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Parish Church News



Carol Singing Round Village On 22 December  - posted 10 December 2011

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Words & Music For Christmas  - posted 29 November 2011

This will be on the 16 December.

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Remembrance Sunday  - posted 12 November 2011

Tomorrow Sunday 13 November there will be 1662 Communion in Helmdon Church at 8 a.m.


REMEMBRANCE will be in the church at 10 a.m. followed by the ACT OF REMEMBRANCE at 10.50 a.m. at Helmdon Cross.  All are welcome.


26th Astwell Benefice Supper Meeting  - posted 17 October 2011

This will be held on 2 November.

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Strictly Come Dancing Astwell Benefice Style  - posted 5 September 2011

I am delighted to report that our Astwell Benefice Strictly Come Dancing Event for charity will take place again this year and this time on two evenings but please put the dates in your diary as last year tickets were very difficult to get.  The performances will be on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd December 2011, both in Syresham village hall.  However, for seven weeks before that our local contestants will be sweating it out at rehearsals in Syresham on Sunday afternoons.


Presently we have three blokes who are considering putting themselves forward to represent Helmdon.  Could it be that we have a winner from the village again this year?  They look as if they may have the potential to me!  You will soon get to  know their names when they sign you up for sponsorship.


Will Adams, Rector,


(taken from the Helmdon Church Newsletter  - September to November 2011)


Farewell To The Reverend Colin Simpson And His Family  - posted 29 August 2011

It was with much sadness that we bade fond farewell to Colin, Sandie, Serena, William and Olive on 31 July 2011.  Colin led his final service with us in Syresham surrounded by a large congregation drawn from across the Astwell benefice.  We are grateful to those who provided the food and drink and to Malcolm and Clare Orr-Ewing for inviting us into their garden after the service thereby providing us with the opportunity to express our thanks to them and to wish them well.  They were presented with a collection of gifts in token of our gratitude and best wishes.  Colin will be installed as Priest-in-Charge of Brigstock, Lowick, Stanion, Sudborough and Weldon with Deene at Brigstock at 7.30 pm on Thursday 8th September, 2011.  We are gauging the demand for transport by inviting folk to sign up on the lists in each church.

God bless,


The Rector

(taken from the Helmdon Church newsletter, September - November 2011)

Ride & Stride On Saturday 10 September  - posted   16 August 2011

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Jonah & The Whale The Theme Of Successful Activity Day  - posted 0 July 2011

The children had a wonderful time in church when the theme was Jonah and the whale.  We moved the pews so that they had a big open space to run around and play organised games.  The morning started with a prayer and then the story. 

activity day picture

         Children's Pictures of

            Jonah & The Whale   

photo: Ann Smith


After this they went into groups and did the activities with a break for doughnuts and drinks halfway through the morning.


The activities were painting large pictures which we managed to do outside, drama and dressing a model figure of Jonah.


There was also a treasure hunt outside.  The children were all disappointed when it was time to go home.


Church Fete Raises Nearly £3,000  -posted  30 July 2011


church fete
Philippa's garden was a great setting for the fete

                          photo: Vanessa Vicars

A somewhat late report on the Church Fete held on 2nd July but just to say what a brilliant day we all had in Philippa Lloyd’s garden – thank you Philippa!

The weather was fine and the stalls, games, Pimms & cream teas were equally appreciated.


Live music sounded throughout the afternoon and The Brackley Morris Men performed with much enthusiasm; it felt so right having them there!

A huge thank you to all who helped with the preparations before and on the day and to those who came and supported the event. The total amount raised was just over £2,900; as always, this goes towards the running costs of the church.

Vanessa Vicars


Church Fete Raffle Results  -  posted 7 July 2011

St Mary Magdalene Church Helmdon

Prize Draw 2011  - List of Prize Winners

  •   Pair of Tickets for Silverstone Grand Prix    - Julia O’Brien
  •   £100 Cash – Carol Brookhouse
  •   £50 Voucher for the Royal and Derngate - James Smith

4.  Voucher for a Round of Golf for Four: Viv Watson

5.  Half Load of Firewood from Sam Blackwell – Mrs Dillon

6.  Voucher for £25 for Toby’s Carvery, Banbury – James Nash

7.  A Family Voucher for a Day at Sulgrave Manor – Fred Rolt

8.   £20 Voucher towards a Jeffs Coaches Trip  -  Philip Andrews

9.   Pair of Directors’ Chairs – Alaya Ramos

10.  Giant Toy Panda – Celia Terrey

11.  £15 Voucher for Mumfords Family Butcher – 'Dean'

