St Andrew's Church, Isleham

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@ thethreeriversgroup

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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Advance notice - Holiday Dates

Reverend Steve will be away from Monday 15 until Wednesday July 31. He will resume his duties on Thursday 1 August. Wishing you both a happy and well-earned break from us all!

Church Services

Services in the Three Rivers Group churches on Sunday July 21
Trinity 8

  • 9.30am Isleham – Eucharist
  • 9.30am Snailwell – Family Service
  • 11am Fordham – Morning Prayer 
  • 11am Chippenham –Eucharist
  • 3.30pm Kennet - Family Service

All the orders of service will be found on our website

Services in the Three Rivers Group churches on Sunday July 28
Trinity 9

  • 9.30am Isleham – Morning Praie
  • 9.30am Snailwell – Eucharist
  • 11am Fordham – Eucharist 
  • 11am Chippenham –Morning Prayer

All the orders of service will be found on our website


  • Mary Deary on Thursday July 128, at Kennett, at 2pm.



  • Philip Clayton-Smith & Laura Diplock on Thursday July 25, at 11am
    at Isleham.
  • George Higginson & Katie Presland on Saturday August 10, at 2pm
    at Chippenham.

Isleham Coffee Morning -Tuesdays 10am-12noon 

The Tuesday morning coffee and bacon butty crew are back at the St Andrew’s Social Centre , from 10am-12 noon.  All welcome.

Foundation Governor Vacancy 

There is a position becoming available for the start of the new academic year for a Foundation Governor at Isleham Primary School. In the past six months two new parent governors, a co-opted governor with experience in school building project management have joined and an Associate governor has been invited to join who is a local Farm Manager. If you feel that this is something that would interest you, please contact Reverend Stephen @

Past events

The Three Rivers Churches ACPM - Tuesday May 21

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting was held at Chippenham Village Hall on Tuesday, May 21.

Peyton Family Visitors - Sunday April 21

On Sunday April 21, we hosted members of the Payton family visiting Isleham for the first timer.

There was a congregational buffet lunch at Isleham.

Leading your Church into Growth’ Ely Online Diocese conference

Have you ever visited your parish church?

If you are a new resident of Isleham or perhaps have just never ventured inside your parish church why not do so today. 

Or perhaps another time would suit you better; the church is usually open every day from abut 9am until about 5pm.

There are many surprising and marvellous things to see.

We hold a service every Sunday at 9.30am at which you will be warmly welcomed. - 

Or why not join us at our 

Isleham Coffee Morning -Tuesdays 10am-12noon 

The Tuesday morning coffee and bacon butty crew are back at the St Andrew’s Social Centre , from 10am-12 noon.  All welcome.

Notes from The Rector

Morning Prayer is a great way to start the day: for those of you who would  like to join in, we gather at 8.15 in the church centre in Isleham on Tuesdays and in the church at Fordham on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Technology permitting, I aim to have Morning Prayer available on the churches’ Zoom link at 8.15 each day  Tuesday to Saturday. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Fridays this will be from the  gathering; on other days it will be just online. Please email me for details of how to join in (see address below).

Each day I produce a short set of reflections on the readings for Morning  Prayer the following day. If you would like to receive these by email, please 
let me know. You can unsubscribe very easily if you decide you don’t want them any more!

You can get in touch with me in a number of ways: my email address is; my home phone number is 01638 354866; my 
mobile number is 07871182394 (but please note it spends almost all of its 
time on silent, so I may not notice it ring – please either leave a message or 
send a text); and for old-school paper, I’m at 24 Mildenhall Road, Fordham, 
CB7 5NR.

I take Monday as my day off each week, so messages which arrive on 
Monday will get dealt with on Tuesday.

The Rector’s Daily Reflections

Each day I produce a short set of reflections on the readings for
Morning Prayer the following day.

If you would like to receive these by email, please let me know. You
can unsubscribe very easily if you decide you don’t want them any
more please email me:


Midweek services update

Revd Steve writes:

A reminder that all are welcome to join our midweek services, which currently include

  • Technology permitting, we aim to have Morning Prayer available on the churches’ Zoom link at 8.15 each day  Tuesday to Saturday. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, nd Fridays this will be from the  gathering; on other days it will be just online. Please email Revd Steve Day for details of how to join in
  • Tuesday Morning Prayer at Isleham (at the Social Centre) – 8.15am
  • Wednesday Morning Prayer at Fordham (in church) – 8.15am
  • Wednesday Compline at Snailwell (in church) – 6.30pm
  • Wednesday Compline on Zoom (online) – 7pm
  • Friday Morning Prayer at Fordham (in church) – 8.15am

he mailing list for online Compline is currently being refreshed, so if you would like to stay on it, or join it anew, please email to let us know1

Annual Parish Church Meeting (APCM) 2023 

Thanks to all those who attended the Annual Parochial Church Meeting in Chippenham on Wednesday May 24.

Aa special thanks to those continuing to stand and newly elected as churchwardens,
Deanery Synod reps and PCC members. 

For those unable toattend, a copy of the minutes of Wednesday’s meeting will be
available on the group website.

Diocesan Festal Eucharist - Saturday June 24 at Ely Cathedral

On Saturday June 24 at12 noon there was be a Eucharist at Ely Cathedral to celebrate 1350 years since the founding of the first monastery in Ely by St Etheldreda. The Archbishop of York preached and the Bishop of Ely presided.

If you missed it you can view a recording of the livestream of the service from this link.

The Order of Service can be downlaoded from this link.

Carol Taylor - an update

We are pleased to inform you that Carol is now home from Papworth hospital
and is to have a couple of months convalescence. This means that she
needs to be relieved of all church duties for three months. 

May our thoughts and prayers continue to strengthen Carol and Stephen, at this time. We will ask for ongoing understanding and co-operation as, in the short term, we struggle to re-allocate Carol’s many church commitments across the group.

Three Rivers Group Car Scheme

A reminder that the Three Rivers Group Car Scheme exists to provide lifts to medical and other appointments when other transport is not available. 

Some drivers are also offering their services for free to Ukrainians being hosted by families locally.

So if you know of someone who needs transport for aparticular purpose, please do pass on the number: 07549 892322

Isleham Coffee Morning -Tuesdays 10am-12noon 

The Tuesday morning coffee and bacon butty crew will be back at the St Andrew’s Social Centre from 11 Jan, from 10am-12 noon.  All welcome.

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 Caol know if you'd like to receive a copy.

Change of email address - Mark Walsh

Mark Walsh, our Parish Safeguarding Officer, has changed his email address.
Please use the following address for all correspondence with Mark, including on



Ten new Easter carols composed and sung by the Rev'd Christopher Goodwins

Click on the link to hear the carols

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

New information about the origin of the Spurgeon Memorial Stone

Rev Peter Ling writes

The Spurgeon Trundle’ your Church website speaks about ‘One of Isleham’s best-kept secrets is that someone – we are not sure who- placed a memorial stone on the river bank…..’ I am pleased to be able to enlighten you over this matter. A local group of ministers from Isleham, Prickwillow, Soham, Mildenhall, West Row, and Burwell Baptist Churches, the group also included Foreham Congreational, and Littleport Independent Chapel. Were asked to finance the purchase of a stone to commemorate the 125th anniversary of C.H.Spurgeon Baptism in the river Lark. The stone was purchased and laid in the afternoon of November 1975, after the small service on the bank of the river we returned to Pound Lane Baptist Church for tea, then in the evening we had a service to celebrate the Life of C.H.Spurgeon. I sincerely hope that this information puts to rest the mystery of the stone. I myself took part in the service on that evening. I remain faithfully yours. Rev Peter Ling

Each year a group marks the anniversary of the baptism of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a  famous Victorian Baptist preacher, who preached to many and whose sermons are amongst the best read ever. He was baptised in the River Lark. A simple stone marks the place which is not normally accessible to the public. After a leisurely walk down to the river, we gather to sing hymns, say prayers and read scripture. Meet at the Pond on East Fen Road Isleham

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 the 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.

