top of page

Remember 2019?

Updated: Oct 25, 2020

As we prepare for the delayed APCM, our annual church meeting, here are reports from various St. Andrews groups for the year April 2019 - March 2020. Read and rejoice in the good things God has done in and through the St. Andrews Church community and pray that God will help us to look forward to 2021 with faith, hope and love.

Gateway Breakfast Community

As we went into lockdown we were just arriving at the end of our first year of Gateway gatherings. It has been encouraging to be part of offering a new opportunity for younger families to have an accessible way to come to a church gathering.

Over the year we have had some regular families most weeks during term time and then other families joining us when they could. In all we have met about 20 family groups With some regularity.

The group has enjoyed meeting for breakfast with plenty of dads and teenagers getting involved in serving and cleaning up. Each week we have enjoyed some fun competition or game linked to a bible theme with opportunities for prayer. A highlight was the christingle service we shared with members from the 10.30 gathering.

We have kept in touch with the group through WhatsApp and during lockdown this was a group that offered support and prayer for each other. We took part in Try Praying. The group has a friendly relaxed environment where people felt comfortable to invite friends.

As we move forward this year we’re not sure when or how we will meet as a group and therefore what the shape of Gateway might be. We are planning an advent family friendly activity to do in homes so that we can stay connected and offer some different bible insights and opportunity for praying while we can’t meet.


St. Andrews After School Club

St. Andrews After School Club is a worshipping community for the children and parents/carers associated of Rivington Primary School. It is lead by a team including Nick, Gaynor and Jean from St. Andrews together with Lisa (a parent) and Andrea (a grandparent). It meets on the school premises and is supported and funded by the Diocese’s Joshua Centre project.

What has been good about the past year (2019)?

2019 saw a growing sense of belonging among a regular group of 6 families. Parents /carers got more actively involved alongside their children and two of them joined the leadership team. There was a growing appreciation of the Bible and a recognisable impact on people’s lives.

Positive feedback included: “friendship and togetherness”, “what I like best is the Bible stories” and “we learned more about the real meaning of the bible”, “it makes me calmer”, “I’ve grown in confidence to lead”. In Autumn 2019, three new families got involved.

In addition, the school was awarded the first two levels of the Church and School Partnership Award, and St. Andrews After School Club was a significant part of this.

How did you encourage discipleship in your group?

As well as games and craft, our sessions always included creative ways to pray, bible story and discussion about what it means for us. We also initiated a weekday group for a few of the parents to talk about life and faith and we did the Bible Course together.

How did you encourage mission?

We encouraged people to talk about faith in the club so that they would be more confident to talk about it with other people. Each child made invitations to give to their friends. We contributed to the school’s summer fair and lead an assembly at the school (mostly lead by the children.) We gave donations to St. Helens Foodbank.

What are your hopes for 2021

· That the parents and children will gather once again and we can rebuild a sense of belonging.

· For another one of the parents to take a lead in the team.

· To restart a group for parents to explore the Christian faith.

How can people get in touch with the group and join in?

Contact Nick White on [email protected]

or 07562 560695.

Sticky Fingers

What has been good about the past year?

We have had some success in signposting families into other church communities, Thrive, Gateway breakfast and morning service. Also, as a group of volunteers we have met socially, including forming a quiz team to support the Children’s Society. [We didn’t win!]

Are you facing any challenges?

We would like to grow the group of volunteers so that we all have more time to build relationships with the families. Also, this would enable the workload to be shared across a greater number of adults.

How are you encouraging discipleship in your group?

There is always a Christian message during hub time. This includes Bible stories and other ways of showing adults and children the character of God and the teaching of Jesus. We are also experimenting with offering an activity that is designed for adults, to enhance their emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. This can be enjoyed alongside the children and Aileen is on hand to listen and discuss anything that grownups might need time to explore.

What are your hopes for 2021?

That more of our families will engage with other gatherings offered by St Andrew’s so that they remain connected with faith groups after leaving Sticky Fingers.

How can people get in touch with your group or get involved?

In order to volunteer, please speak with Gaynor.

To add a child’s name to the waiting list, please pop into a session on a Thursday morning during term time or email the church website.

Val, Stephen, Barbara, Ann, Janice, Anna, Aileen and Gaynor


What has been good about the past year (2019)?

This year we saw a great development of the Thrive community, it grew in numbers with a

number of families joining us from Rivington Primary, St Thomas Canterbury School and

Bleak Hill School families. The families seem to really enjoy coming together to eat together and listen to bible stories and then do activities together. I think some of the draw to Thrive is the wonderful meals that Andy Brooks cooks for us, they are certainly enjoyed and welcomed by all.

