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					SAINT MARY THE VIRGIN, MAULDEN




          Annual Report 2007
  Annual Parochial church meeting 27th April 2008




                         1
                                 Annual Report 2007.

Contents.

  2. Contents.
  3. Welcome.
  4. WORSHIP.
  5. Sunday Mornings, Occasional Offices and Special Services
  6. Servers.
  7. ADMINISTRATION.
  8. Churchwardens.
  9. P.C.C. Secretary.
  10. FABRIC.
  11. Hall Committee.
  12. YOUTH.
  13. Sunday School.
  14. Tots and Teddies, S.M.A.S.H. and Sundays at Six
  15. Holiday Clubs.
  16. MUSIC.
  17. Director of Music.
  18. Bell Ringers.
  19. Jubilate and Concerts in Church.
  20. EVANGELISM.
  21. Evangelism Committee.
  22. Men‟s Breakfast and Maulden Lower School.
  23. Scouts and Guides
  24. Church Open Days and Welcome packs.
  25. Website.
  26. PASTORAL.
  27. Pastoral Care team.
  28. Prayer Team.
  29. DISCIPLESHIP.
  30. Bible Study Group, Sat Chat, Emmaus and The Bob Fry memorial library.
  31. Pub Theology and Bookstall.
  32. SOCIAL.
  33. Social Committee.
  34. Sewing Group.
  35. CHARITIES.
  36. Charities and Traidcraft.
  37. THE WIDER CHURCH.
  38. The Diocese, The Deanery and Further afield.
  39. Deanery Synod, Vocations and The Vision.
  40. The Vision




                                          2
Welcome to the Annual report to parishioners from the P.C.C. of St. Mary the Virgin,
Maulden. As you will see from this report the church has a large number of groups and
activities for all ages. As a fairly small country church we can be justly proud of all that we
do to spread God‟s message of love to our community and also the ways we come
together as a church family for social activities and worship.

As a P.C.C. we value all the time and energy given so freely by church members. Without
their energy and enthusiasm the church would struggle to maintain such a varied
programme of activities, organisations and worship. Thank you for all that you do as
Christians in Maulden.




The Revd. Richard Winslade.
Chair of Maulden P.C.C.


                                    P.C.C. Members 2007.

Jessica Miller, Churchwarden.
Phil Bonner, Church warden.

Jan Ayee.
Sheila Dellar.
Jon Denman
Monica Edwards.
Gordon Spoor.
John Stratton.
Janet Warner.
Brian Winterson.

Joyce Bonner, Deanery Synod.
Michael Richardson, Deanery Synod.
John Bagworth, Reader and Deanery Synod.
Roger Marriot, Reader.




                                              3
             WORSHIP
Sunday Mornings.
Occasional Offices.
Special Services.
Serving Team




                      4
Sunday Morning worship

I am pleased to be able say that the worship at St. Mary the Virgin continues to be well
attended. It is encouraging to know that we can add our voices to countless numbers of
other Christians who have worshiped in our church building over the centuries. Our weekly
attendance at both 8am and 9:30am remains steady, which is positive if we bear in mind
that some of our church members are now unable to join us because of ill health and
some have joined in the eternal worship in heaven. It is interesting to note, however, that if
all of our worshippers came every week our numbers attending would be greatly
increased. The seasonal services to reflect the church‟s year are now pretty much set with
just a tidy up and renewal of some services needed. The new format of the Family
communion services has been well received and creates a lovely atmosphere on First
Sundays. Thanks are due to all those who help to make our services run so smoothly.

Occasional Offices

St. Mary‟s continues to play its part as the parish church in the community of Maulden. As it
has done for many years we still offer a venue for the joy of Baptisms and weddings and as
a place of mourning and funeral services.
This year we welcomed into the church family through Baptism fifteen children and three
adults. We continue as a church to offer support and advice to parents as they engage
with the meaning of the baptism vows. The welcome during the 9:30am service continues
to be appreciated by parents, the baptism family and the congregation. Our challenge
for 2008 must be to look at how we can improve the links between Baptism and
commitment to the church family.
It is very encouraging to see in today‟s world that couples still feel it is important to get
married in church. In 2007 eight couples exchanged vows in our church. The church‟s role
is as always to support couples and help them to understand what a Christian marriage is.
As always, the couples all attend a wedding preparation evening as well as several
meetings with the Rector.
There were eight funerals held in church during 2007 and five funerals conducted at either
Bedford or Luton Crematorium. All families are invited to attend our yearly memorial
service. Support for the bereaved is offered by our pastoral team.

Special Services

The church continued to offer a variety of services on the fifth Sundays of 2007. These
included BCP, Iona and a “Sing a Song of Christmas”. These 5th Sunday services allow us to
experience a different style of worship to our usual Common Worship liturgy.

As usual special services were held during Passiontide, Holy week, Easter, Harvest, Advent
and Christmas. The Advent rota of services was in a new form this year.

Two highlights of 2007 were the Confirmation service conducted by Bishop Christopher of
St. Albans and the High Mass in celebration of Richard‟s 10th Anniversary of Priesthood.


                                              5
Servers

We continued to have a strong team of Servers throughout 2007, although we lost Verity
Johnson when the family moved to New Zealand.

The younger members of the team have now been taught most of the procedures and on
family service mornings we are able to have a young Crucifer in the lead with two young
acolytes.