12.  Giant Toy Polar Bear – Jean Brookhouse

13.  Basket of Fruit from Paul Duncombe – Audrey Beattie

14.  Books from Halls Bookshop – Simon Braithwaite

15.  Bottle of  Port – Peter Burns

 16. Bottle of sparkling wine  - Louise Stothard

 17. Bottle of Rose wine  -  'Russell'


Church Fete  -  posted 1 June 2011

Saturday 2 July

2 - 5 pm at Fountain House

Pimms & Cakes, Plants & Tombola

Raffle for Grand Prix Tickets BBQ and lots more ...

Planning is going well please contact Vanessa Vicars if you can help in any way to make this event a success.

                              click for poster

The Easter Story  -  posted 6 April 2011

On 22 April, in the Church                                   


Mother's Day Service  -  posted 31 March 2011

This will take place on Sunday 3 April in Helmdon Church.

Please come and join in.

Refreshments after the service.

Astwell Strictly Come Dancing Event Raised £7,500 For Local Charities  - posted 15 March 2011

It is a delight to report that those nimbly footed dancers who took part in the Astwell Strictly Come dancing event raised approximately £7,500 for local charities. The parish of Helm don, well represented by Vanessa Vicars, won the competition. Quite apart from the money raised, huge fun was had by all and many new friendships were made.

Following the two dance evenings, folk volunteered to take part next year. I am hoping therefore to hold Astwell Strictly 2 at the same time, ie November 2011. If folk are interested please let me know.

Will Adams

Christian Aid Astwell Benefice Motorcycle Ride-Out  - posted 8 March 2011

This year the event is on Saturday 21 May. 

If you need more information, or are interested in joining us, do get in touch and come along.


Will Adams

Confirmation Classes  - posted 28 February 2011

We are holding six weekly classes for those who may wish to be confirmed starting on Sunday February 27.  These classes last from 3 - 4 pm and explore aspects of the Christian faith. 

Confirmation is recognised by parents, godparents and sponsors as the natural sequel to baptism.  For some therefore an appropriate interval has now passed and they will feel ready for confirmation.

If you are interested and would like to discuss it further do please get in touch with me.

Will Adams

25th Astwell Benefice Supper Meeting  - posted 26 January 2011

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Excellent Result For Church Bazaar  - psted 24 December 2010

The Christmas Bazaar raised around £900. Thank you Santa for coming to see the children, thank you to his helpers on the stalls in the Reading Room, and thank you to all who came along to make the afternoon a big success.

Carol Singing Schedule For 21 December  - posted 6 December 2010

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Words & Music For Christmas   - 30 November 2010

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Mothers' Union Advent Service  - 13 November 2010

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Christmas Bazaar  - 12 November 2010

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Astwell Benefice Supper Meeting  - 17 September 2010

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New Children's Church Film Club  - 16 September 2010

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Harvest Supper And Harvest Service  - 9 September 2010

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New Schedule of Services Across The Astwell Benefice

As From September 2010 - 1 September 2010

Over the past nine or more months PCCs across the Astwell Benefice have been grappling with the implications of the departure of our Curate, Colin Simpson in the early summer of 2011 and the demands upon time offered generously by self-supporting clergy.  The rationalisation of services, which this inevitably causes has resulted in thee parishes bearing the loss of a Sunday service once a month.  Sadly this includes Helmdon.  In each case the group looking at the revised pattern has ensured that an alternative service is available in a nearby church.  As there are two churches in the parish of Helmdon, the obvious pairing was with St Laurence’s, Radstone.  Therefore on the second Sunday of the month the parish communion will be held in Radstone church rather than at St Mary Magdalene’s at 9.30 a.m., the usual time for worship in Helmdon.  This means that Sunday School will now take place in Helmdon church on the first Sunday in the month.

The general pattern as from September will be:

1st Sunday  9.30 a.m. Short Communion + Sunday School      Helmdon

2nd Sunday  8 a.m.     Prayer Book Communion (1662)           Helmdon

                 9.30 a.m. Short Communion                                Radstone

3rd Sunday  9.30 a.m. Holy Communion                                 Helmdon

4th Sunday  8 a.m.     Prayer Book Communion (1662)            Helmdon

                 9.30 a.m. Short Communion (odd numbered

 months & Family Service (even numbered months)                Helmdon

Harvest Festival

Friday       1 October  School Harvest Service in Church at 2 p.m.