It has been lovely to see that the families have really taken on board a sense of

belonging to the Thrive Community and have begun, helping to wash up the meal things,

bringing in home grown produce and home baked puddings for us to use and share at Thrive. The families at the end of each session work together to tidy away, and set up for the Sticky Finger Community each week. Plus a family have also offered to help out with the cooking whenever we need it.

How did you encourage discipleship in your group?

We have encouraged discipleship by spending time getting to know each family and listening and chatting to them, the parents who come love to do an adult based craft or project so this has been a great opportunity to get to know them better. The team, by serving them and showing God’s love in kindness has really benefitted the group. Christmas 2019 the group took part in putting on the St Andrews nativity which really made them feel I believe a part of the wider St Andrews Community.

How did you encourage mission?

I believe that we encouraged mission by simply being a welcoming and friendly place where

people feel that they can invite others along to.

What are your hopes for 2021?

During this time of COVID we have tried to keep in contact with those families via zoom, to

start with by meeting together and doing activities live, and then moving on to recording our

sessions so the families can watch these in their own time. We have also made craft bag

deliveries to families which has been very much appreciated. My hope is that, when we can safely meet again, the families will all return we a sense that they have been cared for by St

Andrews and therefore will feel that they are ready to discover more, enabling us to develop

the group further in their faith walk.

How can people get in touch with the group that followed this and join in?

We would love to have more help and support, or families to join in, so please contact me, Nikki Roberts, at [email protected]

Thursday Bible Study

This year has seen a lot of change to our Thursday Bible Study. When Noel left the group there was need for a new leader and a new challenge, however the nature of the excellent materials since that time has been such that group members have been supported to step forward and share leadership. Our numbers have grown and introducing a clear start/finish time has also helped.

The themes have been inspiring, informative and, at times, challenging. It has been particularly useful to follow themes which are also being studied as a whole church, affording opportunities for discussion with others who are not part of our Bible Study, often providing different perspectives.

Each week, we learn more about Jesus and how we can better follow Him in our daily lives. Talking together helps to deepen this understanding. Some themes have required daily Bible reading which instils good habits and the more we become familiar with God’s word, the more we have the necessary tools to tell others about Him.

The group is a safe place for people to speak in confidence. This encourages us to share our experiences of being ‘on the front line’ and how we have been able to share our faith with others, even in the smallest of ways. This, then, inspires confidence in the group as we support and advise each other. Friendships and fellowship have deepened.

Over the coming year we will continue to meet via Zoom. We may also encourage other members of the group to take the lead on occasion. New members are always welcome and if you’d like to join us or find out more please speak to any member of the Bible Study.

Teresa, Gaynor and Carol

Sunday @ Seven

Our Sunday @ Seven gathering met weekly during 2019 every Sunday at 7pm to come together to soak in worship and prayer. We did take a 4 week break during August to allow the leaders time to rest and enjoy a summer break. We also break every year for the final weeks of Advent where the community joins with the wider St. Andrews community for our Advent gatherings.

During 2019, we welcomed a number of new regular worshippers into our community. As a worship leader, my hope is that we can always continue to grow into a deeper relationship with the Father through our sung worship and our prayer, both of which often naturally blend together. We are a community that looks to be Spirit led, and to be open to the many varying expressions of worship. It has been a joy to see a member of our community growing in his gift of prophetic art. At a number of our gatherings, powerful prophetic images have taken form during our worship and have been enjoyed by others.

Another highlight was taking part in the Bible Course from the Bible Society. In each session we would meet and share light snacks and enjoy a time of fellowship at the start of the gathering. We would then break into smaller discussion groups as we took part in each session, and a number of weeks were facilitated by a different leader or member of the community. This was a great encouragement to see gifts emerge as we grow disciples. We very much felt the course should be part of our regular gathering, and so once the session had finished, we moved into a time of open worship and prayer to end our evening. Some great discussions were had, and more and more of our community began to share together more openly.

We also enjoyed an Advent meal together before we closed our gathering for the Advent season. We started our gathering with Carols by Candlelight as we sang advent songs of worship and celebrated the beginning of the season. This was concluded with a bring and share meal and overwhelming generosity was shown by the community - it was more of a feast than a meal! Hotpot, curry, salad and veg, sandwiches, snacks and desserts, celebrating a season of abundant feeding, spiritually and physically.