The highlight of our year was assisting at Richard‟s Anniversary Service. Phil Bonner was
Thurifer, learning to use the thurible (incense burner) which had been languishing in the
vestry for many years. We gained a new member, as Abigail Jackson was boat-boy; we
hope that she will want to join the serving team when the time comes. All the other young
servers had a role to play and they organised themselves with no adult assistance as the
adults were busy in other capacities. They are a great resource and we are very grateful
for their commitment and hard work.




                                           6
     ADMINISTRATION
Churchwardens’ Report
P.C.C. Secretary Report
Electoral Roll
(Please see separate sheet)
Treasurer’s report
(please see separate sheet)
Accounts
(please see separate sheet)




                     7
Church Wardens’ Report

                ‘My house will be called a house of prayer’ Matthew 21:13

Many prayers are said in St Mary‟s, the Church on the Hill. Nearly every day the church is
used for prayer and worship, sometimes by a large congregation, sometimes by a small
group, sometimes by individuals in quiet meditation. We give thanks for the benefits which
we enjoy and ask for help and guidance in our troubles. We pray for everyone in our
parish, especially those who are ill or infirmed, and remember troubled areas throughout
the world.

To keep our beautiful building ready for all these different occasions many people are
regularly giving their time and expertise. Some are seen at services; the musicians, the
servers, the bellringers, the sidesmen and welcomers. Many, however, work behind the
scenes; those who clean and polish, the flower arrangers, those who prepare the service
books and all those who spot something which needs doing and do it before anyone else
realises it‟s required. We are very grateful for the help that all these people give and the
appreciative comments which come from visitors to the church show how successful all
their efforts are.

There has not been any major work needed on the church this year but we have
continued the regular programme of small repairs and maintenance. This has been
generously supported by the Friends of St Mary‟s.

The churchyard, also, has many visitors. Some come in sadness, mourning the loss of their
loved ones, some pass through on the footpaths and others sit to enjoy the view. There
have been several work parties to keep on top of grass, leaves and litter while, throughout
the summer, solitary volunteers can been found trimming and tidying. Without their help
the churchyard would not be as pleasant and quiet as it is - thank you.

The church is made up of Christians who want to love and serve God. Caring for the
building and graveyard is just one way in which this is expressed by us in Maulden.

Philip Bonner   Jessica Miller




                                             8
P.C.C. Secretary’s Report


During the past year we have held 10 meetings of the P.C.C., together with its annual
party in December.

One of our members will be standing down this year, thus we will be looking for nine
nominations to bring us up to full strength.

We must once more thank Phil Bonner for taking care of our finances. He does this in
addition to the many demands on his time as Churchwarden and we are most indebted
to him.

The various sub-committees continue to work well and their contributions to the smooth
running of the Parish are most appreciated, as is the continued financial assistance of the
Friends of St. Mary‟s.

We received a quotation in the region of £5,500 for the servicing of the organ and it was
agreed that an organ fund be set up not just to cover this, but as an on-going source and
this has proved most successful.

During the year Simon Johnson successfully set up our website. However, the Johnson
family has now emigrated to New Zealand and we wish them every happiness in their new
venture. In the meantime, we are fortunate that Kevin Sims has taken charge of updating
the website and we are most grateful to him for his work in this respect.

On behalf of the P.C.C. may I extend our thanks to all those who work behind the scenes –
without their help and support we would find it far more difficult to maintain the high
standards which we have come to expect.



Sheila Dellar.
P.C.C. Secretary.




                                            9
              FABRIC
Church Hall Sub Committee.




                    10
Hall Report

The committee has worked hard this year to keep the Hall and its fittings in good
condition.

Our cleaner, Sue Lack, injured her ankle and was unable to work for several months. The
committee is extremely grateful to Audrey Barker, Jessica Miller and Pat Struthers for
cleaning the Hall during her absence. We did advertise for a temporary cleaner but were
unable to find anyone. The usual spring clean took place in the Easter holiday and we
appreciated the help of several members of the congregation.

Several small repairs were carried out over the year and Peter Ayee fitted a new security
light at the rear of the hall to illuminate the path from church. The large storage cupboard
was cleared out and a carload of recyclable materials taken to Emmaus at Bedford. The
contents of the kitchen cupboards were rearranged in an effort to improve storage and
the Sunday school also re-organised its cupboards, which means that its electrical
equipment is no longer in the kitchen.

The pre-school committee and staff have been very helpful this year, particularly during
Sue Lack‟s absence. They have replaced their two old sheds with one larger one and laid
a footpath to it. Each holiday they review their equipment and tidy their storage areas.

The Hall is now advertised on the church web site and we are hoping to increase its use for
Retreats and Quiet days by other parishes. Weekday lettings are at a good level and
generating a useful income; nevertheless there is still scope for further use by church
groups.

The committee has put forward a refurbishment plan to the P.C.C. aimed at maintaining
the quality of the accommodation and equipment. We are very aware that the Hall is a
considerable asset and consider it prudent to invest in maintenance both to avoid large
expenses in the future and to keep it attractive to potential hirers.