Saturday   2 October   Harvest Supper in Reading Room at 7.30 p.m.

Sunday     3 October  Harvest Festival Service in Church at 9.30 a.m.

Teddy Bear Parachute Jump - 30 August 2010

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Excellent Result For Burundi Loo Project - 20 July 2010

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Holiday Fun Activity For Primary School Children - 20 July 2010

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The Church Fete : A Quintessential English Afternoon - 18 July 2010


Helmdon fete
The fete in full swing.



The Church Fete was...... a Quintessential English Afternoon! - with cream teas, stalls full of lovely things, children’s games, owl display, beer, Pimms, barbeque and raffle all in the beautiful surroundings of Philippa Lloyd’s garden. Thanks to all those who supported, to all who put such hard work into making this a great success ...and the weather was glorious!! 

fete owl display
Fetegoers admiring the owls


Money raised was a wonderful amount of £2570 that will go towards the running costs of the church.


Vanessa Vicars

On behalf of the PCC

Christian Aid Week Collection Result - posted 23 June 2010

The Benefice collected  £2,346.04 for Christian Aid, of which Helmdon contributed £788.80

Thank you to all those who helped to raise this grand total.

Coffee Morning To Provide A Loo For Burundi  -  posted 19 June 2010

There will be a coffee morning at 12A Church Street on Saturday 17 July to support this project.

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Owl Display At The church Fete 3 July - posted 11 June 2010

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Christian Aid Week  & The Astwell Charity Motorcyclists - posted 3 May 2010

As many of you will know the Astwell Charity Motorcyclists have been raising money for two charities on an annual basis for a few years now and in May they ride out again for Christian Aid.     Last year  they raised £1300 during  the year.  Their first outing this year is on Saturday 15 May for Christian Aid.  They will be out again on Saturday 11 September when they will be raising money for Livability.  If you would like to join us please do get in touch.

Will Adams

Table Top Sale - posted 10 March 2010

On 23 March. In aid of new bell ropes in the church

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Mothering Sunday Service - posted 8 March 2010

The Mothering Sunday service is on Sunday 14 March, at 9.30 am in the church.  There will be activities for the children and flowers for the Mums.

Do join us - you will be very welcome.

Thank You Jean
- posted1 March 2010

Jean Spendlove in 2009

A special service was held on Sunday 6 December 2009 to mark the contribution of Jean Spendlove, who has retired as Reader in the Benefice.

An  Appreciation

Jean I have always found completely dependable.  During my time as Vicar in the parish she was always a most valuable member of the ministry team, turning her hand readily from taking Under Fives - the service for young children and their parents - to contributing valuably and knowledgeably on the Pastoral Team which was mainly concerned with the elderly and housebound in the community.

I first came across Jean when she was intimately concerned with the maintenance of the church at Radstone. The church was under threat of closure, and as a daughter church of Helmdon it was in the care of the parochial Church Council.  Jean's interest, enthusiasm, tenacity and preparedness to put in a lot of hard work is part of the reason why Radstone remains the quiet gem that it does.

Jean's attention to detail - while at times utterly frustrating - was at the same time an invaluable part of my ministry in the Benefice: proof reading, to mention one area was so important, many's the time Jean prevented me making lots of silly mistakes.

You always know where you stand with Jean; always forgiving, committed to the things she believes in, generous to a fault with her time, I would simply want to say a really big thank you for all she has given to me and to the commmunity as a whole.

The Revd Canon John Roberts

(Priest in charge 1993 - 2005)

Cutting the celebratory cake:

Jean Spendlove (centre) with

with Ann Smith (left) and Gerald Holt (right) churchwardens


                       From left to right: Wiggy Smith (layreader), Ann Smith

(churchwarden), Revd Douglas Hadfield, Audrey Beattie (Mothers' Union), Gerald Holt         (churchwarden), Jean Spendlove, Revd Dorothy Micklethwaite and Revd Will Adams

Excellent Result For Church Bazaar  - posted 8th December 2009

The Christmas Bazaar raised over £950. Thank you Santa for coming to see the children, thank you to his helpers on the stalls in the Reading Room, and thank you to all who came along to make the afternoon a big success.

