St Andrew's Church, Isleham

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A member of the Three Rivers Group of parishes 
Chippenham, Fordham, Isleham,  Kennett & Snailwell

The Diocese of Ely, The Church of England


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A message from Revd Anna

Sunday - December 19 - Advent 4

Quiet Christmas on Saturday December 18 at 4pm at Fordham

We will be holding a Quiet Christmas service at 4pm on Saturday 18 December at Fordham. 

It aims to provide space to help us begin to welcome the good news of Christmas in a gentle way; to come as we are, and not as we feel we should be or others might want us to be; and to reflect on what the Nativity story might mean for us and for our world.

Sunday 19 December at 3pm – Christmas Carol Service at Kennett
with Newmarket Town Band

Sunday 19 December at 6pm – Christmas Carol Service at Snailwell

Dear all,

Mindful both of the need to be careful, and of the importance of the opportunity to gather towards the end of Advent to complete our journey towards Christmas and celebrate the joy of Jesus coming among us, we will proceed with the services planned across the Group this weekend (18 & 19 December).

We begin tomorrow (Saturday 18th) in Fordham with our Quiet Christmas service at 4pm, a reflective sequence of readings, music and prayers for those seeking to welcome the Good News in a gentle way.

Our regular Sunday morning services take place at Isleham at 9.30am (eucharist), Fordham at 11am (Morning Praise), and Chippeham at 11am (BCP Communion), followed in the afternoon by the Kennett Carol Service at 3pm (with Newmarket Town Band), and Snailwell Carol Service at 6pm (featuring the choir of St Margaret's Chippenham). As a precaution, refreshments will not be served after either carol service, so please enjoy a mince pie at home instead.

Please note that face masks are now required in churches and should be worn throughout the service, unless by those clinically exempt, organised choirs, and those leading worship. We will also be re-introducing socially distanced seating in our churches from this weekend. Most of us are used to wrapping up warm, but please come prepared for there to be good ventilation where possible.

There are several more services planned for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as we have been trailing in the notice sheets and on posters for some weeks. We very much hope to be able to proceed with these as planned also, but will obviously be keeping a close eye on any further advice from the Diocese, the national church and the government as the days go by. Thank you for your patience and support, and hope to see you at something this Christmas-tide.

With all good wishes,


Mid-week Eucharist service

Due to other commitments before Christmas, this service is suspended until the New Year.

Remember that if you miss having communion on a Sunday, we now celebrate a mid-week Eucharist service in Fordham on Wednesdays at 11am. All are welcome.

Posadas on tour for Advent

The Posada (knitted nativity tour) is back for 2021! 

The figures will make their symbolic progress around Fordham and Isleham before arriving in church on Christmas Eve. 

Those on the list to host the figures will be contacted with their date, and the Posada tours will begin their progress on Advent Sunday (November 28). 

With thanks to all the knitters who’ve made this venture possible!

A Christmas Quiz

Don’t miss your chance to join the Isleham Cruise Quiz. Email for details:

Weekly notice sheet by email

We still distribute a copy of the weekly notice sheet by email every Sunday to those who want to keep up-to-date with what's happening in the Group, even when they can't get to church. 

Please let Revd Anna know if you'd like to receive a copy.


  • Jack Lazell on Wednesday 22 December 22 at 11.30am at Fordham  

  • Diane Beckett postponed until December 31 at Isleham (TBC)

Ashes Burial

  • Pat Stannard on Tuesday December 21 at 2.30pm at Fordham



Please don't forget to bring your contributions to the local Co-op shops in Fordham and Isleham. Your contributions are still very much needed and really valued. 

There is also always a need for toiletries - soap, shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste and so on - and pet food.

Alternatively you may prefer to donate money rather than food at the moment. 

You can donate either by cheque made payable to:
"Ely Foodbank" and sent to 10 Chapel Street, Ely, Cambs, CB6 1AD. 

Or if you prefer to donate online: 

Thank you.