                                            11
               YOUTH
Sunday School
Tots and Teddies
S.M.A.S.H.
Sundays At Six
Holiday Clubs




                   12
Sunday School

The past year has been one of change. We said our farewells to Marjorie on our regular
Sunday team. Thankfully, though, we are very pleased still to have her expertise for the
Nativity Service and Family Communion Services but this leaves just Emma and Janet to
plan and organise routine weeks (more help is always welcome). The number of children
varies and we are always open to new ideas and suggestions for ways of increasing our
regular worship numbers.
We have marked the usual celebrations with Banners for Mothering Sunday, Fathers Day,
Easter and Christmas.
The children were pleased to be invited to plant up the Easter Garden and to make a
display for the Harvest Festival (who remembers the pretend field mice in the corn?)
Our thanks go to the Denmans for inviting us to their pool once again after the treasure
hunt.
In 2007 it was decided to use the Scripture Union „Splash!‟ booklets for 5 to 9 year olds. The
first booklet contained four weekly topics based on the Old Testament - Elisha. We all
learned about God being a „Powerful provider‟, „Life giver‟, „Healer‟ and ‟Warrior‟.
A couple of weeks were spent getting ready for our stall at the Maulden Summer Fete.
We investigated Malawi – the country where Patricia, our Action Aid child, lives.
The next booklet moved to the New Testament and led us through „The Promise delivered‟
(God‟s gift of the Holy Spirit), „Belonging to a group‟ (how the Disciples continued Jesus‟
work) and „Invitations Refused‟ (the use of Parables – people too busy to come to the
party!)
At the end of October/November we assembled our Shoe Boxes for Operation Christmas
Child and were amazed when we attended Woburn Parish Church; there were over 3,000
boxes filling the church. Just think of all those faces on Christmas day!
We have also talked about Angels, Saints and the importance of prayer.
Finally and most importantly we have been looking at our advertising, website details and
programme. 2008 looks as if it will be a very interesting year.




                                             13
Tots and Teddies

If you go down to the church on Tuesdays, you‟re sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the church on Tuesdays, you‟d better go in disguise.
Cause every tot and teddy that ever there was
will gather on Tuesdays because Tuesday is the day for Tots and Teddies.

Our under fives service continues to be very well attended and many of our Tots have
grown up very quickly. The service remains the same as in other years and contains
singing, actions and a story. The afternoon finishes with toy time for the Tots and a chat
and cuppa for the Mums. Our numbers have remained very steady this year.
As always you are more than welcome to come and join in the fun.




S.M.A.S.H.

Saint Mary‟s After School Halos started the year with very healthy numbers attending. We
were hit, however, after summer with a lack of numbers due to most of the young
members moving up to middle school. Our bedrock members, however, continued to
attend regularly. The afternoon has most recently been based on Scripture Union material
which follows on from the Holiday Club work. At the end of this year the young members
were asked to review the S.M.A.S.H. activities and what they wanted to do. Their thoughts
were taken on board and a new style S.M.A.S.H. was created. The challenge for 2008 is to
get some more members.




Sundays at Six

S.A.S. went through a few changes last year but I am pleased to say our long term
membership has remained the same. We welcomed two new members who transferred
up from S.M.A.S.H. and this led to a review of the programme and material we used. S.A.S.
now has two aged ranges that start the evening together and then split for the learning
session before coming back together for prayers at the end. The older group are now self
regulated and self motivating when it comes to the learning session. Our regular young
helper Catherine Sims (DJC) started at University in September but following on in the
family tradition David Sims (Del Boy) has taken her place. The highlight of the year was the
Posh Nosh Christmas party which was a formal dinner party with invited guests. In 2008
many of our older members will be ready for something different so watch this space.




                                            14
Holiday Clubs

This year we repeated the successful pattern established in 2006; two clubs were run
during the Easter and summer holidays and we held a “Bright Lights” party on October
31st.

The Easter club, “Wastewatchers”, ran for four mornings in Holy Week. The theme of caring
for God‟s creation enabled us to use lots of recycled materials for craft activities, making
butterfly feeders, growing cress on shredded paper, and planting Easter gardens in
decorated flower pots. We enjoyed a plant hunt in the churchyard and the weather was
warm enough to allow us to play the now “compulsory” water games.

“Desert Detectives”, in the summer holidays, explored the books of the bible. We learned
about the Exodus, History, Wisdom and Prophecy and explained the link with the New
Testament. The detectives were looking for the Mighty God Sword but discovered it was
really the Mighty God‟s Word. Our craft activities included making snakes from old ties and
rice, picture frames and banners for display in church.

The Bright Light 2 party was well attended; it follows a similar format to the holiday clubs,
games, a craft session, refreshments and a worship slot. We understand that parents like
this alternative to trick and treating and that the idea may be taken up by other Christians
in the area.

We have an excellent team of leaders and helpers. This year we were very pleased to
welcome more members of the congregation who came along to support craft activities
and prepare refreshments. Everyone enjoyed themselves, possibly even more than the
children!




                                             15
                MUSIC
Director of Music
Bell Ringers
Jubilate




                    16
Director of Music’s Report

The last twelve months, as in previous years, have been most enjoyable; spiritually
rewarding but also challenging.

Firstly, I am most grateful to the members of the members of the choir for all their support,
hard work and attendance in the past year, in particular for their involvement in leading
the worship week by week. They have sung at the Sunday Holy Communion Services,
Family Services, Harvest Festival Evensong, the Advent Carol Service, the Service of Nine
lessons and Carols, Christmas Midnight Service, Maundy Thursday, Easter Sunday Evensong
and at weddings.

The Advent Carol Service included traditional carols for the choir, Jubilate and
congregation. Again, as in past years, the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols was
outstanding. The first unaccompanied verse of the first carol, „Once in Royal David‟s City‟,
was sung superbly by Tristran Cockerill. Jubilate‟s sang the carol „Make haste and awaken‟
in addition to joining in all the other well-known carols. New Carols included „Gaudete‟,
„Lute-Book Lullaby‟ and „Up good Christian folk, and listen‟.