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. 

Volunteers drivers needed for the Three Rivers Car Scheme

Volunteers are needed for the Three Rivers Car Scheme. Please get in touch with Muriel Hoodm on 01638 666722.

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.

Fordham Enclosures Map

We have in the parish chest a map of Fordham from 1809. This item would be better cared for under archive conditions, so it is our intention to deposit it I the county records office. It will still be accessible to people in Cambridge once deposited. If you would like to look at it before it goes away or you know people who might be interested, please get them to contact Rev'd David to arrange a time to view. I think we will hope to deposit the map later this year.

Past events

VE Day Virtual Service - Friday May 8 2020

We marked VE Day with a Virtual Service on Youtube at 11am.

You can listen to a recording of the service, which was streamed live by David and Hannah Cleugh, on You tube at the link below.

You can download the order of service from the link below

Easter Monday - DIY Fish breakfast at Karma Farm, Isleham

A new venture led by Mark Fletcher.  Barbecues were supplied by Will Taylor.

The Spurgeon Trundle Saturday May 4 

Rev Peter Ling writes

The Spurgeon Trundle’ your Church website speaks about ‘One of Isleham’s best-kept secrets is that someone – we are not sure who- placed a memorial stone on the river bank…..’ I am pleased to be able to enlighten you over this matter. A local group of ministers from Isleham, Prickwillow, Soham, Mildenhall, West Row, and Burwell Baptist Churches, the group also included Foreham Congreational, and Littleport Independent Chapel. Were asked to finance the purchase of a stone to commemorate the 125th anniversary of C.H.Spurgeon Baptism in the river Lark. The stone was purchased and laid in the afternoon of November 1975, after the small service on the bank of the river we returned to Pound Lane Baptist Church for tea, then in the evening we had a service to celebrate the Life of C.H.Spurgeon. I sincerely hope that this information puts to rest the mystery of the stone. I myself took part in the service on that evening. I remain faithfully yours. Rev Peter Ling

Each year a group marks the anniversary of the baptism of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a  famous Victorian Baptist preacher, who preached to many and whose sermons are amongst the best read ever. He was baptised in the River Lark. A simple stone marks the place which is not normally accessible to the public. After a leisurely walk down to the river, we gather to sing hymns, say prayers and read scripture. Meet at the Pond on East Fen Road Isleham at 3pm next Saturday, May 3.

All welcome, including the disabled and less-abled. for whom we can provide transport.

Friendly dogs on leads welcomed.

This was last year...


The 7th annual Spurgeon Trundle

On Saturday May 5 over 30 people (and some dogs) walked from the village to the riverside monument which commemorates the baptism of Charles William Haddon Spurgeon, The Prince of Preachers, in the River Lark at Isleham on May 3 1850.

In a short act of worship we sang Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art and recited the Lord's Prayer.


2018 Food bank Annual Report for The Three Rivers Group

A very big Thank You for the significant amount of donations received from yourselves. 
Howard & Bren (Soham Distribution Co-ordinators).

The villages comprising the Three Rivers Group donated 1208 kg of food and other goods.

24 families in the villages comprising the Three Rivers Group received 3-day emergency food supplies. In total, 146 adults and 140 children were fed.

Eco Church

One way in which we can show God's love in the world is to show care for the world He created.  In Isleham a small group has started to think about Ecological issues.  Are there others who would be interested? Worlington church has already received a bronze and silver Eco Church award and we are thinking about a visit to learn more.

Festival of Light at St Andrews Isleham - December 8 and 9



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

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

Annual Parochial Church Meeting - Reports for download

The ACPM held on Tuesday April 24 at Fordham School. A speaker from the Diocesan Stewardship Department made a presnetaion at the start of the meeting.

Reports (in PDF format) from the Group and the parishes can be downloaded from the links below:

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Three Rivers Group Mothers' Union

See the Three Rivers Group web site for Mother's Union programme of meetings and events

Mothers’ Union Trip - Thursday June 13

Trip to Emmaus Project at Landbeach leaving at 10.30am.


Recent meetings

Lent lunches - thank you...

Thank you to all those who helped arrange and attended our Lent Lunches.

Advent Carol Service at Soham on Monday November 27

A good Advent Carol Service at Soham on Monday, followed by a light lunch and time to socialise. Enjoyed by all who came.

Trip for tea at Twenty Pence Garden Centre - September 28

The Mothers' Union Tea Party - August 9

An afternoon Tea Party at St Andrew’s, Isleham Social Centre, to celebrate the anniversary of Mary Sumner, founder of the Mothers' Union. 

The MU Garden Party at the Bishop's Garden

The Garden Party at the Bishop’s Garden was a beautiful evening. Entertainment by the Ely Imps was great.

The trip to Denny Abbey and Farm Museum was a very pleasant afternoon.

Talk about MU communications and fundraising - May 24

Hazel Williams spoke to us on  “MU Fundraising and Communications”. 

Mothers Union Lent Quiet Day - March 21

An opportunity for quiet reflection and prayer. Tuesday 21 March from 10am – 2.30pm at St John’s Church, Waterbeach. Entitled “Praying in Lent – Letting Go”, led by Rev’d Valerie Kilner – Coffee/Tea provided. Bring your own packed lunch. For more information and a lift contact Helen Banyard on 721616.

Three Rivers Lady Day service - March 24

Three Rivers Lady Day service was at Burwell on March 24, followed by lunch. 

Talk about China - February 15

The MU had a very interesting evening on February 15 hearing Sue Murfitt talk on the Life and Culture of China”. 

Mothers' Union sponsored walk - October 15

MU is holding a sponsored walk on Saturday October 15. Meet at Burwell Church at 3pm. There are two walks. One, along the Dyke to Reach (5 miles) and the second, circuits of the churchyard at Lode (for the less mobile). 

Jenny and Ren Bowen and Helen Banyard are walking please see Helen, 721616, for sponsor forms and/or further information.

Garden Party - August 9

We celebrated 140 years of our organisation with a Garden Party at Fordham Vicarage on 9th August – Mary Sumner Day, who founded the Mothers’ Union. Some members from Burwell joined us, as did over twenty of our members and supporters and we enjoyed afternoon tea with the marquee decorated with bunting made by our members (thanks to Jackie Naylor for sewing it together). 

A big thanks to all those who contributed sandwiches, scones and cake which were much enjoyed and to Jenny Bowen for her help with providing the pretty crockery etc.

Outing to Suffolk - July 21

On Thursday July 21 we enjoyed a super outing through the Suffolk countryside.  

Mothers' Union branch meeting -  June 20

A big thank to the members who helped make the MU bunting for parish social events, particularly Jackie Naylor and Jenny Bowen for their input.  

Mothers' Union branch meeting - April 28

Our branch meeting on Thursday April 28 was at St. Peter’s Snailwell, where Dr Stephen Taylor told us the history of our round towered church.  It was followed by a lunch at the George & Dragon, Snailwell.

Mothers' Union Deanery Lady Day service - April 4

The Deanery Lady Day Service which this year took place at Lode Church on Monday April 4.  