This Sunday at St Andrew's Isleham - December  19 - Advent 4

  • 9.30am Eucharist

Welcome to church today. We are very glad you are joining us and warmly invite all who are baptized and who are communicant members of their own church to receive Holy Communion here. 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions we will distribute communion to people in their seats. Please take the notice sheet away with you at the end of service.

You may download the Order of Service from this link.

All Sunday services in the Three Rivers Group -December 19, Advent 4

  • 9.30am Isleham – Eucharist
  • 11am Fordham – Family Service
  • 11am Chippenham – BCP Communion
  • 3pm Kennett – Carol Service 
  • 6pm Snailwell – Carol Service

Everyone is warmly welcome to any or all of these services.

Weekday services in the Three Rivers group

From w/c September 27, our pattern of weekday services will be as follows:

  • Tuesday, 8.15am - Morning Prayer at Isleham

  • Wednesday, 8.15am - Morning Prayer at Fordham

  • Wednesday, 11am - Mid-week Eucharist at Fordham (suspended until the New Year)

  • Wednesday, 6.30pm - Compline at Snailwell

  • Wednesday, 7pm - Compline via Zoom

  • Thursday, 8.15am - Morning Prayer at Chippenham

  • Friday, 8.15am - Morning Prayer at Snailwell

    Everyone is warmly welcome to any or all of these services.

Christmas-tide services this coming week

Sunday 19 December

  • Christmas Carol Service with Newmarket Town Band, Kennett, 3pm
  • Christmas Carol Service, Snailwell, 6pm 

Christmas Eve - Friday 24 December

  • Crib Service, Fordham, 2pm
  • Crib Service, Isleham, 4pm
  • Christmas Eve Carol Service, Chippenham, 6pm
  • Midnight Mass, Fordham, 11.30pm
  • Midnight Mass, Isleham, 11.30pm

Christmas Day - Saturday 25 December

  • Christmas Day Eucharist, Isleham, 9.30am
  • Christmas Day Eucharist, Snailwell, 9.30am
  • Christmas Day Eucharist, Chippenham, 11am
  • Christmas Day Eucharist, Fordham, 11am

Food Bank

Please don't forget to bring your contributions to the local Co-op shops in Fordham and Isleham. Your contributions are still very much needed and really valued. 

There is also always a need for toiletries - soap, shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste and so on - and pet food.

Alternatively you may prefer to donate money rather than food at the moment. 

You can donate either by cheque made payable to:
"Ely Foodbank" and sent to 10 Chapel Street, Ely, Cambs, CB6 1AD. 

Or if you prefer to donate online: 

Thank you.

Prayer for the Nation in the time of Covid

With the ever increasing number of people who sadly have died as a result of Covd infection during the pandemicthe Archbishops of York and Canterbury have called on us to pray for the nation. They are suggesting at people pray each day at 6pm or whenever is convenient.

Gracious God, as we remember before you the thousands who have died, surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion. Be gentle with us in our grief, protect us from despair, and give us grace to persevere and face the future with hope in Jesus Christ our risen Lord. Amen.

More prayer resources are available at

Future events

Tuesday Coffee Morning - 10am-12noon on Tuesdays  at the Social Centre

We have resumed in-person coffee mornings with bacon butties on Tuesdays at St Andrew's Social Centre in Isleham (opposite the church). 

We shall observe all relevant Covid restrictions. Please bring your own mug for drinks.

Wednesday evening December 22 at 7pm - Virtual Compline 
Join us 0n Zoom or via Dial-in

Later this week you will be able to download the Order of Service from this link.

Please consider whom you might invite to join us for this new venture. 

The Zoom link will be open from 6.45pm for pre-service chat. 

Meeting ID: 839 7034 6065  Passcode: 003793

You can also join by phone by dialing 0203 901 7895 and entering the meeting ID using your phone keypad.

The ancient office of Compline derives its name from a Latin word meaning ‘completion’ (completorium). It is above all a service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day. 

