Church

The church of St Andrew, Helions Bumpstead in the diocese of Chelmsford lies at the spiritual and physical heart of the village. It has long shared its priest with the adjoining parish of St Mary's, Steeple Bumpstead, but is now part of the much larger group of parishes known as the Two Rivers Benefice.

The vicar is the Reverend Jonathan Lowe who can be contacted at the Vicarage, Steeple Bumpstead, on 731 687 or by email. Unless the matter is urgent, please try to avoid Thursdays. If you would like someone to visit, talk or pray with you, please contact Jonathan or any one on the PCC - contact details below.

The regular congregation is sometimes modest in size, but on special occasions such as Christmas Eve (a joint service with St Mary's) there may be more than 100 worshippers. Harvest, Remembrance and Christmas Day services draw 50 or more worshippers.

The organ is played for services by a small but talented team of organists from Helions and the surrounding parishes.

St Andrew's also sponsors the annual fund-raising Harvest Supper, held in the Village Hall. This is invariably oversubscribed and tickets are keenly sought.

The church building is a well maintained Grade II Listed Church with a churchyard which remains open for burials. There has been a Church on the site since the Norman Conquest, but the present building dates from the 14th century with additions made in the 15th and 16th centuries. The original tower was demolished in 1812 and was rebuilt in brick in 1824 with bricks made from a brick kiln in the village. The tower contains a fine peal of 8 bells, which attracts visiting bell ringers from far and wide. Currently the bells are rung for services on the 4th Sunday of each month.

Major restoration work commenced in the 1950's, demolishing the vestry and porch and building a new entrance porch. Since 1978 a number of projects have been completed including the total refurbishment of the Chancel, new lead gutters on the North and South walls, a new lead roof to replace the previous corrugated sheet iron roof on the South Aisle, a new tower roof with new timbers and lead sheeting and complete rewiring and interior redecoration. We have recently installed a sound system and audio loop so that all members of the congregation can hear clearly what is being said.

The Church is open during daylight hours and the visitors book records its impact on the visitors who step inside. Their entries in the book often record an ancient connection with the parish and the church; some travel from Australia and New Zealand to visit the community where their ancestors grew up. They often comment on the church flowers, which are faithfully managed by a small but dedicated team.

Please feel free to contact any member of the Parochial Church Council if you would like to know more.

Service Schedule for St Andrew's

1st Sunday Service of Evensong at 6.00pm
2nd Sunday Service of Holy Communion at 9.15am
3rd Sunday Service of Morning Prayer at 9.15am
4th Sunday Service of Holy Communion at 9.15am
5th Sunday Joint Family Service with St Mary's Steeple Bumpstead. Please see Notice Board for details

Wednesday Mornings

2nd and 4th Wednesdays, Morning Prayer at 9.30am

Information about special services such as those during Easter or Christmas can be found in the 'What's On' pages of this website.

Parochial Church Council for 2015/16

Churchwarden:
John Robins (730 608)

Assistant Churchwardens:
vacant

Treasurer: Diana Nicholson (730 580)
Secretary: Claire Greenwell (730 011)
Deanery Synod rep: Peter Harris
Bell Ringing Co-ordinator: John Robins (730 608)

Members:
Ken Gilkes
Marguerite Gilkes
Genni MacDonald
Paddy Nason
Charlotte Purdie
Ian Purdie
Gillian Robins
Jane Slade

Further details of the work of the diocese can be found on www.chelmsford.anglican.org