Lent lunches 

Our three Mothers' Union Lent Lunches have been very successful and raised over £460.

We are sending all of this money to MU Projects Worldwide.

2 x £100 – “Salt and Light” – which  establishes self help groups in churches to help the wider communities.

4 x £40 – “Going the extra mile” –to fund development co-ordinators.

2 x £50 – “Helping Hand” – training parenting facilitators group.

Lent lunch at Chippenham on March 9

Our final Lent lunch was at Chippenham on Wednesday March 9 at Chippenham Village Hall from Noon–1.30pm.  

Women’s World Day of Prayer 2016 - Friday March 4

This year this service for everyone was on Friday March 4 at St. Andrew’s Church, Isleham.  It was written by the women of Cuba and has a Caribbean flavour.  

10am Coffee, lemonade and Cuban biscuits.  10:30am Service, followed by refreshments in Isleham Social Centre.  We had  a small choir to lead the singing .

Lent lunch February 22

Another great turnout for our second Lent Lunch – this time at Isleham.  The homemade soup, sandwiches, fruit, tea and coffee were again very popular.  

A big thank you to Gill Savage and Mary Wightman for the lovely soup and Angie and Betty Ashley for their contributions. 

Our third and final Lent Lunch is at Chippenham Village Hall on Wednesday March 9  from noon–1.30pm.  Everyone is welcome.

All proceeds will go to MU project overseas and we will announce our final total of money raised and the projects supported later in the pewsheet.

Lent lunch February 15

Our first Lent Lunch on a cold day was a great success.  The weather brought out many who enjoyed the homemade soup, sandwiches, fruit, tea and coffee at the Victoria Hall, Fordham and we had to get out extra seating.  A big thank you to Jenny Bowen, Jacky Naylor and Jean Bayes for all their hard work in giving us an enjoyable lunch and a time to socialise.

Update on local foodbanks - February 8

We had a very good meeting on February 8, with many thanks to  Howard Laver who gave us a very interesting talk on Local Foodbanks.

Craft, cookery and coffee morning - January 11

A big thank you to Gaynor for a very enjoyable Craft and Coffee morning demonstration of two delicious cakes – Blueberry Muffins and Hello Dolly Bars.  Some of us enjoyed lunch at La Hogue Café.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence from November 25

This is the third year Three Rivers Mothers’ Union is supporting this campaign. There will be prayer trees with the opportunity to pray for many who suffer or have suffered physical and mental violence. 

A very big thank you to everyone who has donated toiletries etc. to women’s refuges in Cambridgeshire during the 16 Days of Activism.  The response has been overwhelming and many of the donations have already been handed on to those who will benefit from them and your gifts, thoughts and prayers are much appreciated.

Christmas lunch - December 7

Members of the Three Rivers branch of the Mothers’ Union enjoyed an excellent Christmas Lunch at the Walnut Tree, Worlington.  The food and the company contributed towards a very relaxed and enjoyable time together. 

Mothers' Union Deanery Coffee Morning - September 25

Deanery MU Coffee Morning was held at Chippenham Village Hall on Friday September 25.  Stalls included Cake & Produce, Books, MU Cards and Refreshments.  

AGM - September 21

Our AGM took place at Fordham Victoria Hall September 21.  

A day trip to Eleveden - August 27 

Day Trip to Elveden with lunch.

Day Trip to Highway Garden Centre -  July 10 

A big thank you to Gaynor and Jenny for the smooth organisation of our trip to Highway Garden Centre and the Van Dal Shoe Retail Outlet. The weather was fine and a good time had by all.

Jo Wibberley

Jo Wibberley, Diocesan Vice President, has been cycling around our churches in the Deanery these past couple of weeks, in all weathers. Members of the MU have also accompanied her. Thanks to everyone who gave their time,  especially Helen. 


A good members’ day too on Wednesday May 20 in Cambridge.  

Garden party in Bishop's garden at Ely

Ten members attended the Diocesan Garden Party and enjoyed the setting and the roses. It was an excellent evening with strawberries, shortbread and cream with fizz! The Ely Imps Singing Group entertained us and it was a good opportunity to mix with other MU members.

A talk by Dr Stephen Taylor

A great talk about Fordham's history by Dr Stephen Taylor at Fordham Church on St Barnabas’ Day.  Many thanks.  

A talk on cardiac health at Isleham on May 13

Kathy Carver gave an excellent talk about heart problems and the care we all need to take to keep our hearts healthy.  It was lovely to see many new faces as the talk appealed to many members of our congregations.  

A visit to the National Stud at Newmarket on Friday April 24

We made a visit to the National Stud at Newmarket on Friday April 24. 

Spring Diocesan Day and annual meeting Monday April 20

Spring Diocesan Day and annual meeting was held on Monday April 20 at St Peter's in March 10am–1pm.  

Deanery Lady Day Service Wednesday March 25

Our Deanery Lady Day Service was on Wednesday March 25  in Lode Church. 

Lent lunches 2015

This year we held Lent Lunches at Fordham, Isleham and Chippenham.

A big thank you to those who have provided homemade soup and sandwiches and those who have supported these lunches, our final total was over £300 which will go to MU Worldwide projects. 

The second Lent lunch was held in Isleham on March 5.

Mothers' Union - February 4

We met on Wednesday February 4 at Chippenham Village Hall where our speaker is Sue Potts who took the title “God’s work – our hands” as her theme. 

Craft and cookery demonstration and lunch - January 12

We met for a craft and cookery demonstration with coffee and cake at Gaynor’s home in Snailwell , followed lunch at La Hogue.

Mothers' Union Christmas lunch - December 8

Sixteen members enjoyed a lot of excellent food and laughter in a lovely location at The Beeches, Isleham.

16 Days of Activism Against Domestic Abuse November 25 – December 10

This is the second year the Mothers’ Union has supported this social action and there is a prayer tree in each of our churches.  Please read the information provided with the tree and use the labels provided to write a prayer for those who have or still suffer from domestic abuse.  For more information concerning domestic abuse both in Britain and worldwide contact Helen Banyard 721616.

Flower Arranging - November 25

A big thank you to Gaynor Ryan for demonstrating and teaching others to arrange a Christmas Table Centre, ably assisted by Jenny Bowen. A delightful, relaxing evening, enjoyed by all who attended and a request for another similar evening nearer Easter was suggested. Money donated will go to MU charities.

Mothers' Union AGM - September 26

The Mothers’ Union AGM is on Friday September 26 at Chippenham Village Hall from 10am.  Followed by lunch at La Hogue Café.  All welcome.

Visit by Sheringham MU -July 11

Janice Pope and members of Sheringham MU visited Ely and Isleham on Friday July 11. They met up with the Three Rivers Group MU for Afternoon Tea in the gardens of the Social Centre followed by a service at St. Andrew’s Church, Isleham. 


Meeting on June 18

Thanks so much to Malcolm and Liz Barber for inviting us to their home for a super and illuminating talk on the Knights Templars.  It was both fascinating and informative and we could have stayed much longer and heard more.  Perhaps we can persuade him to give a further talk sometime in the future.  

Three Rivers Mothers’ Union new banner

Our new branch banner was blessed at the Holy Communion Service held at Chippenham Church on Monday 12th November, 2012.  It was paraded at the Commissioning Service on Saturday 24th at Ely Cathedral.  

The Mothers’ Union Magazine, Families First

The Mothers’ Union Magazine, Families First, is now available in some branches of Sainsburys,

W H Smith and local newsagents.  Locally it can be bought for £2.50 from Central House, Burwell, W H Smith Cambridge and Tindalls Newsagents Newmarket and Ely Station.  It is an excellent family magazine and we encourage you to give it a try.