Church Bazaar  - 7th November 2009

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22nd Benefice Supper Meeting  - 22nd October 2009

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Harvest Supper Result  - 7th October 2009

The Harvest Supper raised £388, half of which has been sent to 'Send a Cow' and half to the Red Cross Relief appeal for funds for Indonesian disaster.

Thank you to everyone who donated and supported the evening, and to those who prepared the excellent supper.


Harvest Supper  - 16th September 2009


Harvest produce


Harvest Supper

Saturday 3rd October

7.15 for 7.30pm

in the Reading Room

Hot Supper & Entertainment

Auction of Harvest Produce

Tickets £5 to include a welcome drink

Tel: Ann  760684 or Vanessa 760477

Bring your own wine & glasses for meal 


Flower Festival  Summer 2009  - 4th September 2009


Flower Arrangement

Arrangement by Liz Humphrey

in front of lectern (poem 'If')


A Flower Festival was long overdue it was thought, so we decided to do just that on Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th August and raised £900 for the church funds.

Led by Jenny Saunders along with Dorothy Micklethwaite we started the ball rolling with some initial planning and a quiz to raise some funds. We soon had a team of willing helpers to organise this festival and without who would not have been the success it was.

The church is usually decorated with flowers for religious festivals – Christmas, Easter & Harvest by a team of arrangers and always looks beautiful but as they say ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’.

Poetry was to be the theme of the arrangements so all we needed were volunteers to interpret this!

The diversity of the displays was evident as people created a picture of their chosen poem – we had examples of serious and traditional, reminiscences, humorous and all portrayed with props and flowers.


Floral display
    Arrngement on Lady Altar

by Jeanne Hughes

(Poem 'Night Mail')


A total of 32 displays by seventeen people filled the church along with a wedding section in the belfry room of 2 dresses and pictures, mainly of people married in Helmdon church.

Refreshments were available on both days provided by Ann Harman and her band of helpers tempting us all with cakes and filled rolls etc.

A raffle was also provided and few managed to escape Sue and the rest of the team selling tickets.

We finished with a short service taken by Will Adams & Dorothy Micklethwaite.

All our thanks to those  who helped in the preparation and on the day, and to everyone who came along and supported this event.

Next year we are thinking of having a wedding dress display open to all, wherever you were married, so get in the loft/wardrobe and shake out those dresses!

Vanessa Vicars

Contributions (arrangements and flowers)  from:  Jayne Brown, Jane Barnes, Julie Evans, Jenny Saunders, Liz Humphrey, Vanessa Vicars, Celia Terry, Lyn Garside, Jean Spendlove, Doreen England, Sue Lidgley, Jeanne Hughes, Viv Watson, Pauline Watson, Sue Wallace, Philippa Lloyd, Jean Hollyoake, Dorothy Micklethwaite, and Sally Phillips.

Ed note:  It was difficult to choose which flower display pictures to put up but the chosen photographs were the ones that made the best pictures for the web site.


Sunday School Service & Teddy Bear Parachute Jump  - 2nd September 2009

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Reading Room Songs of Praise  - 11th August 2009

                                    SONGS OF PRAISE

                              READING ROOM, HELMDON

                         SUNDAY 30TH AUGUST AT 10.45 AM

As there is no Helmdon Carnival this year the village the village will be missing out on the Songs of Praise service which is usually held in the marquee on August Bank Holiday Sunday.  Will Adams and the Reading Room Management Committee thought that this was such a shame that they have arranged to have the same sort of service in the Reading Room this year.

Members representing most of Helmdon’s organisations will be present and will introduce not only themselves but their choice of hymn for this service.

If you have ever been to a Songs of Praise service on Carnival weekends, you will know that this is a very happy form of worship and celebration of village life so please do join us.  Tea and coffee will be served afterwards.

For mor information contact Caroline King

Secretary to The Reading Room Management Committee

Details Of   Flower Festival  - 29th July 2009

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Flowers Arrangers Wanted For Flower Festival  - 15th July 2009

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Village Fair Summer 2009  - 27th June 2009


Stalls at Fountain House


In spite of the fact that numbers were down this year, the village fair  raised approximately £2,000 for church funds, which is an excellent result.

rganiser Ann Smith would like to thank everyone involved from helpers, to contributors, to participants.