It is most effective when the ending is indeed an ending, without additions, conversation or noise. If the service is in church, those present depart in silence; if at home, they go quietly to bed.

All the orders of service can also be found on our website at

Thy Kingdom Come

Since 2016 each year the archbishops have called on us to pray for new people to come to faith.

There are many prayer resources available:

ICYMI The Bishop's self-Guided Lent Course

Bishop Stephen will be recording 5 videos on discipleship for use during Lent. 

They will be available here:

Prayer for the Nation

If you want to continue, David came across this from the diocese of Oxford which you could read/pray at 6pm each evening:

When we are isolated and alone, we remember God is with us; we place our hands in his hands

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

When we are tired and confused…

He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;

When we are worn out with worry

He restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

When we are sick and afraid and if we lose those we love…

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff - they comfort me.

When we face difficulties today and we hope for a better tomorrow…

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

In the face of trouble & difficulty of all kinds, we remember Jesus’ promise of life beyond death…

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

Govt survey to gather evidence with respect to faith groups in Society

You may have heard about the government’s call for evidence with respect to faith groups in society. They are conducting an online survey as part of their evidence gathering. 

If you have 10/15 minutes the diocese has encouraged us to get people to participate.

Here is the link to the online survey.

The Monday  Prayer Group - suspended until further notice

The prayer group meets at 1.30pm on Mondays for an hour of prayer. We meet at 1 West Street, Isleham. 

Fordham Day  Centre Lunch Club - suspended until further notice

Fordham Day Centre is a lunch club for older people and meets on the 1st and 4th Wednesday of each month from 10.30am to 2.30pm.

We meet at Withers’ Place community room for company, chat and food. Coffee and tea are provided on arrival, then lunch and a cup of tea before you leave.

We have a “mobility” taxi available, if needed, for transport to and from the meetings. The Day Centre is run by volunteers (not carers) who cook and look after the members.

Mums+ - suspended until further notice

Mums+ is a monthly coffee morning for fun, conversation and sharing our questions of life, faith and parenthood – all ages welcome. For more details contact Laura Cox-Watson 01638 724839.

Contact: Laura Cox-Watson on 01638-724839 for more information.

New website for the Three Rivers Group

The Three Rivers Group has a new web site here's a link 

Andrew Stephens has 'retired' from looking after the website for the Three Rivers Group, but plans to continue to maintain this website for St Andrew's Isleham.

We have just added a new section to our website on Genealogy. At present we are only offering assistance in looking through records at Isleham. If anyone would like to volunteer for the other churches please let David know.


Bridget has decided to resign from her lead role at St.Andrew’s for the Eco-Church. She has taken up a new position with Cambridge Christian Climate Action. She would like to thank all the people who have given so much help and joined in with events. If anyone is interested in taking on this role please let us know.

Dementia Friendly Village - Fordham

Fordham is working towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Village. 

Laura Cox-Watson has agreed to be our Dementia Friends Champion. and Has atteneded some training in Cambridge. and has held two sessions to share with the community what she has learned and discuss how Fordham can move forward with this. Laura is also very keen to gain insight from families who have direct experience of living with Dementia.

If anyone would like to contact Laura direct then please do so on either 
07974 409228 or

Thank You from Mel

I would like to thank everyone for my wonderful and deeply moving send off at each of the churches and a particular thank you to all those who contributed to my incredibly generous leaving gift. 

I hope to buy my first cassock from this and remember you all each time I wear it. It has been a truly wonderful two years at the Three Rivers Group, thank you so much for having me and encouraging me, and may God bless you all as you continue to follow God into His promised future for you. He who calls is faithful. 

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Baptism visitors

Having previously asked if there were people who were interested in helping us welcome the families of children being baptised by becoming baptism visitors, we'll mention it again in case anyone wants to come forward. 

Prayers for healing

We are also considering offering prayers for healing at some of our Sunday services. If anyone is interested in learning some more, please speak to David or Sue.