There are thirteen senior choristers, in addition to which three other adult singers joined in
singing at the carol services. Catherine Sims left the choir to go to University. It is hoped
that in some of the Jubilates will join the Adult choir in September. The provision of „Music
Notes from the Organ Loft‟ detailing the organ music played on Sundays continues to be
much appreciated by members of the congregation and choir.

During 2007 I received a very nice surprise. The fact that I had been organist for forty years
was considered worthy by the rector, choir and members of the congregation to
celebrate the occasion. Again, over 200 pieces of organ music have been played during
the last twelve months, none of which, apart from five, being repeated during the year.

I gave an Organ Recital on 9th September 2007. This was in aid of the Organ Appeal. The
title of the programme was „From the Sublime to the Ridiculous‟ and included
„Renaissance Rondel‟ by Andrew Fletcher, „Fantasia in C major‟ by J. S. Bach,
„Greensleeves‟ by Vaughn Williams, „The perfect love waltz‟ by June Nixon and „Battle
Capers‟ by Rosalie Bonighton.

During the year, mice caused some damage to the organ resulting in a number of the
pipes not sounding. An Organ Appeal was started to raise over £6,000 for the necessary
repairs. At the end of 2007 some £3,360 had been given. Apart from this, both the organ
and the piano in the church are in good order and both receive regular tuning.

I wish to place on record my sincere thanks to the choir and especially to John Bagworth
for dealing with the filing of music, for Jill Mather for working on cataloguing of music and
to Sue Winterson for caring for the robes. My thanks also to Gordon Spoor for playing the
organ in my absence.



                                             17
The Choir Music Account showed a balance of £508.22 at 1st January 2007. Income during
the year was £377.36. Expenditure was £559.02 giving a closing balance of £326.56 at the
31st December 2007.

Brian Winterson    Director of Music

Bellringers’ Report

We started the year in the usual way by ringing in the New Year. Our Sunday ringing has
been well attended and all services catered for, despite holidays etc. We have welcomed
an additional ringer who has moved from Derbyshire and now lives in Clophill, near to his
Daughter who is also a ringer.

Various District Meetings were attended by some of our members, the November meeting
being at Maulden, with tea in the Church Hall. A number of ringers‟ dinners were
attended, notably our own at The Chequers in Houghton Conquest, to which we
welcomed Richard and Jo. Other social activities included invitations to various ringing
outings, such as Flitton, Clifton, Silsoe and the Bedfordshire Association of Church Bell
Ringer‟s district outing.

The service engineer from Taylor‟s carried out the annual service and adjustments and
found a fault with the 6th bell‟s clapper bearing which, along with three others, was
rebushed in 2005. Subequently, four of us spent a day in Loughborough looking around the
foundry whilst the clapper was being repaired free of charge. The clock was also serviced,
by Smiths of Derby, and was reported to be in excellent order.

We welcomed visiting ringers from St. Albans, Shiplake (Oxfordshire), Billericay (Essex) and
the West Hertfordshire Guild of Ringers.

Numerous weddings were rung for with the help of other ringers; we also helped them out
for ringing at weddings, when required.

We rang for the service in July to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Rector‟s Induction
into the Priesthood and the following day a peal was also rung for the occasion by an
invited band of Bedfordshire ringers.

Generally speaking the standard of ringing has been maintained, with further experience
gained from other practices such as at Silsoe, Clifton, Stotfold and the Training Day at
Arlesey.

We are continuing to look for other people to train, if suitable, so that the English tradition
of Church bell ringing (or Campanology) can be upheld in our tower.

Finally, we thank the Rector and PCC for their continued support and we shall endeavour
to maintain our standard to call people to worship in our Parish Church.

Colin D. Mann, Tower Captain.
                                              18
Jubilate

The Junior Choir at St Mary‟s met during term time for rehearsals on Thursday, moving to
Mondays from September. The choir has continued to attract new singers who continue to
follow the „Voice for Life‟ programme from the Royal School of Church Music.

We were pleased to award White Ribbons to three members, Light Blue to two members
and Dark Blue to five members. All are now progressing through to the next award and we
hope that five members will go on to gain their „Dean‟s Award‟ in 2008.

The choir continues to join the main choir at major festivals, including the Advent Carol
Service, „The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols‟ and at weddings. It was particularly well
done to Tristran for singing the solo verse to „Once in Royal David‟s City‟ at „The Festival of
Nine Lessons and Carols‟ in December. The members of Jubilate also put on a concert in
aid of the organ fund in July, singing excerpts from „The Sound of Music‟, hymns, anthems
and some individual performances on their chosen instrument.

The choir has also entertained at the Senior Citizens parties at Easter and Christmas and at
the Christmas Bazaar.

We were sad when Sue Sims announced her departure from the choir to take up the post
of Choir Master and Organist at Flitwick Parish Church - we wish her well in her new role -
but was pleased that Lyn Rowswell volunteered to help run the choir.

New members are always welcome, or if you wish to come and hear us rehearing on
Monday evenings from 5.00pm you will be most welcome.

Jo Winslade Lyn Rowswell

Concerts in Church

During 2007 St. Mary‟s hosted a series of concerts designed to be fund raisers for the
church. The performers included:

The Luton Male Voice Choir
Ampthill wind quartet with Cantamus
Mood Jazz
Woburn Band
The Salvation Army.

Many thanks to those who made these concerts such enjoyable events.