Our Advent Meal

Whilst we have had much to celebrate over the year, it was with great sadness that we said goodbye to our dear sister, Jeanette. She was so very loved by every member of our community and is deeply missed. However, we can take comfort in the knowledge that she is with the Father and her memory still enriches us. In the hopes of continuing to share the responsibility of leadership, and to go some way towards filling the space that was left behind, Jan Higgins, Ali Rimmer and Aileen White joined Dan as leaders of the community.

It is our hope that in 2021 we will see an end to the Coronavirus pandemic and that we can all be together in person once again. In the meantime, we continue to meet every week online where we are still able to come together, though apart, in praise, worship, and prayer. Sunday @ Seven is open to everyone, please speak to a leader if you are interested in learning more.

With abundant blessings,

Dan Winrow

On behalf of the Sunday @ Seven Team (Jan, Ali, Aileen & Dan)

Luncheon club

What has been good about the past year (2019)? Fun, fellowship and encouragement within the group making it feel like family.

A consistent number coming every week.

Commitment of the volunteers who work effectively as a team.  A hot meal, dessert and hot drink at a cheap price.  Speakers of interest to the group providing valuable and relevant information.   Varying social activities to suit everybody helping to prevent social isolation and great for good mental well being.  Are you facing any challenges? No real challenges but would be good to increase the number of those coming. 

How are you encouraging discipleship in your group? There is a thought for the week given in line with the church’s themes. A prayer is always said. There is now a bible study that takes place after the luncheon club for group members and others from the church. 

How are you encouraging mission?Encouraging members to share their faith and invite people to the group. 

What are your hopes for 2021? That we will be able to start up again as soon as things are safe to do so.  To reach out to the church and the community. 

How can people get in touch with your group or get involved?  Speak to any of the current volunteers or clergy. 

Ali Rimmer (on behalf of the Lunch Club team)

Youth Hub report

What has been good about the past year?

We have provided a safe place for the young people to meet up with each other to share ideas, to have fun doing quizzes and games and to explore the Christian Faith through discussion.

We really appreciated funding from the Deanery Mission and Growth Fund to appoint a Christian Youth Worker towards the end of 2019.

Are you facing any challenges?

The number of young people is quite small. We would ask for your prayers for this group that they may grow in number and in their Christian faith and discipleship. This group is the future church so please pray for the young people and the leader(s).

How are you encouraging discipleship in your group?

Activities from Youthscape and the Try Praying booklet were used to explore and engage the young people to discuss and share their ideas and some of their friends’ ideas about the Christian Faith.

What are your hopes for 2021?

The members of the Youth Hub were invited to be part of a Deanery approach to Youth Work and this is being led by Vicar of Christ Church Rev Sonya Doragh. The vision is for the members to get to know God and each other better and that it may grow in number.

How can people get in touch with your group or get involved?

Initially contact [email protected]

or tel 07847740456

Parish Nursing, Oneworld Community Café and Football

The Parish Nursing service has provided 14 hours per week over the various sessions, home visits, consultancy calls to the council, NHS, churches and mosque in addition to strategic meetings.

Oneworld Health Clinic attendance is at 20-30/ week, end of Dec / early January was quieter as a number of families and individuals got their leave to remain and have left St Helens. However others attending required more intensive one to be support at the group due to mental healthy crisis or upcoming Home Office interviews and court cases. Attendance picked up again during Feb and March until closure forced by Covid Pandemic.

Our Warm Welcome Drop In attendances were at the 40-50 range with 10-15 one to one advice and support in addition to brief advice until closure forced by Covid Pandemic.

Monthly visits to Refugee Women Connect continued until closure forced by Covid Pandemic.

Social prescribing to Pedal Power / Bike Shed and St Andrew’s Oneworld football continue – football numbers cover 5 countries with 15-22 players each week, of these 10 are young people providing much needed support to this client group – Parish Nurse attendance for health queries and general mental health well being has been every 2 weeks. The group has made connections to the football group which plays before hand enhancing community cohesion. Again both Oneworld Football and the Bike shed closed due to Covid Pandemic. The BikeSHED opened again briefly during August/ early September where I would drop in in PPE to provide brief health advice.

Home visits continue for specialist support that can not be provided via the drop ins and groups. In particular families needed mental health well being support and one teen in a children’s home.

Patient feedback documented has been positive.

Admin, consultancy advice as mentioned, grant applications to ensure the service is sustainable, safeguarding training updates and supervision of a new nurse shadowing my role with a view to specialist training is ongoing.

As part of this we have used 10 tickets so far from Mersey Travel donated – postcodes are WA10, WA11, WA9 . Reasons – social prescribing, attending mental health support groups, accessing volunteering.

Rachel Sutton

51 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page