Festival of Light at St Andrews Isleham 

Contact Kathy Carver 01638-781116 for more information

Report of Training Day ‘Caring for God’s Earth’
at Michaelhouse, 10 October 2018

Thanks to Bridget Newns-Copper. Click to download PDF (280Kb)


Advice and guidance on security for places of worship

"The news from France and the random, cold blooded murder of the Roman Catholic priest Father Jacques Hamel has been a shock to many of us. It is also very unsettling as it is a Priest doing what so many of us do, simply going about our normal ministry. However, that doesn't mean we should be fearful or overly concerned. We do need to be careful. "

The Ven Hugh McCurdy, Archdeacon of Huntingdon & Wisbech and The Ven Dr Alex Hughes, Archdeacon of Cambridge write: 

"The police have been working with church leaders in the UK to establish a communication network through which reassurance and guidance to the Christian community can be passed. Last week’s murder of a priest in France is a terrible tragedy, but we must use it to test our ability to communicate to this wider network and I want to offer the following advice. 

Church leaders and their congregations should remain alert not alarmed.
There is no current intelligence to suggest any attack planning of this nature in this country. However it makes sense for all church leaders to review their security plans and to encourage their flock to be vigilant. Any suspicious behaviour should be reported immediately through 999."

Church Schools

Our Diocese of Ely Multi Academy Trust (DEMAT) is growing fast.  When schools become Academies, Church Schools have to go into a Church Trust.  So far in our Diocesan Schools’ family (83 Primaries and 1 Secondary), some 20 plus primaries are part of the Trust.  Canon Peter Maxwell is the Chair of the Trust and Mike is a Director.  The two schools in our Parish are considering Academy Status.

There will be a Government White Paper in a couple of months time and we expect it to propose that all schools become Academies very shortly.  If you would like to know more about Church Schools then do ask David or Peter.

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Children and Holy Communion

All five PCC’s have now agreed that our church family younger children (aged 7 and above) may be admitted to Holy Communion after appropriate instruction. 

Muriel Hood and Ruth Ogden have agreed to instruct our young people. If there are young people in your family who would like to receive communion, then please do speak with Mike.

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Fairtrade at Isleham

Fairtrade has always played an important part of Isleham's shopping experience!  Our own Co-op in Isleham has an excellent range of Fairtrade goods.  

Bell ringing

Our bells are rung from just after 9am each Sunday to call people to worship at 9.30am, and again on Friday practice nights from 7.30pm for an hour or so (but always stopping by 9pm).

We also ring for weddings and other special occasions. 

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Thefts from our churches

Both Kennett and Chippenham have had substantial amounts of lead stolen from their roofs. A section of Fordham's lightning conductor was also taken, making the building unsafe and unprotected.  Do please keep an eye out for any illegal behaviour around our churches and report it speedily both to the Police and to Churchwardens. Vigilance is essential these days I am afraid.

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Regular Giving envelopes

if you would like Regular Giving envelope please see Robert Savage. If you are UK tax payer we can reclaim tax if you complete a Gift Aid form (also available from Robert).

St Andrew's is a member of The Three Rivers Group

The Three Rivers Group, a United Benefice, comprises the parishes of:

  • Chippenham - St Margaret
  • Fordham - St Peter & St Mary Magdelene
  • Kennett - St Nicholas
  • Isleham - St Andrew
  • Snailwell - St Peter

Each parish has its own Parochial Church Council (PCC), looks after its own finances and has its own style of worship.

The ministry team comprises:

  • The Revd David Cleugh, Rector.
  • The Revd Sue Potts, Associate Priest.
  • The Revd Anna Jones, Curate.
  • Mrs Carol Taylor (Licensed Lay Minister).

  • Mark Liversidge is Authorised Lay Minister (Music) at Isleham.

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Isleham history on-line

Read about the history of Isleham on the British History Online web site.

A visitor's view of our church

"St Andrew's is a wonderful church – a beautiful building filled with an array of treasures" .

"St Andrew's has the grandest clerestory we’ve encountered in Cambridgeshire."

Read more....

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Last updated August 13, 2022
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