                                              19
        EVANGELISM
Evangelism Committee
Men’s Breakfast
Scouts and Guides
Church Open Days
Welcome packs
Web Site




                   20
Evangelism Committee

We have continued this year to assist the PCC with the implementation of the Evangelism
Section of the Strategic Plan. Phil Bonner, Joyce Bonner, Jo Winslade, Roger Marriott,
Jenny Tucker, John Bagworth and I meet each month and I am most grateful for their
enormous support, enthusiasm and help.

Forging closer links between the church and the families of those recently baptised is seen
as a priority. The committee has designed and prepared baptism packs for delivery to the
families of each child baptised in church. Each pack contains a personal invitation to Tots
and Teddies as well as other information about how the church is catering for the needs of
children.

The baptism packs contain questionnaires designed to find out what services and other
church activities appeal most to young families. If this is fruitful, the committee proposes
that the questionnaires are used more widely in the parish.

The committee is arranging for a DVD to be made showing snippets of church activities for
children (such as SMASH, Tots and Teddies, SAS and Sunday School). It is intended to
include a DVD in each baptism pack. If these are well received, it is hoped to use DVDs to
publicise other church activities.

Members of the committee designed a pictorial quiz which they ran at the Christmas
Bazaar. This created a lot of interest and it is planned to run a similar activity at the Rose
Fayre in the summer.

The committee has assisted with organising and the publicity for all the concerts held
during the year. The concerts were much appreciated and normally well attended. The
aim of these events was not only to raise funds but also to encourage more people to
attend church who would not otherwise do so.

Welcoming newcomers to the village is a very important part of the committee‟s role. The
welcome packs have been revised by the committee – see separate report.

The committee has started to consider how continuing links can be forged with couples
married in church. As a first step, anniversary cards are being prepared which will be sent
to each couple on their first wedding anniversary.

Next year we will continue to develop ways of spreading God‟s love to all those living in
and visiting Maulden.

Jon Denman




                                             21
Men’s Breakfasts

The “spear side” met eleven times for a well-cooked breakfast in 2007 and informally at
the local hostelry on one occasion.

Each gathering saw, on average, 18 hungry men and the programme of talks throughout
the year was extremely varied, as follows:

Jan - Apathy and embarrassment
Feb - The Bible
Mar - Heaven
Apr - Gnostic gospels and conspiracy theories
May - Are Christians good communicators?
Jun - Communications-human and divine
Jul - A week at a monastery
Sep - Legends of the Apostles
Oct - From Lawyer to Reader
Nov - Overview of a rural African parish
Dec - English saints

Such thought provoking subjects from a variety of speakers, coupled with outstanding
breakfasts cooked by Richard - to all of whom we give most grateful thanks - led to some
really excellent discussions and fellowship together.

We were also delighted to see Ian Pearce from BBC Three Counties Radio attending our
breakfasts when able. Ian even conducted interviews immediately after the talk on two
occasions, which were subsequently broadcast on his Sunday morning show, and he has
given our church and our activities some superb publicity throughout the year.

Thanks to the generosity of those attending Men‟s Breakfasts, in 2007 we were able to gift
aid to the church donations totalling £412.33. In addition, we raised £40 for Scripture Union
to help with their Youth Missions and £40 for Prebend Street Day Centre for their work with
the homeless.

John Stratton

Maulden Lower School

The church welcomed Maulden Lower School for four services in 2007. These were Easter,
Leavers‟ service, Harvest and Christmas. These occasions are a good form of witness for
the church. The majority of those attending are not regular church goers so the informal
address is a good way to get over the Christian gospel. The photographs at the back of
church are usually very popular at these events.



                                             22
Richard retired as a Governor at the school this year but it has worked well as he now has
a regular assembly slot each month. The links between the school and church remain very
strong.


Scouts and Guides

For many years the church has had a good working relationship with the local Scouts and
Guides and we continue this good relationship. Many of our young church members and
adults are involved in Scouting and Guiding locally and the local Guide company meets
in our Church Hall.

This year the church hosted the Guide District Thinking Day service which was kindly
pushed back a week in order for Richard to be present. The church was full of young
ladies from 5-18 and many young at heart Guiding leaders. The service was put together
with advice by the girls themselves and each section took a part in leading the service.

The local Cub Scouts visited the church last year to complete the requirements for their
„My Faith‟ Badge. The evening included a talk and visit to the bell tower, a re-enactment
of the execution of St. Alban, a talk on church seasons and Richard dressing up in the
vestments. After the success of this evening the P.C.C. agreed to offer the same evening
to all Cub packs in the Scout district and to purchase the badges for the Cub Scouts to be
presented on completion of the work.

The local Scout group have for many years held their own carol service in December. This
year they asked to attend our Christingle service. The morning service was very successful
and many of the young people were involved in leading the service.

Richard continued his work as National Chaplain and member of the Faith and Belief
support team. It was an unusually busy year due to the 100 th anniversary celebrations and
Jamboree. At the end of the year, after a re structuring of the Scout Association, Richard
was appointed as Chair of the Faith and Belief Support team.




                                            23
Church Open Days

St Mary‟s is open from 3pm to 5pm every Sunday from May to September inclusive. We
have now completed our 8th year and it is becoming more widely known that we are
open. Local people often call in with their friends and relatives and we also see people
from further afield. We welcome our visitors and offer them tea and cakes, plus items of
church memorabilia and other items which are available for purchase. We also offer the
facility to do brass rubbings but this is not so popular these days.