Purpose, Aim and Objects

The purpose of the Mothers’ Union is to be specially concerned with all that strengthens and preserves marriage and Christian family life.

The Aim of the Society is the advancement of the Christian religion in the sphere of marriage and family life. 

In order to carry out its Aim, its Objects:

  • To uphold Christ’s teaching on the nature of marriage and promote its wider understanding.

  • To encourage parents to bring up their children in the faith and life of the Church.

  • To maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service.

  • To promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children.

  • To help those whose family life has met with adversity.

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Past events and activities  

Virtual Taize service - streamed on Zoom at 6pm on Sunday July 19 2020

We are hosting a virtual Taize service, log in at 6pm to join us:

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 840 1497 0357

You may download and view, and optionally print, the service sheet from the link below: taize-sunday-july192020.pdf

Confirmation - Saturday November 24

Christine Hewitt was confirmed on Saturday November 24 at at Ely Cathedral. 

November 11 - Armistice Day
Centenary of the end of the First World War

Snailwell Flower Festival of Hymn-themed Floral displays - May 26-27

There will be a Flower Festival in the church at Snailwell on May 26 and Sunday May The Hymn-themed floral arrangements will be on display from 10.30am–6pm and refreshments will be available. The festival ends with Songs of Praise on Sunday at 4pm.



The 7th annual Spurgeon Trundle

On Saturday May 5 over 30 people (and some dogs) walked from the village to the riverside monument which commemorates the baptism of Charles William Haddon Spurgeon, The Prince of Preachers, in the River Lark at Isleham on May 3 1850.

In a short act of worship we sang Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art and recited the Lord's Prayer.


St Andrew's Church, Isleham, Cambridgeshire
Festival of Light on December 2/3 and 9/10

The Church was open to view over 40 illuminated Christmas trees decorated by local groups and businesses and attracted many visitors.

The Community Carols service on Sunday December 10 was very well attended.

The institution of the Rev’d David Cleugh - October 20 at Fordham

The institution of the Rev’d David Cleugh as Rector of the Three Rivers Group by the Bishop of Ely was held on Friday, October 20 in St Peter and St Mary Magdalene, Fordham. 

There was a good turnout with excellent music during the service and splendid refreshments afterwards.

 Thanks to all who helped to make it a great occasion.

We welcome David and his family to the Diocese.

 David and his wife Hannah, who is the Senior Chaplain to the Bishop of Ely, will live at the vicarage in Fordham.

A big thank you to everyone who helped to make Rev’d David’s service of Institution such a special occasion. Special thanks to Head Mrs Kate Coates for making the school community space available for refreshments after the service.

Bring and Share Harvest supper at St Andrew's Isleham
Saturday September 30

New Rector appointed for the Three Rivers Group

The Rev'd David Cleugh has been appointed as Rector for the Three Rivers Group David is currently Priest-in-charge of the parishes of Leadgate, Medomsley and Ebchester in the Diocese of Durham.

All are invited to the institution and installation of the Rev’d David Cleugh by the 
Bishop of Ely on Friday, October 20 at 7.30pm in St Peter and St Mary Magdalene, Fordham. We welcome David and his family to the Diocese.

David describes himself as a 'liberal Anglocatholic, vegetable grower, dog walker and Mansfield Town fan".

David and his wife, Hannah, will reside in the vicarage in Fordham.

The Rev'd Dr Hannah Cleugh, formerly Chaplain and Solway Fellow of University College, Durham, has been appointed by the Bishop of Ely as his Senior Chaplain.

She is a board member of Affirming Catholicism.

August Bank Holiday weekend - Quilts and Quilting at St Andrew's Isleham - Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 

Over the August Bank Holiday we held a very successful Quilts and Quilting exhibition and workshops by ‘Peacemakers’ Group, with refreshments made available in the church Social Centre.

Annual Band & Blossom Concert with BBQ
Sunday May 14 at St Andrew's Social Centre 

The Annual Band & Blossom Concert featuring the Newmarket Town Band, with a BBQ, was held in the Isleham Social Centre Garden on Sunday May 14. The event was inaugurated to commemorate the life of Graham Wells.

Berkeley Castle to Berkeley Close 1500 miles in just over a week in a Berkeley T60 with Geoff Dabrowa - May 8-14

After spending the weekend camping near Stroud for “Wheel Nuts” Charity Car Show and The Club AGM Barry Jones and myself start off on Monday morning May 8 from Berkeley Castle in our standard 328cc motorcycle engine three wheel Berkeleys to replicate as near as possible a drive that was done in 1960 by Bob Currie and Andre Baldet that took them all round the UK, as far north as Inverness in a NEW Berkeley, (ours are 57yrs old !!). 


Sadly, Barry's car broke down on the first day and after a series of dramatic breakdowns - and repairs - Geoff too was prevented from from completing the planned itinerary.

However he covered over 800 miles, arriving at Berkeley Close in Biggleswade on Sunday afternoon May 14, (the site of the old Berkeley factory). Many thanks to all who enabled us to meet our goal of raising over £1,500 for Cancer Research.

Download an A4 flyer which shows the route and planned daily schedule (PDF file).

Geraldine and I have been active members of our village church, St Andrew's Isleham for 40 years. Geraldine had great support from the Church family and Macmillan Nurses, since being diagnosed and successfully treated for breast cancer last year.

We aimed to raise £1500 for Macmillan Cancer Support (one £ for every mile of our journey. 

Anyone wishing to donate can do so on my “Just Giving” site and gift aid if possible. 

Alternatively post a cheque to me made out to “ Macmillan Cancer Support”.  Geoff Babrowa, 22 Beck Rd, Isleham, Ely, Cambs. CB7 5SA tel 01638-780500.

The Section 12 meeting with the Archdeacon, the Ven Dr Alex Hughes, and the Rev Sue Giles the new Rural dean, to discuss the Parish Profile, and what skills and characteristics the parishes would like in a new priest was held on Tuesday May 9 at Fordham School. About 25-30 people attended the meeting. The vacancy is now advertised on the Ely Diocese web site:


The 6th Annual Spurgeon Trundle - Saturday May 6 

On Saturday May 6 about twenty of us walked from the pond in East Fen Road Isleham, via Ferry Drove to the River Lark on our Annual Spurgeon Trundle.

We gathered there by the monument to the Reverend Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who was famous as The Prince Of Preachers. He was baptised there in the river in 1850, and we commemorated the occasion with a very short act of worship.

Evensong at Jesus College - Tuesday May 2

The patron of Fordham and Kennett, Jesus College, invited us to attend choral Evensong in the College Chapel in Cambridge after a short talk from the Dean of College.

Farewell Mike and Helen

The farewell Group Eucharist at Isleham last Sunday was a very special time. It was very moving for us, write Mike & Helen, and we are extremely grateful for your very generous gift to us both. It will come in very handy for all the work we are having done to our house in Ely. So THANKS. Very much appreciated.

It will be difficult to move on, but these times come to us all, and we support and encourage one another on the journey. You have certainly encouraged and supported us in our ministry with you in these churches and these villages for the past fourteen years. I still have some weddings and baptisms to take, so will see you from time to time. 

Lunch on Monday at Chippenham Park was another super day, which I hope and pray all enjoyed too. Over 200 of us gathered for a superb hog roast from La Hogue, with salads and desserts. Our grateful thanks to Hugo and Becca Nicolle and Eustace Crawley for their great generosity, and to Louise, Yvette and all their helpers with the food and drink. Peter Maxwell and family make splendid bar persons, and Liz made a very special cake. Judy Burbidge made the table decorations to round off a brilliant day.

