Latest News

Update from Rev Rob…

Church Reopen for Private Prayer


Saturdays 10 am – 12 pm                       


Kay is on leave for weeks commencing 19th and 26th October. The office email and answerphone will provide clear instructions for urgent and immediate matters


Church Open for Private Prayer

St Mary at Stoke                                                                                   St Mary’s is now open on Saturdays between 12 noon – 2.00 pm Please note revised times.

You are welcome to stay for as long or as short a time as you wish. There is an opportunity to light candles.

St Mary’s is ‘COVID secure’ and a steward is present throughout ~~~~~~~~~~+~~~~~~~~~~

Children’s Society Boxes.

Please could St Francis congregation get their box to Sue by the end of October. St Francis will be open every Thursday morning from 8-30 to 10-30 if you would be able to drop the boxes off. Thank you. Sue Strutt. – Church Warden


Pop Up Shop

We reopened on Saturday 19th September from in St Francis Church Hall, because of the current circumstances we are looking for volunteers who can help on a Saturday morning or with the Friday evening collections but must be under the age of 70 and not in a ‘Clinically Vulnerable Group’.  If you are able to help please let Rob or Sue Strutt know.  Appropriate safeguards will be taken to minimise the risk of cross contamination and infection.

We have been offered a collection at Aldi (Hines Road) at 10 am on a Friday morning, if anyone is able to regularly go and collect and deliver to St Francis it would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you to everyone in SWITM who kept me in their prayers during my operation and recovery, it was very comforting to me. It was a big decision to make to have the operation, but I am so thankful I said yes. To be free from pain after so many years is wonderful, and I am gradually building up my walking .  My prayer for us all is that we may soon be able to meet and be close once more.  God bless Sincerely Olive Gillingham

Sundays 9.30 am @ St. Peter Stoke Park Drive.

If you would like to attend this service, you can register by going to:

  2. then simply select the service you wish to register for by clicking on the date. 
  3. This will open a box with the date, time and venue in and a map showing the venue.
  4. Click on ‘SIGN UP’ which will open a new window in your browser
  5. The form will ask you to complete your
  6. Name
  7. Telephone Number
  8. Email Address
  9. Whether you wish for a double seat because you are attending with a person from the same house or with who you are in a support bubble.
  10. There is then the option of adding an additional person / people which will add the sections above.
  11. When you have entered all the details you simply press proceed
  12. You will then be asked to confirm that your details are correct
  13. The final stage is the screen will say that you are signed up
  14. A confirmation email will then be sent to you on Saturday morning to confirm your seat(s)

This operates a first come first served basis, if you later decide you cannot attend then please let Kay, Rob or Merv know as soon as possible and we will delete the booking.

Places can still be booked by telephoning the office and Kay will book you in.  The deadline for telephone bookings is mid-day on the Thursday before the service on the Sunday.  The deadline for on-line bookings is midnight Friday.


Saint Francis Hawthorn Drive

The 9.30 am service on a Thursday has resumed but in the main church and not the Holy Cross Chapel. Attendance is limited to 14 people and places must be booked in advance using one of the methods above. The deadline for telephone bookings is mid-day and midnight for online bookings on the Tuesday before the service.


Saint Mary at Stoke

Provisionally we will be holding our first service in St Mary at Stoke on Wednesday 4th November at 9.30 am. More details, including the capacity of St Marys will follow.


Annual Meeting of Parishioners &

Annual Parochial Church Meeting

These had been scheduled for the 29th April but was postponed, we have now been directed that these should be held by the 31st October so we will be holding ours at 4 pm on Sunday 25th October. This will be a hybrid meeting with a maximum of 24 people at St Peters and anyone else who wishes to do so joining via Zoom.  If you wish to attend in person or via Zoom then please let Kay know to 01473 603229 or by 12 pm on Thursday 22nd October. We will then send out the Zoom Link with the paperwork on Friday 23rd October.

Collection for Rev Donna

We are making a collection to say farewell to Donna who moves this coming week, if you would like to contribute you can do so in two ways:

  1. By bank transfer to the Co-operative Bank PLC, Olympic House,

6 Olympic Court, Salford, M5 2QP.  SWITM PCC,

A/C number: 50036545. Sort code: 08 – 92 – 50

       Please use the reference ‘DG’

Cheques made payable to ‘SWITM PCC’ can be sent to the Parish Office or put in the letter box outside St Francis Church. 

The deadline for donations is the 19th October.

Thought for the Week Alicia Holmes

Alicia Holmes writes

As some of you know already Nick and I have recently become grandparents for the first time. As our daughter and son-in-law have been living with us for 3 months before moving to Germany in the next few weeks, we have been able to thoroughly enjoy the arrival of Zebedee Frederick (6lbs 11oz, in case you are interested…). It has made me think about how life is a miracle and how every one of us is unique. I know, we are used to being told that from time to time, but when you think about it, it really is extraordinary.

Genesis 1 tells us that God made man and woman in His own image. God made each one of us specially because He wants to have a relationship with us. Recently in the Kintsugi Hope Wellbeing Groups we have been thinking about how everyone is special and that includes you.

Try sitting down in a quiet place with a cup of your favourite hot drink and read this slowly:

You are special. In all the world, there’s nobody like you.