In 2007, 215 adults and 34 children visited the church. We made a profit of £180.99 through
selling teas and other items; however, our main interest was to encourage people to
come into our church, to feel the warmth and the loving atmosphere – they might come
again!

Opening our church would not be possible without the contribution of our helpers from the
congregation, who not only open the doors to our visitors but also bake cakes and
provide the teas - thank you all again!

We look forward to another successful and welcoming year in 2008.

Jan Ayee




Report on Welcome Packs

From the launch of the Welcome Packs in May 2005 until the end of December 2007, well
over 100 homes in Maulden have been visited. Without exception the Welcome Packs
have been very well received and have raised the profile of the church, with each
newcomer having a warm welcome.

The Evangelism Committee has responsibility for the preparation and distribution of the
packs and Committee members are regularly reviewing the leaflets and updating them.
Each pack now contains 31 separate leaflets as well as a complimentary parish magazine.
The packs give information regarding a wide range of activities in the village, both church
and non-church related.

I am most grateful to members of the church for drawing my attention to new arrivals in
the village. Posters advertising the packs have also lead to several enquiries.

If you have any suggestions for additional information for inclusion in the packs or know of
new arrivals in the village please do let me know. I rely on your eyes and ears to make
certain that as many newcomers as possible are visited.

Jon Denman


                                            24
Website www.stmarysmaulden.org

I took over responsibility for running the website in late August. Thanks to the previous
webmaster‟s efforts, the church had been given a vital presence on the internet after an
absence of some five years. However, the site I inherited, though fundamentally sound,
was incomplete in its coverage and contained a few anomalies. I also discovered that the
domain name and web hosting were being overseen in America and that a surplus of
web space had been purchased by the church which was not being used.

Accordingly, my first task was to transfer oversight of the domain name and web hosting
to a reputable UK company. This ensured we have proper support in our own timezone,
with any technical issues being properly understood and quickly resolved, plus certainty of
domain name continuity. I moved the hosting onto a more compatible package for our
size of site, thereby securing a refund of hosting fees overpaid.

Despite my instructions to the contrary, the previous hosting company deleted the files
from its server before the transfer to the UK was complete so I was forced to bring the site
back up quickly on the UK server in a different format, rather than preserving the original
pages and building on these over time. However, this did provide the opportunity to
introduce a uniform style to the pages, straightforward site navigation and more complete
coverage of church activities, events and groups, including details about marriages,
funerals, baptisms and confirmations.

Having rolled out the live pages, my next task was to photograph – and to secure from
others – as many relevant pictures as possible to give the site more visual appeal and
impact. I am most grateful to those individuals who have provided photographs of the
church and our many activities. Further, where possible, I tried to add a suitable verse from
the Bible to many of the web pages to underpin the scriptural basis for all that we do and
to reinforce our Christian ethos.

After this I looked at our overall presence on the internet and worked hard to ensure the
site was included in relevant listings on other websites to help improve our visibility. I also
resubmitted the site to the major search engines and many of the smaller ones to help
drive web traffic and enquiries to us.

I am now maintaining the site on an ongoing basis, regular updates being to the calendar
of forthcoming events, photographs of recent events and, with grateful thanks to John
Stratton, audio recordings of the Sunday sermons. The website is averaging some 1,500
requests for pages each month. In addition to searches made through Google and other
search engines, the site is also receiving many hits via Wikipedia and Christian directories.

I believe anybody who views our web pages will see us as a dynamic, caring church with
a great deal to offer adults and children alike, whatever their background or depth of
faith.

Kevin Sims

                                              25
            PASTORAL
Pastoral team
Prayer team




                26
Pastoral Care Team

The Pastoral Care Team has completed its fourth year now and continues to reach out to
people who need help or simple contact. The team arranges visits to people in their
homes – mainly to elderly people who find it difficult to get out and about, who
appreciate a bit of company now and then or who are ill, housebound or in need of any
kind.

Our tea afternoons continue to be a great success. We aim to have four each year, with
approximately 40 senior citizens attending each one. We start with a sherry, then follow this
with sandwiches, sausage rolls and cakes. Then comes the entertainment – usually a short
performance by Jubilate and Geoff Thorp and then a general sing along.

We started with the Easter Tea, the highlight of which was the Easter Bonnet competition.
Some of the ladies wore very pretty and colourful hats and the entries were judged by
Jubilate. Unfortunately, the Garden Party had to be cancelled this year due to a
combination of very poor weather and a clashing Clophill event. The Autumn Tea was
much appreciated; we served the usual fare and Pat Mountford from Flitwick very kindly
played the piano for the community singing. We ended the year with a lively and
enjoyable Christmas Tea Party.

The raffles are always very popular, thanks to the people who generously donate prizes.
The profit more than funds the teas and the surplus of £100 was donated to Church funds
at the end of the year.

We receive plenty of help with the parties, which are of course great fun, and the visits are
also very enjoyable, rewarding and are much appreciated by those who are housebound
or cannot get about very easily. As always, if anyone is interested in joining the team
please speak to Jan, Carol or Richard.

Thank you again to all of the team and to all the helpers for their work in 2007.

Jan Ayee




                                              27
Prayer Team

The team has been asked to pray for over 72 people and their families since the last APCM
report.

The prayer box in the church has been used on two occasions.

Sadly, there have been a number of deaths including a suicide and a death through a
traffic accident. However, we have had successes, such as a wonderful recovery from a
broken neck where the hospital was amazed.