Thanks again. God bless.

Election of Churchwardens - Sunday April 23

The election of Churchwardens was held after the principal service in each church on Sunday April 23. Rob Savage and Kathy Carver were elected as Churchwardens for St Andrew's Isleham.

The Student Cross - 2017
Holy Week Tuesday and Wednesday

The Student Cross walked through the parish again in Holy Week. 

They stayed overnight in the Victoria Hall in Fordham and Jenny Bowen and her team of helpers fed them supper and then rose early for the students’ breakfast before their walk on Wednesday. 

They joined us for Compline on Tuesday evening: it is a delight to be able to offer hospitality to them.

Floods, Droughts and Sausages! - October 8 at Karma Farm

A super Saturday at Karma Farm. Many thanks to Bridget, Will and Sheila for hosting and Kath for the catering. Nigel and Alastair for leading us on this Christian Aid event.

This Autumn Barbecue event was run by St Andrew's Church, Isleham,  and sponsored by Christian Aid as part of their nationwide Week of Action (8-16 October), to tell the government, ahead of upcoming environmental legislation, that we want powerful laws to combat climate change and protect places we love, for example, in our parish, The Wash, with its precious bird life.

Alistair Burn told us about the winter migrants that will be starting to arrive, and Nigel Cooper talked about the threats posed to Fenland wetland habitats by climate change. 

Pet service - at Snailwell on September 25


Many thanks to Sue, Helen and Carol for a super service.



Gift Day at Isleham - July 16

Thanks to all who have donated contributions to our Gift Day. It is too early yet to say how much we have been given, so thanks to everyone who did and to all those who were in church to receive the gifts.  

Band, Blossoms and BBQ - May 15

This annual event was held at the St Andrew's Social Centre, Isleham on Sunday May 15.

Featuring the Newmarket Town Band, a full barbecue and homemade desserts, and a licensed bar; all those who attended enjoyed a good time.

Congratulations to Sue and David

Congratulations to Sue and David on the safe arrival of their grandson Sacha for Emily and Phil on Wednesday April 20.

The Student Cross


Easter Day Dawn Service

Prom Praise

Thanks to Roy and Janet Vatcher for organising the super visit to Prom Praise in the Royal Albert Hall.

Isleham Church of England (VC) School Head retires  

Nicola Bramley, the Head Teacher at Isleham School for the past eight years, is retiring on Maundy Thursday. She has made a tremendous difference to the school. The church and the whole village and staff, pupils and Governors will thank her at the school service at 2 pm on Maundy Thursday.

Nicola will continue to live in Fordham. Dawn and Rhian will be leading the school as Acting Heads in the summer term, and Sarah Skillern will take up the reins as the new Head in September.

Sponsor a 'Real Easter Egg'  

Last year many members of our church family generously sponsored Fairtrade ‘Real Easter Eggs’ to be given to children who come to Messy Church, and we'll do it again this year.

Sue reports that, “there has been a fantastic response to the request for sponsoring Real Easter Eggs. We have 30 eggs for the children who attend Messy church and some money to put aside for next year’s eggs.” Many thanks to everyone who contributed so generously.  

Lent lunches 

Our three Mothers' Union Lent Lunches have been very successful and raised over £400.

A huge vote of thanks to all who have prepared soup, made the sandwiches, set up the rooms and cleared away.  It is really good to be together like this in Lent and to share the discipline.

Festival of light at St Andrew's Isleham 
December 5/6 and 12/13

A magnificent event with tons of hard work from everybody concerned. Many thanks to Mark and Nettie for leading the community carols on Sunday at 4pm.  Final results as soon as they are known. 

See pictures from a previous Festival of Light...

Ministry team

It’s a real delight to welcome back Carol Taylor as a Licensed Lay Minister to our Group, and Stephen too. Already we are witnessing their strong and prayerful presence among us. Welcome back. 

Also welcome to Duncan Dalais, a retired priest who lives in Chippenham and who has Permission to Officiate in our Group and across the Diocese too. I am delighted that he will be taking services and assisting us all in our ministries here.  

Etheldreda Medal for Terry Cross 

The Diocese has instituted a new medal in recognition of the immense contribution so many make not only to their home church, but also to the local community. Terry Cross of Chippenham has been awarded one of the 11 medals given out this year and received it at our Cathedral at Evensong on October 17, St Etheldreda's Day. Congratulations to him!

A special service at Ely Cathedral On Sunday September 27 to launch the Strategy, Ely 2025. People fully alive. A strategy for growth.

The service to launch the Strategy, Ely 2025. People fully alive. A strategy for growth, was held at our cathedral on Sunday, September 27.

Thanks to Peter Maxwell who has been instrumental from our parishes in working on this.

Mothers' Union Deanery Coffee Morning - September 25

Deanery MU Coffee Morning was held at Chippenham Village Hall on Friday September 25.   Stalls included Cake & Produce, Books, MU Cards and Refreshments.  

Mike Banyard appointed Rural Dean


Bishop Steven has appointed Mike to be Rural Dean of Fordham and Quy Deanery as from now. Archdeacon Alex licensed Sue as Associate Priest and commissioned Mike as Rural Dean of Fordham and Quy Deanery on Thursday August 20.

70th anniversary of the end of WW2
events on September 12 and 20

A superb Veterans lunch at the Victoria Hall on Saturday September 12 with many from our five parishes present.  Huge thanks to Andrew Mead, who paid for it all, Louize Hurst, Yvette Hill and Anomi and her daughter for helping prepare and serve the food and for the willing band of volunteer helpers and the Fordham Guides who made the event so special.

That evening the concert in church was tremendous.  Thanks to John Pryke and the Charity Group for all their work.  The concert raised over £1600 for the Church, the Fordham Charity Group and The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.  Above all our thanks to Brenda Lee for her inspiration and detailed work in making sure everything went very smoothly.  

Our Commemoration concluded with the Group Service at Fordham, on Sunday September 20. A time with folk from all five churches in our parish, super music, and a good time to give thanks. 

We have purchased a commemorative mug for each primary school child in our parishes, and will give them out soon. 


Wedding dresses and Christening robes exhibition
at St Andrew's Isleham - Bank Holiday weekend

An exhibition of wedding dresses and Christening robes will take place of Saturday August 29 and Sunday August 30 in the church.  Refreshments will be available in the Social Centre.  The exhibition will be open, and refreshments available, between 10am and 5pm. 

There are nearly thirty wedding dresses on display along with other memorabilia of the wedding days. Two dresses are over one hundred years old, another has been worn by three generations of brides.

View a gallery of photos...

'Polar Explorers' Holiday Club - 
from August 11- 14 

The 'Polar Explorers' Holiday Club met at The Victoria Hall in Fordham from 9.30am-noon, from Tuesday to Friday.

Each day the children embarked on a 'mini expedition' in which they found out about a Biblical character through story and song, arts, crafts and games, and learn that they too can be part of God's  'Big Expedition.'

A huge vote of thanks to Revd Sue, Emma, and the tremendous group of leaders who made this year’s holidays club such a success. The children have thoroughly enjoyed their time and learned a great deal about God’s love and grace in all our lives.  

Many thanks too, to Rob Savage who constructed the awesome sledge and to so many who made unique and creative contributions throughout the week.  

Our Holiday Club is now a well established and well loved part of our mission so thank you to everyone who helped and to everyone else who through their prayers grounded the whole activity in God’s love for us.

