sunday of the month, going to a classroom for tailored activities and games and a simple, child centred, liturgy. They enjoy coming back to ‘show and tell’ what they have been doing. Secondary school aged pupils are drawn into the Youth Group, which meets once a month during the service, and once a month immediately after the service. This is led by Jacob Holme (our Youth Minister and Project Leader for Youth Ministry in Communion (YMIC)) and Julia Agnello (a recent graduate of the Diocesan Apprenticeship Scheme, now employed by YMIC). From this has grown ‘Equalitree’ - a youth led project that has secured funding from the Diocese to tackle climate issues (through planting trees) and counter discrimination. Every Sunday the side aisle is set out with tables and chairs, colouring materials and (mostly quieter!) toys so children and parents feel comfortable and welcome.

Midweek

During the week Morning Prayer is led at 8.30am using our Facebook page. This has attracted worshippers from around the world and usually has up to 20 participants at the time, and more joining in later using the playback facility. Greetings are exchanged and prayer requests shared. This is led by the clergy and Jacob Holme.

Photo: Revd Anne leading Morning Prayer on Facebook

Several of our congregation are no longer able to gather in the church, and the clergy maintain visits to take home communion, and others within the congregation visit also. Pre lockdown there was an active pastoral care team, but with some moving away this has waned and it would be good to begin again.

The Bishop of Kensington is usually able to visit us annually to offer confirmation (11 in 2021), and candidates are prepared either in adult or young people’s groups. Our youth worker, Jacob, has created a youth Confirmation Course with professional accompanying booklets which has since been requested by other churches. During Lent, midweek groups are held to dig deeper into the themes (often going off lectionary for this period and inviting outside speakers). More generally midweek groups have struggled with the competing demands of long hours working, travel times and family commitments, but we would like to find a way of reconnecting with this more effectively.

Photo: A recent Confirmation service with the Bishop of Kensington