Non-Christians and people of other faiths are surprised and grateful when we offer to pray
for them or their family members.

We thank God that a number of people we have prayed for have recovered or improved
and we have been thanked on a number of occasions for our prayers.

The requests for prayers have come from Church members, village families and from
overseas.

I would like to remind the PCC that we are here for everybody and if you know family and
friends who need prayers please contact me. Prayer requests are kept within the team.

John Stratton




                                            28
        DISCIPLESHIP
BIBLE STUDY
SAT CHAT
LIBRARY
PUB THEOLOGY
BOOKSTALL




               29
Thursday Afternoon Bible Study

This group meets during term-time at Corner House, Limbersey Lane. At the beginning of
the year we continued studying the Gospel of John, Christ‟s final sermon being very
appropriate for the weeks before Lent. During Lent we followed the church course based
around Nooma DVDs. These gave a biblical slant to contemporary problems and
provided a starting point for lively discussions on money, marriage, sex and faith.

These were also topics that cropped up in our next study - the life of David, King of Israel.
While a few incidents in his life are very well known many others are not. He was a
complex personality - a shepherd, soldier, administrator, diplomat, poet and prophet.
Although flawed at times he was also described as „a man after God‟s own heart‟.
Looking at the way he served God in his life and culture we were able to compare it with
our own life and times.

As well as studying the bible we also drink coffee, develop friendships and offer each
other prayer support from day to day. We would be delighted if more people would join
us.

Sat Chat

Sat Chat started almost by chance. At a non church related social event which included
a curry and putting the world to rights, an idea was formed of a curry club. This developed
into Sat Chat. Sat Chat is a chance for people of all ages to come together over a take
away meal to enjoy the company of other Christians. After the meal an informal discussion
is facilitated by one of the members. This is often based on a recent news headline and
story. It is suitable for all ages; there‟s no cooking and often no washing up. Those who
attend are asked to pay for their meal and bring along their own drink. We would love to
see more people joining us in 2008.

Emmaus

Two Emmaus groups ran in 2007. Of these one transferred into a Bible study group which
still continues. The other group met for the first half of the year and took a look at the Old
Testament and its history.

The Bob Fry Memorial Library

The church library was re-organised and dedicated this year. We now have an amazing
resource of books and publications all ready for the keen Christian and enquirer to borrow.
Although some church members have used this wonderful resource, the library is very
under used. All Christians should want to find out all they can about their faith and I hope
that the library will be used more regularly in 2008.




                                             30
Pub Theology

„Pub Theology‟, as it has come to be known, is a recognised and widely used form of
thinking about, and discussing, faith and the scriptures. Groups from many churches
around the world regularly meet for Pub Theology sessions to help and support each other
in their understanding, to talk about relevant issues in a relaxed atmosphere and to be a
visible sign of a vibrant church.

It is universally acknowledged that pubs and bars are unrivalled places for conversations
to develop and progress. In the relaxed atmosphere offered by these hostelries, individuals
can - and do - express their views and opinions on every matter imaginable in a non-
threatening way with friends and total strangers alike.

It was against this comfortable, conversational atmosphere that pub theology first began
to evolve as groups of people started meeting in pubs to study Scripture and to converse
about this, whilst being able to remain relaxed and to have their serious discussions in a
pleasant environment.

St. Mary‟s Pub Theology group, which started in October, meets once a month at „The
George‟ public house in Maulden. Essentially, we are a group of men and women
exchanging our thoughts with each other, usually based around the three readings set for
the following Sunday. There is no proactive evangelising to others in the pub, although if
an onlooker enquires, he or she is always invited to join in the conversation.

All points of view are listened to; everybody has a right to speak, if they wish, without being
challenged about their views and anything we say remains confidential within the group.
We find that by looking at the same text and exchanging our different thoughts on it, we
collectively have a much deeper insight into its messages and applications.

We are a small group, so if you would like to join us you would be most welcome: we
usually meet on the first Tuesday of the month at 8.00pm. Why not come along, have a
drink and see what we do?

Kevin Sims


Bookstall

At the beginning of the year the bookstall was set out in the Church Hall after the eight
o‟clock and nine thirty services on Sunday mornings. However in the autumn, after a trial
period, it moved to a permanent position at the back of the church. Sited here it is
available to all people who come into the church. There is a selection of Christian books
for adults and children. These are changed on a regular basis, introducing new books and
seasonal topics.




                                              31
             SOCIAL
Social Committee
Sewing Group




                   32
Social Committee
Although it‟s called the Social Committee, you don‟t have to be elected, or even invited,
to join - so this report starts with an appeal for new members to come along to the
meetings when you see the dates in the pew sheet. Please come to help organise social
events and bring new ideas to help with fund-raising for St. Mary‟s.

Events in 2007 started with the Wine & Wisdom Quiz in February and this time Richard stood
in for Dave Moules as quizmaster, aided by Jo and Jill doing the marking. An enjoyable
evening raised about £400 for funds.

At the end of the month, Bridget Summerfield and Pat Struthers organised a dance in the
Village Hall which raised £260.00

Lent Lunches were held in March and included a “Bring and Share” lunch in the church
hall. Thanks to Kathleen and Gordon Spoor, Joyce and Phil Bonner, Lyn Rowswell, Jan
Ayee, Pat Struthers, Monica Edwards, and Jessica Miller for hosting these lunches, which
are greatly enjoyed, and raised over £800 for the work of St. Mary‟s.