St Andrew's Gift Day - Saturday July 18


Dear Friends,
St Andrew’s Isleham has stood at the very heart of the community for several hundred years. It contains not only much of the history of the village, but is also the space for a lively, vibrant, prayerful, community of faith which meets for worship. This equips us for acts of service in our village and beyond. Many come to visit, to witness for themselves the beauty and peace of the building, and to lift their spirits. St Andrew’s is both a source of inspiration to all and a symbol of those eternal values of love, joy and peace which are at the very heart of the universe. Many find a home in our church, and come to celebrate marriage, and for the baptism of children and adults alike and to gather in times of sadness too, for funerals and memorial services. 

Through offering space for the Post Office at St Andrew’s Social Centre, the church has been able to work with the community to retain the PO in the village, an asset for all. A very generous local donation meant that we could repair the Social Centre roof, and a Government grant from the Repair Roof Fund, means that we can repair the church porch and chancel and vestry roofs too. Our choir thrives, our Sunday School continues to teach the faith to our young people, and our Church of England primary school is a safe and excellent educational experience for youngsters in the village. Many work hard in church and community alike, ringing bells, arranging flowers, welcoming, cleaning and helping in keeping the church alive. We all want to keep St Andrew’s open for everyone. Your contribution is vital in this, for the future of St Andrew’s is in the hands of the whole community. St Andrew’s is entirely self-supporting, receiving no outside grants or contributions for the everyday maintenance and running costs. It’s the church for everyone in our community, so please do give generously to ensure it can remain open for all.

On Gift Day, Saturday July 18 this year, members of the regular congregation and friends will be in church from 9am – 4pm to receive your gift. (If you pay tax, it will help us if you could fill in the attached declaration: this increases the value of the gift by 25p in every pound. Please complete the form below when you return your gift. Cheques to be made payable to Isleham PCC please.)

With love, prayers and every blessing
The Rev’d Mike Banyard, Rector, the Rev’d Sue Potts, Associate Priest
Robert Savage, Peter Pedersen, Churchwardens.

Isleham Gala July 4

Thanks to all who contributed to our stall at the Gala, we raised over £150.

St Andrew's Isleham Clear up - Saturday June 20

The church has been transformed and much clutter has gone. Huge thanks to all who came along and helped. The flower room and vestry are clear and all the lights now work! Thanks.

Flower festival at St Andrew's Soham - May 23-25


On the left you see a 'floral' arch the near part of which was provided by the Foodbank in Soham. The 'flowers' were all created from rubbish and food packaging.


The photo on the right is of the Mothers' Union display.


Band and BBQ Garden Party in memory of Graham Wells
St Andrew's Social Centre garden Isleham - Sunday May 17 

The rain held off and everyone enjoyed the splendid Newmarket Town Band and the excellent barbecue and homemade salads and desserts, not to mention the licensed bar.

Over £800 was raised for church funds.

Thanks to all who helped in any way to make the day a great success.

The Spurgeon Trundle May 9 2015

On a windy but pleasantly sunny Saturday afternoon at 3 o' clock, some twenty-five men, women, children, and a dog called Abby set off from the duck pond in East Fen Road, Isleham, on the 2015 Spurgeon Trundle. 

For those who haven't heard of the Trundle before, it consists of a leisurely annual walk down East Fen Road, and then along Ferry Drove, to the place at the River Lark where the great Reverend Charles Haddon Spurgeon was Baptised on the 3rd of May in 1850. He had walked all the way from Newmarket to Pound Lane Church - here in Isleham - especially for that occasion. One of Isleham's best-kept secrets is that someone  - we are not sure who - placed a memorial stone on the river bank over forty years ago, to mark the occasion where such an eminent Christian began his Baptised Ministry.

He was known as 'The Prince Of Preachers,' because during his lifetime, he preached to over 10 million people; all this long before the days of radio and television! It's worth looking him up on the internet - - as he had such an extraordinary career, which has been, and still is, revered worldwide. 

This Trundle has now become an annual Isleham event, and is something like Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales,' in the way that those who made the 'pilgrimage' made friends with each other, chatted about all sorts of things on the way, and shared stories with each other. At the monument itself, there was a short act of worship, beginning with The Lord's Prayer, and then the singing of the hymn, 'Jerusalem,' and 'The Grace,' and finally three cheers for Spurgeon! 

Each 'trundler' was given a brief souvenir handout, which included a photo of last year's 'pilgrims,' some facts about Spurgeon, and an appropriate extract from one of his sermons that he had specially addressed to the farming community. 

Next year, the Trundle will take place on Saturday the 7th of May 7 starting at 3pm,  so put it in your diaries now while you think of it - and, if you've never joined us before, come and do The 2016 Spurgeon Trundle: you'll love it! 

Christopher Goodwins

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting April 28

An excellent meeting at our primary school in Isleham saw some 32 members present. 

There were quite a few apologies this year as the choirs were meeting at Ely to rehearse for the festival in May and it was the sole rehearsal!

All present contributed to an overview of what had been good in the past year and came up with this list:

  • Potential at Kennett

  • Congregations growing

  • Violinist at Snailwell

  • Flower Festival at Fordham

  • Messy Church and Holiday Clubs

  • Heating at Fordham works!

  • Carol service at Fordham very good

  • Our choirs and new members

  • Solvent

  • Four young bell ringers at Fordham

  • Children at Snailwell

  • Sue and David

  • Carol and Stephen

  • Children in services

  • Ministry Team

  • Unsung helpers

  • Pastoral care for congregation.

Our challenges for the year ahead include:

  • Heating that works                          

  • Community space Snailwell

  • Better facilities in church            

  • Sound systems improved

  • Toilets in church            

  • More service sheets please

  • Grow mission                                     

  • Up to date prayer lists

  • Café church

  • Sit at front.

Please share your thoughts with the Ministry Team and with Churchwardens and PCC members about how we can pray our way into the future.

Jenny Gage licensing - Easter day

Jenny Gage was licensed on Easter Day at Haddenham to the Grunty Fen group. We wish her well in this new stage of her ministry. 

Holy week 

The Student Cross walked through our parishes on Tuesday March 31 and Wednesday April 1. Fordham was the halfway point on their pilgrimage from Epping to Walsingham.

They stayed at Fordham’s Victoria Hall on the Tuesday night. They joined with us for Compline and Address on the Tuesday evening and then after their breakfast, they had  a short service in church at 8am before they set off for Methwold the longest day on their pilgrimage.

It was good to welcome this group to the Parish on Tuesday.  Many thanks to Jenny, Doreen and Barbara for preparing dinner on Tuesday and breakfast on Wednesday morning, really early.  We hope to welcome them again next year.

New roof for the Social Centre at St Andrew's Isleham

Many thanks for the most generous gift of a new roof for the Social Centre at St Andrew’s in Isleham. A parishioner saw the state of the roof, and offered to pay for complete re-roofing, so THANKS. It is all very much appreciated, and the roof looks great too. The builders also put new insulation in the roof and evicted the squirrels which have since returned..

Lent courses 2015 

This year there were three groups; Sue led the group at Isleham hosted by the Vatchers; Mike led the group at Fordham; and Jan and James Broad hosted and led the group at Chippenham.  We used materials produced by the Diocese of Norwich called Mapping Lent which were very interesting.

Lent lunches 2015

This year we held Lent Lunches at Fordham, Isleham and Chippenham.

A big thank you to those who have provided homemade soup and sandwiches and those who have supported these lunches.

The second Lent lunch was held in Isleham on March 5.

