Whaddon

St Mary’s Church.

WHADDON comes from the Anglo-Saxon meaning Wheat Hill. There is a strong village community of 220 houses with a population of
about 400 people, 25% of whom are over the age of 60. The Electoral Roll has 15 members. Our PCC meets bi monthly and has 7 members.
There is a C of E First School, a Village Hall and the historic Lowndes Arms Inn.
ST MARY’S CHURCH is Grade 1 Listed and stands on the highest point in the village. It has been a place of prayer since the 13th century. It has a warm and friendly atmosphere and is lovingly maintained by the community. St Mary’s has fine stained glass, ancient monuments and brasses in the Lady Chapel, and a medieval font. (See https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/site/4705/. ) The church was restored in Victorian times. More recently, four pews at the rear of the nave were moved to create a large flexible space used for informal worship, services and activities. When parts of our lead roof were stolen in 2017 they were replaced by Terne coated stainless steel and an alarm installed.
There is a loop and sound system which is being upgraded. The tower contains 6 bells which are regularly rung. The pipe organ is played at weekly services and we have a small music group. The village choir sings at festivals. The open churchyard is maintained by volunteers.
Our worship: Our service pattern is shown below. Sunday Special, which replaced Matins, is informal with coffee and discussion on different themes, hymns and prayer. The average attendance is 10. Toddler Church meets monthly on a Wednesday in term time and is lay led.
There is a great community spirit in the village and the Church is supported, especially at the major festivals, by those who are not regular worshippers. Newcomers are warmly welcomed and receive a leaflet giving service times and church contact details. Prayer for each other and the wider community is an important part of our worship. Our various services include a Pet service, Praise in the Playground, Mothering Sunday, Good Friday Meditation and an Easter Sunday egg hunt for the children. We celebrate Harvest with an Open weekend where the church archives and plate, dating from the fifteen hundreds, are on display. Refreshments are served all day with the Festival Service on the Sunday and the supper and Auction on the Monday. On Christmas Morning we hold a “Birthday Party for Jesus” which lasts half an hour and attracts a large all age congregation.
Whaddon School & Pre-School: The village school, graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, achieved an “Excellent” in its SIAMS inspection. A new head teacher, a practising Christian, was appointed in 2015 and RE has taken on a new lease of life. The Church Warden was Chair of Governors and is on the SIAMS committee. The school has end of term services for pupils and parents in church and takes the Christingle service. A ‘Christmas Experience’ telling the nativity story is performed by some of the congregation for year 2 children. Pupils come from the village and nearby Milton Keynes from Reception to the end of Year 2. Currently there is an application to the Education Authority to increase provision to age 11. A weekly assembly is taken by the incumbent and there is a monthly lay led after school club called “Hands Up for Jesus”. The school also uses the church as a resource throughout the year.
The Pre-school is based in the Village Hall daily and uses the school outdoor facilities. Their Harvest Festival is held in the Hall but their lay led Crib service at Christmas and summer picnic are at church.
Our finances: Our church is in a strong financial position due to our fundraising activities, occasional bequests and our excellent treasurer. When the Church has unforeseen expenses, the villagers respond very generously. Our last Quinquennial was in June 2018. All the recommended work has been completed apart from the repainting of the church ferramenta.
Fundraising & charitable involvement: Our regular fundraising activities include monthly coffee mornings, Annual Summer Fete, Florrie’s Coffee morning and The Christmas Fayre. In October we hold an Open Weekend which coincides with the Harvest Festival followed by the Harvest Supper and Auction in the village hall on Monday. The proceeds go to charity. We support our local Hospice, the food bank, a child in Guatemala via the Toybox charity, Action Aid and we tithe our income to other local and national charities decided annually by the PCC.
Mission and outreach: We advertise special services and church events using the village Facebook page and banners. Christmas, Easter and Harvest flyers are distributed to every house with a message and details of the services in church and the Congregational Chapel. One member joins a prayer group that meets in Nash and some join the Chapel for prayer and Bible Study. We hold a list of villagers’ email addresses to keep them informed of church news on a monthly basis. Our website is currently being renewed.
Services news and events for the next three months are included in the village magazine. The church is involved in ‘Tea on Tuesday’ when the Post Office
comes. Whaddon is a community which looks out for one other, offering help and friendship by visiting, cake making, providing transport, babysitting, dog walking and giving a helping hand.
Opportunities: We would like to reach out beyond our church family and to extend our work with preschool and primary and introduce a youth group and adult courses; to develop our worship in new ways while maintaining our traditional and our varied services, to build faith and reach out to new people and different age groups. You will have the full support of the whole congregation who are excited at the prospect of a new minister with new ideas to help us to take God’s kingdom forward in this place and who look forward to welcoming you.
Vale of Aylesbury Plan (VALP) The VALP Inspector is expected to endorse the District Council’s proposal for 1,150 new houses at “Shenley Park” on land to the south of Whaddon village and bordering Shenley Road & Briary View. This major development will be expected to function as a sustainable urban expansion of Milton Keynes (with schools and shopping centres) even though it is in Aylesbury Vale. It will have a major impact on the character and environment of Whaddon Village. A six-week consultation period took place until 17 December 2019 and local villages and Parish Councils will soon make their views known.