Ordination to the Priesthood of Colin Simpson  - 27th May 2009

Colin is to be ordained as priest on Saturday 4th July in Peterborough Cathedral. He will lead his first eucharist service the following day, Sunday, 5th July, at Lois Weedon parish church at 11 am.  This is a very special moment in Colin's life and that of his family.  There will be many who would wish to share the joy of his ordination with him, both at the cathedral and in Lois Weedon.

Children Welcome At Sunday School  - 5th May 2009

Children of primary school age very welcome at Sunday School in the Church every second Sunday in the month, at 9.30 am.

Ringing At St Mary Magdalene  - 1st May 2009


The Bell Ringers

Since the completion of the new Ringing Balcony last August, progress has been very rewarding.  We currently have seven learners, four of whom are now able to ring rounds and call-changes, with the other three catching up fast.   Saturday morning practices are well attended and are fun, too.  Recently we rang for a wedding with six Helmdon ringers ie the first time in years that this has been possible, so there was much celebrating!  Joe Glenham, who is Tower Captain once again, has taught six of the learners from scratch, and he and I have had the invaluable help of Pam and Malcolm Taylor from Brackley … they volunteered to help from the beginning and we thank them very sincerely as we could not have made much progress without them.

Our next main aim is to teach Plain Hunt to those who are keen to do this and we shall shortly try to organise help with this.  In the meantime, we are able to ring for Sunday Services – not every week, yet … but much more than ever before.

The Ringing Balcony itself is a joy and we are very fortunate that the basic construction was funded for us.  There are some adjustments still to be made (eg changing the ringing position of the fifth bell) and hopefully these finishing touches will soon be completed.  Anyway, smiling faces all round!

Chris Klein Wassink

NB  The bell ringers from Helmdon are Tower Captain Joe Glenham, Chris Klein Wassink, Julian Partis, Denise, Lyn Garside, Ross Vicars. There are also three additional learners, Derek Morris, David Powell, and young Amy who is 12. So the age range is from 12 up to 75, and we would welcome any new recruits.

Annual PCC Meeting  - 15th April 2009

The Annual Parochial Church Council  Meeting  and Annual Visitation Meeting will be held on Monday 20th April at 7.30 pm in the church. 

All are most welcome to attend the meeting.   Only those whose names are on the Church electoral role are entitled to vote at the Annual Parish Church Council Meeting.

First News Of The Village Fair  - 10th March 2009

This will be held this year on Saturday 20th June from 12 noon until 4 pm.  The venues will be the Reading Room, The Bell, lower Church Street, the Green and Fountain House in Wappenham Road.

Barbecue, children's games, tombola, teas and ices, raffle, book stall, plants, bric a brac, cake stall, sweets, lucky dip, clothes stall, Acorns stall, etc

Just come along and a programme on the day will give full details of venues and events.  No admission charge.

All proceeds to the Church.

The raffle will be drawn at 4.30 pm in the Reading Room, and the day will conclude with a short service.

Contact Ann Smith  (01295) 760684 to offer help or for further details.

Licensing of Wiggy Smith As A Lay Reader On 16th May  - 8th March 2009

Wiggy Smith is to be licensed as a Lay Reader in the Church of England at Peterborough Cathedral at 11.30 am on Saturday 16th May and will return that afternoon to lead a service of evening Prayer at 6 pm in  Helmdon Church. The Rector knows that many will want to support Wiggy on this special occasion and wish her well in her ministry among us.

Excellent Result From Carol Singing  - 2nd January 2009

The carol singing round the village on Monday December 22nd collected the magnificent sum of £357.46 which has been sent to the Children's Society.   Thank you to the carol singers, the collectors and the contributors.

Sunday School Starts January 11th  - 30th December 2008

                                    click for more information

Words & Music for Christmas - 8th December 2008

This is on Friday, December 19th

                                   click for more information

Church Christmas Bazaar Result - 6th December 2008

The Christmas Bazaar raised approximately £950. Thank you to Santa and his helpers on the stalls in the Reading Room, and to all who came along to make the afternoon a big success.


Carol Singing Round The Village - 2nd December 2008

This will take place on Monday December 22nd

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Church Christmas Bazaar - 13th November 2008

This is in the Reading Room on November 29th at 2.30 pm.

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Ringers Still Wanted - 11th November 2008

As many of you will have seen on posters around the village, taster sessions to learn how to ring the church bells have been advertised.   If you have missed out on these sessions and would like to learn do please get in touch with myself (01280) 850683 or Christine Klien Wassink (01295) 760403.  We would be delighted to hear from you.