Holiday Club Shrove Tuesday

A super time was had by 37 children and a goodly number of helpers in activities, song and fun.  A huge thank you to Sue and all who helped to make it such a success.  The morning finished with pancakes, of course, and our fervent hope that many will return for our holiday club  in the summer.  

Fare well to Jenny and Andrew

Many thanks to everyone who helped to make last Sunday, our Ride and Stride after Christmas such a good occasion. 

And thanks to all who helped with the refreshments at the Bowls Club in Fordham when we said fare well to Jenny Gage and Andrew. 

Jenny will be in South Africa from Friday onwards for about a month, and will be licensed on Easter Day at 4pm at Haddenham. We will go over and support her in this new stage in her ministry.

The Festival of Light - December 6/7 and 13/14

The annual festival of Light at St Andrew's Isleham took place this year on the weekends of December 6/7 and December 13/14.

There was a stunning display of about forty decorated illuminated Christmas trees. 

There was a Christmas Fayre on December 6, and on December 14 a Carol Service 4pm.

You can view some more photos from the displays in previous years.


Remembrance Sunday - November 9

In Isleham we met around the War memorial at 10.45am, and then moved on to church which was full. The Service was led by the Rev'd Nigel Cooper, Chaplain of Anglia Ruskin University.

Becca's licensing - October 20 at Haslingfield

Rev’d Becca Gilbert was licensed in the Lordship Group on Monday 20 October at 7.30pm at Haslingfield Church.  Thanks to all who attended from the Three Rivers groups churches. 

Harvest supper at St Andrew's - Saturday September 27 


A splendid Harvest supper was enjoyed by members of the congregation and the wider community.


Thanks to all who contributed and attended.






Fordham Flower Festival  - September 20 and 21

This festival of flowers, art and music was inspired by our national commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War. 

Quilts and quilting display at St Andrew's Isleham - August Bank Holiday weekend

The Quilts and Quilting display was superb. The church was full to the brim with wonderfully crafted quilts of all sizes and colours, demonstrating skill, great craftsmanship and invention. It was also good to see so many old and new friends alike visiting the church and social centre. Grateful thanks to all those who gave their time so willingly to make this a fantastic weekend.

More photos of the quilts...

Farewell to Becca, Rich and family - August 17

A super time last Sunday afternoon with over 65 turning up at the Vicarage to say fare well to Becca and Rich, Minty and Benedict.

Becca and Rich have made a tremendous difference in the parishes and will be sorely missed. 

Becca & Rich would like to say a huge thank you for a wonderful send off on Sunday 17, it was lovely to see so many of you there and we will cherish very special memories of our time with you all. Thank you also for the generous gifts too. 

Please do keep in touch, and as of Wednesday August 27, our new address will be the New Vicarage, Broad Lane, Haslingfield CB23 1JF. Much love, The Gilberts x

Becca's licensing will be on Monday October 20, at 7.30pm at Haslingfield. 

Group service at Fordham at 10.30am Sunday August 3

The only morning service in the Three Rivers group this Sunday celebrated the Mega Makers Holiday Club. 

A fantastic week with tremendous thanks to the huge team of willing helpers making this a significant contribution to our outreach to children in the Three Rivers group. 

Rob Savage made a magnificent Mega Machine which featured in our service. 

Many, many thanks to Rich Gilbert and Janine Taylor who led the week so successfully.

St Andrew's Isleham Gift Day - July 19

St Andrew's Isleham Gift Day was on Saturday July19. 

Christian Aid Walk and collection 2014


The Christian Aid Walk and collection made over £1000 – way up on last year.

Deanery Evensong at Isleham - June 8 

It was great to welcome Bishop Stephen and so many others from the churches across the deanery.   Our worship was great and the social time afterwards was a tremendous opportunity to get to know each other better.  See you at the next one!

The 2014 Isleham Spurgeon Trundle

Christopher Goodwins writes - On the 3rd of May, a Saturday afternoon that couldn't have been sunnier, about thirty people met at the pond in East Fen Road, to begin the second annual Spurgeon trundle. 

At 3 o'clock precisely, after three blasts on a vuvuzela (reminiscent of the rams' horn trumpets at Jericho) we set off along the track, rather like the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The time seemed to pass very quickly as we talked, and laughed, and got to know each other, and before we knew it, we were at the left turn into Ferry Drove. 

Some who had earlier gone by car met us and walked the last hundred yards to the river bank, where we assembled for a short act of worship, and commemorated the Baptism of 'The Prince Of Preachers,' - the Reverend Charles Haddon Spurgeon, on that very day, 164 years ago. 

The occasion concluded with three cheers for Spurgeon being made, after which no one seemed to want to go home, but stood around in small groups listening to stories about old Isleham, and the ferry, and what Baptisms were like there years ago - within living memory of some of the people there. Group photographs were taken, but no baptisms took place on this occasion, except for Millie, the golden Labrador who demonstrated how it should be done, by diving straight into the water. 

Isleham residents were well represented, as were people from Worlington, Barton Mills, Fordham, and the three Isleham Churches. Peter Flatt had kindly mown the grass on the bank a day or two before, which made access much easier. 

"Next year in Jerusalem" was not exactly the cry made by people leaving the site, but it was suggested that it could well become a picnic in future years, for those who were prepared to trundle along the paths to Isleham's best-kept secret - the Spurgeon's Baptismal stone on the banks of the river Lark, at the site of the old Ferry.   

A new kneeler - February 2014

We have a splendid new kneeler made and donated by the Edwards family and dedicated to Cyril Edwards 1937-2013. 

David Kightley


The funeral service for the late Rev’d David Kightley wwas held on Friday December 20 at Chippenham Church and afterwards at Chippenham Village Hall.


David was Priest in Charge of Isleham, Chippenham and Snailwell, and lived in Chippenham from 1976 - 1996. Much loved, he built up the congregation at Isleham from a handful to around 70. He had excellent relationships with the High St and Pound Lane churches.


Carols at Limestone Close - December 20


The choir led an evening of carol singing at Limestone Close on Friday December 20 at  in the Community Room.

Festival of Light at St Andrew's Isleham - December 7/8 and 14/15  

The Christmas Market was on Saturday December 7 and the Christmas trees were in place for both weekends of this great festival.

The Community Carol Service was on Sunday December 15 at 4pm and very well attended. 

The new Isleham Post Office - opened December 5

The new Isleham Post Office at the St Andrew's Social Centre was officially opened by the Venerable John Beer, Archdeacon of Cambridge, on Thursday December 5.

The new Post Office will be open from 9am-5.30pm Monday to Friday and from 9am-12.30pm on Saturday.

There will be restrictions on parking at the Social Centre, at least during Post Office opening hours, to avoid damage to the gardens.


Ride, Drive & Stride 2013 -September 14

Rich Gilbert (Becca’s husband) raised £450, half of which goes to the Three Rivers Group, by cycling to all five Group churches; he visited 44 churches altogether travelling over 70 miles.

Funds raised are shared between the Group and Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust, who organise the event.  

Messy Church - started Sunday September 8


Last week, we started  Messy Church in Fordham. 15 children and their parents turned up for an afternoon of craft, play, worship and food. A great team of helpers led under Becca’s supervision. 


We will do Messy Church once a month every month from now on. If you know anyone who would like to take part, or you would like to help in any way please do speak to one of the Ministry Team, but Becca in the first instance.  

Summer Social at St. Andrew’s Church - Saturday and Sunday, August 24 and 25

The annual St Andrew's Church Summer Social was held at the Social Centre over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Many thanks to all who ran and supported this great weekend.  We raised over £1,300, so a welcome addition to church funds.