Since the beginning of time, there has never been another person like you. Nobody has your smile. Nobody has your eyes, your nose, your hair, your hands, your voice. You’re special.

No-one can be found who has your hand-writing. No-one anywhere has your tastes – for food, or music or art. No-one sees things just as you do.

In all of time there’s been no-one who laughs like you. No-one cries like you. And what makes you laugh or cry will never provide identical laughter and tears from anyone else ever.

No-one reacts to any situation just as you would react. You’re special.

You are the only one in all of creation who has your set of abilities. Oh there will always be somebody who is better at one of the things you are good at, but no-one in the universe can reach the quality of your combination of talents, ideas, abilities and feelings. Like a roomful of musical instruments, some may excel alone, but none can match the symphony of sound when all are played together. You are a symphony.

Through all eternity no-one will ever look, talk, walk, think or do like you. You are special. You are rare. And in all rarity there is great value.

Because of your great rare value, you need not attempt to imitate others. You can accept – yes, celebrate your differences.

You’re special. And it is no accident you are special. God made you specially for his particular purposes. He must have a job for you, that no-one else can do as well as you can. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Out of all the billions of applicants, only one is qualified, only one has the right combination of what it takes. That one is you. Because you are special.

In Ephesians 2:10 Paul writes,

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”.

Isn’t it wonderful that God already has in mind the good things that He has made baby Zeb to do? I wonder how God is using the unique combination of characteristics, qualities and talents He has put in you in order to love and serve Him and others? Is there something He is asking you to do this week? I find is so comforting to know that anything which God calls us to do, He will also equip us to fulfil. How wonderful that we don’t need to do things in our own strength. God will provide all we need if we ask for His help. As Paul says in Philippians 4:13,

“I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.”

Alicia is Lead Pioneer Developer with Inspiring Ipswich

St Mary at Stoke is open at the following days / times.

Tuesdays 10 am – 12 pm

Thursdays 2 pm – 4 pm

Saturdays 10 am – 12 pm

If you are able to pop in at one of these times, you will be very welcome in a physically distant way, If you have been advised to shield or avoid public spaces then please do not put yourself at risk.

Feedback is that the opportunity to pray is appreciated, we do however need more Stewards If you are able to help and not yet offered please talk to Kay in the parish office  Click Here

The instructions we have received make it clear that those fulfilling these roles need to be below the age of 70, and not in a shielded or vulnerable group.  This is not a decision that is taken lightly but recognises that some in our community are more vulnerable to the virus than others.

Bible Study Online

We have started a ‘Zoom’ Bible Study looking at the previous weeks Gospel in more detail than can be contained in a sermon.  All are welcome to join, if you don’t yet receive e-mail updates from Merv ( please ask him to add you to the list to receive instructions on how to join.  This is a long-term plan that will continue after lockdown has been eased.


Treasurers Update

Below are the summarised accounts for SWITM for the seven months to 31st July 2020 and I would make the following comments:

Whilst these figures are showing a healthier position than our budget:

  1. Stewardship Giving etc. is under budget but would be more below budget if SWITM had not received, in April, three one-off payments amounting to £1400 plus Gift Aid. This is worrying as without these generous payments Stewardship Giving etc. would be £2500 under budget.
  2. Rental/leasing is over budget basically because of the restart of the Bright Sparks Nursery at St Peter’s.
  3. Parish Quota under budget by £2250 – it was agreed to pay £3000 a month as against £3750 budgeted for the first three months and review the situation later during the year.
  4. Routine Maintenance etc. is under budget by £6127. This type of expenditure is budgeted over a year so I would expect to have large variances.
  5. Insurance is under budget by £1552. This is partly due to an over accrual at the end of 2019 and over budgeting for this year.

So, we are fortunate in respect of ii) above as this has a positive cash impact.

However if you add the on-going shortfall in i) above and the ‘savings’ in respect of iii) (we will have to catch this up at sometime during the year), iv) (who knows what is in store for us later) and v) (which is purely accounting) this totals nearly £12500 of the variance. This does mean that the financial position is not a rosy as shown.

I will not hark on about the need for an increase in our Stewardship Giving, but it would be great if those you who pay via the envelope scheme and gift aid the donation would move onto Stewardship Giving. I understand that since the starting of services a number of you have brought in envelopes covering the missing weeks and thank you to you for doing this. The reason why I am suggesting the Stewardship Giving scheme is that it means a regular stream of income which is essential if we have to move away again from Church services.

Finally, I finish by saying that we are in very trying and unchartered times so please stay safe and well.

Ian Steel


August 18th 2020.

South West Ipswich Team Ministry
Amalgamation of Designated Funds to 30th July 2020 – Income
Income and Expenditure Basis
 TotalBudget 2020Variance
 7 months7 months 
Stewardship Giving, Envelopes, Collections and Gift Aid4293843700-762
Flat and Halls – lettings1230994752834
Investments – interest897591306
Other Income386925421327
Total Income62059574574602
Amalgamation of Designated Funds to 31st July 2020 – Expenditure
Income and Expenditure Basis
Clergy and Chuch Service Costs Expenses70617209-148
Parish Quota2100023250-2250
Maintenance and Equipment23318458-6127
Office Costs72937826-533
Cleaning Costs20012029-28
Sundry Expenses25721920652
Total Expenditure5038460470-10086
Excess Income over Expenditure11675-301314688