Will Adams

Remembrance Day Service - 1st November 2008

There will be the usual Remembrance Day service in the church at 10 am on November 9th. 

This will be followed by the Act of Remembrance at the war Memorial at 10.50 am. which this year will include commemoration for the first time of the death of ten American Airmen in the crash at Astwell Castle Farm on 30th November 1943

Senior representatives of the US Air Force Base, Croughton will join  in with this service together with  local uniformed youth organisations.


20th Benefice Supper Meeting - 25th October 2008

This will be held on November 12th in the Reading Room at 7.30 pm

                                            click for more information


Harvest Supper - 13th September 2008

This will be held on October 4th in the Reading Room at 7.30 pm

                                            click for more information

Astwell Benefice Motorcycle Charity Ride-outs - 9th Septmber 2008

The Ride-Out in aid of Christian Aid on Saturday 10th May raised £480. It was a beautiful day and a great ride with more bikers than ever. 

The bikers will be on the road again on Saturday 20th September and this time have their sights on Herefordshire.  The money raised will be for Livability, Radstone's link charity.  If there are any bikers out there that Will Adams has missed who would like to join the Ride-out, please get in touch with him.

Sponsored Ride & Stride - 8th August 2008

For the benefit of the Northamptonshire Chuches Historic Trust and the church or chapel chosen by the participant. To be held on 13th September 10am - 6 pm  


                                             click for more information

Infant Church August  - 7th August 2008


We shall be holding Infant Church as usual in August.  Do come and join us Thursday 21st August at 11.15 am 


Carnival Songs of Praise  - 3rd August 2008 

Come and Join in a Service of  Songs of Praise to mark Helmdon Carnival on Sunday 24th August in the Carnival marquee on the Sports Field  at 10.30 am.  Sing along with village organisations as they choose their favourite hymns,  and join together in celebration and praise.  Please also join in for refreshments after the services.   Holy Communion for all will be at 8am as usual in the church.

Astwell Bell Ringers - 1st August 2008

There will be an Introduction to Bell Ringing Workshop on Sunday August 31st,

2.30 – 4.30 pm, in Helmdon Church’s  new ringing chamber.

No experience required.   Come and explore this ancient art.  All ages welcome.

More information from the Revd Will Adams


Helmdon Fair Is A Great Success - 12th July 2008

Stalls in the grounds of Fountain House
A stall on Church Street opposite the Reading Room

The village fair was a great success, raising over £3,200 for church funds, which is well in excess of last year's total.

This is a brilliant result, and organisers Ann Smith and Nikki Phillips would like to thank everyone involved from helpers, to contributors, to participants.

Click here to see a press cutting >>>

Welcome To Our New Curate - 7th July 2008

United benefice Service of Welcome to our new Curate

Sunday 13th July 9.30 am

Family Communion Lois Weedon                                  

Colin Simpson, his wife Sandy and their son and daughter, William and Serena were welcomed to the benefice at a service in Peterborough Cathedral on Sunday 6th July when he was ordained as a Deacon in the Astwell benefice.

Colin and his family have taken up residence in the benefice and this will be a special united service to greet him and his family warmly as he embarks on his ministry with us.

Colin will serve for three years within the Astwell Benefice before seeking his own parish.  As a deacon he will support priests by assisting at sacramental services and once ordained as priest in 2009 will take these services himself.

Electric Church - 31st May 2008

Would you like to be  part of this exciting new venture?  We would certainly love you to join us!  All talents required:

Rehearsal refreshment makers; flag wavers; musicians; vocalists; roadies; technicians, etc.

Or just come along and enjoy the rehearsal sessions.

Dates for rehearsals are:

Saturday 1st June 3-5 pm = New songs for worship workshop open to everyone.

Sunday   8th June 3-5 pm.

Sunday 14th June Dress rehearsal 10am - noon.

Sunday 15th June 6pm Service.

All rehearsals take place at St James the Great, Syresham. If you want to know more please contact the Revd. Will Adams.

Helmdon Village Fair - 1st May 2008

Helmdon Village Fair will be held on Saturday 28th June starting at 12 noon.

There will be a BBQ at The Bell Inn and there will be many stalls and competitions around the village. Stalls include plants, books, jewellery,cakes, compost, tombola, lucky dip and games etc for children. Several houses will be providing toilet stops and tea and coffee will also be served.