Pyramid Rock - August 2013

Pyramid Rock Was a tremendous experience both for the young people who took part (some 30 in all) and for the parishes!! This is the first time we have mounted a Holiday Club for some time. They used to be held in both Isleham and Fordham in the past. It was good too to have such a supportive group of adults leading each of the three groups, contributing to games and sport, leading the music, providing the refreshments, organising the crafts and being prepared to help those who might be injured (mercifully that skill was not called on much).

The group service on Sunday at Fordham was both well attended and a real delight. It was good to share refreshments after the service and then for so many to be at the BBQ in the Vicarage Garden to celebrate the end of the week. 

Becca and Rich and so many others played a great role in ensuring this was a huge success. THANKS. It is and was very much appreciated. 

Archdeacon's Visitation - St Andrew's Isleham - May 29

The Archdeacon's Visitation to swear in churchwardens was held at St Andrew's Isleham on Wednesday May 29 at 7.30pm. Over 80 people attended.

The visit to the Spurgeon baptismal stone - May 3 2013

Christopher Goodwins writes: About forty men, women and children - representatives and others from Pound Lane Church, High Street Church, and The Three Rivers Group - met in East Fen Road on Friday afternoon, May 3, for a leisurely half-hour trundle along Ferry Drove to the River Lark, by kind permission of Mr Derrick Beckett.

This novel event was planned to mark what we believe may have been the fortieth anniversary of the siting of a memorial stone, marking the place where the Reverend Charles Haddon Spurgeon was baptised by total immersion in the River Lark on that very day in 1850. 


He earned the title of 'The Prince Of Preachers,' because his sermons proved to be the most powerful means of persuading thousands of people to become Christians.

The ecumenical trundle was a relaxed and pleasant occasion in bright sunshine, and a wonderful way of making friends, and getting to know one another. A small souvenir publication was given to all present, with illustrations of former baptisms there, the ferry, Spurgeon himself, and other interesting photos; and Mr Dave Hall, of Pound Lane Church, spent a moment highlighting some of the facts about Spurgeon's great Ministry.

It was surprising, however, that nobody seemed to know for certain who put the stone there, who paid for it, or who planned it. 


Even more surprising is the fact that so few people today even know of its existence, and few have ever seen it. Of all the things that Isleham is known for, the guide books are remarkably silent about the huge importance to the Christian Church of the Baptism of this remarkable clergyman. 

Our 2013 visit was held to be such a success that we have been asked to make it an annual occasion. 


Next year, May 3 falls on a Saturday. Now that we all have a year's notice, maybe we could arrange to have our choirs, a brass band, and some hearty hymn-singing at the Spurgeon baptismal stone? Maybe a different aspect of his Ministry each year could be featured, maybe some snippets from some of his sermons, and full Media coverage? 

Do let us have your ideas, photos, thoughts, and suggestions about next year's visit. But please don't delay – because next May 3  is only about a year away!

Want to know more about Charles Spurgeon?:

Kate’s Institution - December 18 

A lovely evening when 35 members of our churches went to Great Hormead to support Kate, Daniel, Emma and Alice at Kate’s institution as Priest-in-Charge of her new parishes there. Thanks to everyone who came. It was a great evening.


Isleham Festival of Light - December 8 & 9 and 15 & 16

A wonderful two weekends of the whole community coming together to celebrate Advent and all our preparations for Christmas. The Carol Service last Sunday was super, so a big vote of thanks to all who made it works so well. We collected about £1,500 towards church funds. Thanks.

If you have never been been this year you missed an impressive display of nearly 40 illuminated Christmas trees, donated and decorated by local groups and businesses.

Click here to view some pictures of the Festival of Light in 2007

There were more than 45 Christmas trees on display in 2010 as shown in the panoramic image below.

Click and drag to rotate the panorama, and use the + and - keys to zoom in and out.


Canon Tim Elbourne's final services - November 25


Congratulations to Canon Tim Elbourne, who has been appointed as Diocesan Director of Education in the Diocese of Chelmsford. 


Tim has been in Ely since 1998, and has been Associate Priest here in the Three Rivers Group for the past 12 years. His ministry has been highly valued here and we shall all miss him. 

Tim’s final services were last Sunday, November 25 at Isleham at 9.30am, and then at Chippenham, with Snailwell, at 6.30pm followed by a reception where he was presented with a selection of 'Essex-themed' gifts
, including spray-on fake tan and a guide to Estuary English.

Harvest 2012

It was so good to welcome our three schools into church for their Harvest Festivals. Over 600 children, staff, parents and grandparents attended at Fordham, Isleham & Kennett. A further 250 attended our Harvest Festivals, all followed by Harvest Suppers. Thanks to everyone who contributed, delivered produce and made Harvest such a time of thanksgiving for all.

St Andrew's Summer Social weekend - August 25 & 26

A great weekend of activities last week at Isleham to welcome cyclists from Mildenhall, and many others too. We raised about £1,300. Thanks to all who worked so hard!

Come and Sing Evensong - June 9 2012

The "Come and Sing evensong" organised by the Archdeaconry of Cambridge Church Music Society on the theme of A Summer Of Celebration at St. Andrew’s, Isleham yesterday was a splendid event. It was open to singers in the Archdeaconry. Music included works by Purcell and Stanford. Many thanks to Mark Liversidge for making this happen in our parish.

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Isleham Festival of Light - November 26-28 2010

The Isleham Festival of Light was celebrated over the weekend November 26-28 to mark the beginning of Advent. 

There were more than 45 Christmas trees on display.

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Sundays@6 Rave in the Nave in the Styx

Following the success of last year’s ‘Sponsored Sleep-Over in Church’ for Children in Need St.Andrew’s, Isleham hosted another fundraising event on Sunday 15th December.  Their Rave in the Nave in the Styx, inspired by the huge annual event at Ely cathedral, raised over £400 and everyone involved had a great time.  

There were three bands; Unauthorised, comprising young people who attend Soham Village College; DOC, an established band of local 17/18 year olds; and The Running Mayfairs, who have played several times at The Junction in Cambridge, all gave their time and expenses for free.  

There were wiifit and playstation games, giant jenga, a tuck shop and brilliant disco courtesy of David Bedford.  Sylvia and Bob Allen kindly donated and manned the Bungee Run which proved very popular with the young, and not so young!  There were several behind the scenes benefactors to whom we are also very grateful.
We hope to make this an annual event and perhaps by holding it on a Friday night and relaxing the age limit we can attract more young people from around the area next year!

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‘Adoramus’- The Granta Chorale 
at St Andrew’s Church, Isleham - Saturday, October 16 

The music of love in all its many forms laced with flowers, spells and sleep!

The Granta Chorale, a choir of 20 - 24 singers, was formed by Janet Wheeler in autumn 2007. 

Janet Wheeler is a freelance composer and choral conductor and also conducts the Saffron Walden Choral Society and directs several youth and children’s choirs in the area.

In 2009 she was commissioned to write a cycle of John Clare settings to celebrate the life and work of the poet. The Granta Chorale gave the first performance of Time becomes a Song in a concert for the John Clare Trust at Glinton in Northamptonshire, close to the poet’s birthplace. This delightful piece formed part of an entertaining and varied programme together with sacred pieces by Monteverdi, Byrd and Duruflé, short atmospheric songs by Britten, Mantyjarvi and Eric Whitacre and much loved jazz standards.

For more information about The Granta Chorale please see the choir’s website: 

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