St Thomas Newsletter – June 2021

Message from Janet

Dear Friends,


 Last month I wrote about how sunshine lifts our spirits – we seem to have had a lot of rain since then! Finally though, as the month came to an end the weather improved again. We had our first wedding at St Thomas’ since I became vicar - the sun shone, Andrew and Vicky and their guests had a lovely day and the church looked great. Many thanks to all those who came to help spruce up our beautiful building for this special occasion.

There is an old song that says ‘Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven’. The vicarage garden seems to have won the lottery! Since we arrived we have tried to be quite relaxed about the garden. So many wild things seem to flourish in it that we decided against cutting the lawn really close and the variety of wild flowers we have is really lovely. However, over the last week or two, since it stopped raining, it has become a little bit silly. Derek had to cut a path through the ‘jungle’ so I could put the washing out because the grass was up to my shoulders in places! It’s a shame because I really don’t want to lose all the bluebells and buttercups but if it gets much taller I might lose my way back to the house!

Of course it isn’t just the vicarage garden that is in overdrive, the churchyard is too. This week a couple of our young people have been busy strimming in the churchyard which I’m sure is hard work in warm weather. We are grateful for their help.

This sudden outburst of plantlife would not have happened if we hadn’t had all the rain I mentioned earlier. The loveliness of nature needs water as well as sunshine to thrive. So do we. We wouldn’t appreciate the warmth of the sun if we hadn’t felt the chilly rain. So it is with life – in hard times and boring times we need to hang in there and then, when the good times come again, they will feel all the sweeter!



Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM)


 Overview of the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM), 2 May 2021

Churchwarden – we had one nomination, from Judith Jones, who was unanimously elected.

Electoral Roll – 2 new applications were received, and we have 93 persons listed.

PCC – Sally Whone has stepped down as PCC member and Treasurer but will continue to provide support for the finance function. Christine Hambler stepped down as PCC member and Secretary. Our thanks were given to Sally and Christine for their many years of service to the PCC and St Thomas.

Happily 3 new applications were received.

St Thomas PCC members:

Reverend Janet Pitman – Chair

Derek Hambler – Deputy Chair (Lay)

Judith Jones – Warden

Pam Gardiner

Gillian Taylor

Tom Parsons – Deanery Synod Representative

Caroline Power

Diane Newton – Deanery Synod Representative

Dawn Clarke

Financial statement was accepted - The Church appreciates the support through monthly standing order donation through the Pandemic and lockdowns.

Independent Financial Examiner - Carl Whittaker was re-elected.

The following reports were accepted (as per the APCM report pack) - PCC and parish Activities, Church Fabric (building and contents), Safeguarding, Sunday School, Deanery Synod and Pastoral Committees, Youth Organisations

Sidespersons: Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic no sidepersons (welcomers) will be appointed. Once things return to normal, we will contact those on the 2019 rota to see if they wish to continue.

Deanery Synod Representative: Diane Newton and Tom Parsons were nominated and elected to serve.

Social Committee: no report was available as no activities in 2020. Due to the sad and untimely death of Jennifer Barker who was the backbone of our social committee for so many years, a new committee will be needed as soon as restrictions allow.

Thanks – Janet thanked everyone who has been involved in keeping the church functioning during the lockdown; cleaning, flowers, tidying churchyard, printing, delivery newsletters and keeping in touch with other members of our congregation family etc.

Special thanks was also offered to Janet’s husband Derek and 2 sons, Nathaniel and Oliver for their contributions both practically in church and also with their singing as part of the online services.

PCC members – first meeting

Tuesday 8 June, 7.30pm (in church)



Flowers at St Thomas

If you would like to make a donation towards the cost of the flowers in church (either non-specific or in celebration or memorium on a special date, please contact Judith

(M: 07795 818047 / T: 01706 845046) or email

COVID-19 Guidance

Always follow the guidance for the safe use of places of worship:

Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.

Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space.’

hands –Sanitize hands thoroughly on entry and before exit.

face – wear a face covering in church (unless exempt)

space – stay 2 metres apart wherever possible and DO NOT mingle with anyone you do not live with or have not formed a support bubble with.

In all circumstances, you should follow the guidance on meeting others safely.

DO NOT attend if you are self-isolating, feel unwell or have any of the recognised symptoms of Covid-19.

Track & Trace: registration is required on the service sign in sheet, however you can also scan our NHS QR code on arrival using the NHS COVID-19 app.

Download the NHS COVID-19 APP here

A prayer for those who mourn

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

Mission Action Planning

Don’t forget our Mission Action Planning Group is meeting on Thursday 13th May at 7:30pm via Zoom.

If you want to be part of framing how we are able to respond to local needs, and be the welcoming, inclusive and spirit-filled community that shares God's love with all.

Please contact Tom Parsons via our church email if you would like to join this meeting:

Graveyard Improvement Group

Following on from Janet’s previous message regarding the condition of the graveyard, we would like to form an action group of 3-4 persons with an interest in improving the look and condition of the graveyard.

Volunteers don’t necessarily have to be hands on or ‘gardeners’ as additional resources for special projects will be requested, but help coordinate improvement work in the public areas, encouraging environmental responsibility and an adherence to the Regulations for church graveyards.

If you would like to help, please contact Janet (see contact details under pastoral care) or Judith (M: 07795 818047 / Email:

A prayer for those working from home

Father of creation, the structure and the shape of our days are so different. There are so many distractions at home and there is a huge temptation to spend more time working than we did before lockdown. Help us to use our time wisely, to invest in the relationships most important to us and to take proper breaks. May we rediscover a new shape to our days that is centred and guided by your Spirit. In Jesus’ name Amen


We received the sad news this week that Brenda Thorley has passed away. Many of our long-standing congregation members will remember Brenda and her husband Peter who was the headteacher at St Thomas' school in the late 70s and early 80s. They moved to Buckinghamshire but always tried to come up for the Christmas fair/tree festival.

Pastoral Care

Please contact Janet:

Tel: 01706 594284


Get Involved

If you have an article or story you would like to share with your friends at St Thomas please get in touch. Please email your article, story, photos to

by Tuesday 25th May 2021


Stay safe and God bless.


 We invite you to pray for our nation

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written an open letter to the nation as we reach the dreadful milestone of losing 100,000 people to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Archbishops invite everyone to pause as we reflect on the enormity of this pandemic. They said, "100,000 isn’t just an abstract figure. Each number is a person: someone we loved and someone who loved us. We also believe that each of these people was known to God and cherished by God.

"We therefore encourage everyone who is feeling scared, or lost or isolated to cast their fears on God."

Starting on 1 February we invite you to set aside time every evening to pray, particularly at 6pm each day. More than ever, this is a time when we need to love each other. Prayer is an expression of love.

How can you get involved? Click the link below for the Church of England’s free resources and pray for our nation every day at 6pm