Tea and cakes will be served in church from 3.30 pm and the raffle with top prizes of a pair of Grand Prix tickets, £100 and £75 will be drawn at 4.30pm.

The day will conclude with a short service.

A plan showing where the stalls are around the village and timetable of all events will be available for a small charge on each stall. If anybody would like to run a stall or game, or help in any way please let Ann Smith know. 01295760684 ann@antone.plus.com

Mothering Sunday Service  - 27th  February 2008

There will be a Mothering Sunday service in the church on Sunday, 2nd March,
at 9.30 am, for children of all ages to celebrate Mothering Sunday.

A Curate for Astwell Benefice - 25th  February 2008

It is with much pleasure that I announce the appointment of Colin Simpson to the Curacy of our benefice.  We welcome Colin, his wife Sandy and their son and daughter, William and Serena.

Colin is to be ordained as a Deacon in Peterborough Cathedral on Sunday 6th July.  Following this he and his family will take up residence in the benefice.  Our hope is that parishioners from across the benefice will want to welcome Colin to Astwell by supporting him in Peterborough and by attending a special united service (Lois Weedon Sunday 13th July) to greet him and his family warmly as he embarks on his ministry with us.

Colin will serve for three years within the Astwell Benefice before seeking his own parish. As a deacon he will support priests by assisting at sacramental services and once ordained as priest in 2009 will take these services himself.

It is a delight that the diocese should see this benefice as one suitable for the training of future priests.  Rural curacies are not common.   I am sure that we will all do our very best to provide Colin with the secure and loving support that will enable him to develop his lifetime's ministry in the church and, thereby we shall fulfil the trust placed in us.

Will Adams, Rector.


Your Ideas Wanted - 15th February 2008

The Village Fete is on Saturday, 28th June.  Stalls will be grouped in clusters round the village and open from 12 noon until 4 pm. There will be floral displays in the church and teas will be served from 3.30 pm.  Then the raffle will be drawn and there will be  short service.  Anyone with ideas for a stall please contact Ann Smith on (01295) 760684 or e-mail

Has Granny Gone To Heaven - 6th February 2008

The 19th Benefice Supper Meeting will be held on Friday, February 29th, 7.15 for 7.30 pm, in the Weston Community Room.  Jonathan Baker, Canon Pastor at Peterborough, will have as the subject of his talk "Has Granny Gone to Heaven".  Tickets at £3.50, to include a hot supper and for the evening, from Ann Smith (01295) 760684. All welcome.

Mothers' Union - Music in the church - 3rd February 2008

Helmdon Mothers' Union are holding a short communion service at St Mary Magdalene parish church, Helmdon on Wednesday 27th February at 8:00 p.m.

The service will be followed by music from Leanne, Emma and Rosie Griffiths.

Light refreshments will be served and all are welcome.

Children's Society Benefits By £300 
- 28th December 2007

Carol singing round the village on December 19th raised £300 for The Children's Society.

The Church would like to thank the choristers, the collectors and all those who contributed towards this excellent result.

£970 Raised at Christmas Bazaar - 11th December 2007

£970 was raised at the Church Christmas Bazaar.  All thanks to the organisers, helpers and to those who supported.

Carol Singing Round Village - 7th December 2007

There will be carol singing round the village in aid of the Children's Society on Wednesday, December 19th, beginning at 6 pm outside Seckington's shop.  You are warmly invited to join in.

                              click for approximate times of stops


Restoration Work - 2nd December 2007

No doubt many of you will have seen the vehicles parked outside the church of those who are currently repairing the East Window.  This is the first of a series of works that are being undertaken.  I think a number of us had not fully realised the poor state of the window arches and other parts of the building until closer examination was possible.  We are indebted to the Friends of St Mary Magdalene and members of the PCC for their hard work in raising the money necessary to begin this present schedule of work. We were not able to secure the funding to complete all the issues raised in the quinquennial report even by undertaking a number of them ourselves.  A priority list was drawn up and once the present work is complete we will return to those other repairs listed in the report's pages.

I would however, wish very much to thank everyone who has helped in ensuring this critical work could begin.  Without your support our custodial responsibilities to maintain this magnificent buidling would not have been possible.

Will Adams


What Controversy would you like to see discussed at a Benefice Supper Meeting? - 29th November 2007

Please pass ideas to Jean Spendlove on (01295) 768196


Temporary change of venue for Tiny Tots - 17th October 2007


Repair and maintenance at the church will be carried out between 15th October and 30th November .

During this period it will not be possible to hold our Mums and Tots meeting in the church.

Therefore you and your friends who have tots are invited to Drop in for ‘Coffee and a Chat’ from 10–11.30 am at 12A Church Street, the home of Ann Smith, on the following Thursdays:

18th October, 8th, 15th and 22nd November 2007

More information:  Ann Smith (01295) 760684  


Plea for Bell Ringers - 1st October 2007

Helmdon has a splendid ring of six bells, and thanks to Christine Klein Wassink and neighbouring bellringers our bells in Helmdon are rung from time to time.

It would be a great joy if they could be rung more regularly.  We are particularly keen to have our own set of ringers,  and so if you would like to learn this ancient art please do get in touch with either myself (01280) 850683 or with Chris at 9 Lukes Close (01295) 760403.

Will Adams


Notice of Wine Tasting on 3rd November  - 1st October 2007



             Wine Tasting

on Saturday 3rd November

7.30 pm  

at Luke Farmhouse, Wappenham Road

By kind permission of John & Louise Brownhill.

Entry by advance ticket only £12

From  Morag Underwood (768922) or Ann Smith (760684)

Numbers limited

Proceeds in aid of Helmdon Church



Notice of Harvest Supper on 22nd September  - 17th September 2007


Harvest Supper


Saturday 22nd September

in the Reading Room

7.30 p.m.


Tickets: Ann Smith 760684

or Niki Phillips  768202


Cost: £5 (to include first  glass of wine)

Bring your own wine and glass


Some produce will be auctioned to raise funds for Send A Cow.

All Welcome


Sunday 23rd November

Harvest Festival service

  9.30 a.m.

All Welcome


Notice of Supper-Meeting on November 13th - 2nd September 2007


Those Young Villains

The 18th benefice SUPPER-MEETING will be concerned with that all-too-topical question.

. After our solid supper we shall hear

John Andrews

of the youth offending team

and then discuss with him the problems of


When they offend against the law and the rest of society


Everyone is warmly welcome, including the young people, offending or not.


On Tuesday November 13th come to

Whitfield Village Hall by 7.15 for 7.30 pm.


Book your place through Jean Spendlove

(01295) 768196

We may review the price which has been held down to £3 or £3.50 all the century, but will publish it in good time.


Songs of   Praise - 21st  August 2007

Songs of Praise to mark Helmdon Carnival will be held in the Carnival Marquee on the sports ground, on Sunday 26th May at 10.30 am.

All are welcome. Sing along with village organizations, hear their choice of favourite hymn, and join together in celebration and praise.

Please also join us for lights refreshments after the service.

Holy Communion will be celebrated as usual at 8 am in the church. 


Restoration Grant for Stonework -  29th July 2007

St Mary Magdalene







St Mary Magdalene church


In July the church received a cheque for £4,000 from a representative of the Northamptonshire Historic Churches Trust.

This will be used to carry out badly needed repairs to the stonework.  Niki Phillips, the secretary of the PCC, told the Northamptonshire Chronicle & Echo who reported the event, that "some of the stonework has deteriorated and urgently needs to be repaired.  We aim to raise as much money as we possibly can but this grant will make a huge difference."


                       read the full report here


Helmdon Village Fair - 13th July 2007

The Village Fair on June 30th raised over £2,700 (the total is still rising), which is a tremendous result for a summer event which took place in very unsettled weather.

The event started at midday and the Bell was the venue for a successful barbecue. All round the village there were open gardens and many stalls selling a large variety of items such as bric a brac, plants, books, jewellery, fresh fruit and vegetables, toiletries, locally produced compost, cakes, ice cream and muffins.  Many of the stallholders also organized various games and competitions for children. There was a very popular tombola on the green and a bouncy castle and smoothie stall in the school.   A car shuttle service was running all afternoon to give those who didn’t want to walk, a lift from one end of the village to the other. The church sold refreshments all afternoon, and was the venue for a small art exhibition. The raffle was drawn in church and the event concluded with a short service with readings and popular hymns.

The church would like to thank all who supported the afternoon’s activities by either manning stalls or opening their gardens, and all those who came out to support  on such a bad day.

Ann Smith.


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