In May Irene and Brian Morgan organised a treasure hunt which took us round Woburn
and Toddington. About 30 people took part on a fine Sunday afternoon, finishing with a
meal at the Dog & Badger.

The event organised to replace the Barn Dance this year was a Race Night held in July.
The horses and expertise were lent by John Butler of Flitwick and the evening was
introduced and run by Dave Moules with help from Richard, Peter Ayee, and Kevin, Sue
and David Sims who ran the „Tote‟. Many other Social Committee members helped with
refreshments, race cards, raffle, etc. and the „punters‟ made wonderful jockeys - in fact
this was so popular an extra race had to be slotted in for the junior jockeys! It was a most
successful evening, with a “brilliant atmosphere” and a profit of over £900 for the church -
look out for a repeat performance in July 2008.

Later in July there was a very successful Parish Outing to Kew Gardens, organised by Bob
Martin, and much enjoyed by all.

The Safari Supper was in September, when 32 people started at The Rectory, moved on to
Conquest House, then split up for main courses and came together again for the now
famous puddings at Hill Farm. Thanks to all the hosts; as well as being a super evening,
£370 was raised for church funds.

The Harvest Lunch in October consisted of jacket potatoes with special Bonner fillings and,
along with salads and sweets, was much enjoyed by those present.

Finally, the Christmas Bazaar in 2007 was a little earlier than usual, on 17th November, but
just as successful. The church stalls offering handmade gifts and cards, co-ordinated by
Marjorie, were very popular as well as books, bric-a-brac, toys and jewellery stalls, a huge
tombola and Christmas Hamper raffle. Father Christmas made his usual appearance,
                                            33
receiving letters from children this year, and Jubilate entertained with seasonal songs. The
excellent refreshments prepared and served by ladies of the Social Committee made the
Village Hall THE place to lunch on St. Mary‟s Christmas Bazaar day! Funds raised were in
excess of £1,700.

JM




Maulden Sewing Group

The Sewing Group continued to meet every Wednesday afternoon in school term times
and, with the help of volunteer members, we also met through the summer holidays.

A few new members joined this year and twenty eight of us enjoyed our Christmas lunch
at „The Dog and Badger‟. Once again we had Joy Clarke to thank for quietly and
efficiently organising the event.

Under the guidance of Marjorie Horrell we sorted and recycled the donations of previously
unused knitting wools, fabrics and haberdashery and made them into various items for
sale at the Christmas Bazaar. We rely on these generous donations made to the church as
a valuable source of income, for without them we would not be able to make the craft
items for the sale.

A few of us visited a quilt exhibition in the autumn and we enjoyed looking at other
people‟s work and ideas. We did not have any other trips but plan to arrange one or two
for the coming year.

In 2007 the Sewing Group donated £460 to St Mary‟s Church Fund and £75 to the Organ
Fund and still we managed to have luxury biscuits or cakes with our tea every week!

Jacqueline Banks




                                            34
            CHARTITIES
Charities Supported this year
Traidcraft




                      35
Charities

Over the course of 2007 the church supported the following charities:-

Prebend Street Day Centre for the Rootless and homeless, Bedford

Traidcraft

The Children‟s society

The Shoe box appeal

British Legion poppy appeal

Christian Aid

The Church in Uganda

St. John‟s Hospice, Moggerhanger

There are of course many charities supported by individual members of our congregations.


Traidcraft

St Mary‟s has supported the Fair Trade movement again this year with a monthly stall
selling Traidcraft goods. This company buys from primary producers, giving them a fair
price and guaranteed market for a quality product. At Christmas, gifts and cards from
their catalogue were popular.




                                            36
   THE WIDER CHURCH
The Diocese, The Deanery and further afield
Deanery Synod and vocations




                     37
The Diocese

The church remains committed to its position in Diocese and always manages to pay the
quota for the year. Prayers are regularly said for our Bishops, Archdeacons and to support
initiatives in the Diocese. This year we supported the annual pilgrimage to St. Albans on
Easter Monday and joined together with thousands of others in the service at St. Albans
Abbey.
In May, Jo Winslade helped in the Children‟s tent at the Exploring Prayer Day and in
October Richard led a session at the Mission Shaped Children event.
In April, eleven members of the church took part in the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Our
parish had the largest representation on the Pilgrimage and we soon became known by
everyone. All those who attended came back re-energised in their faith. Special mention
needs to be made of Naomi Winslade and Chris Parrish who were the first ever young
people to attend one of these Pilgrimages. They were a real credit to themselves and we
as a parish should be proud of our young members.

The Deanery

The church continued to support the work and activities of Ampthill Deanery during 2007.

Members of the congregation were seen whizzing along on their pushbikes as they took
part in the Historic Churches ride which raised much needed money for the fund and for
church.

Several of our congregation offered their vocal skills again at the Women‟s world day of
prayer service. This service has been supported over many years.

Maulden hosted the joint Ascension Day service with Ampthill parish this year.

Richard continued to support Ampthill parish by offering a Communion service once a
month at Steppingly.

Further afield

In February Rachael Leach and Naomi Winslade led the service held in Westminster
Abbey to beginning the 100th Anniversary celebrations of The Scout Association. At the
end of the service, which had 2000 worshippers, everyone was full of praise for the mature
and confident way that the service was conducted. It was good to see two young
Christians willing to work as hard as they did. Well done ladies.

Richard headed up the team which organised the service and it was his Order of Service
which was used. He also preached at this event.




                                            38
Deanery Synod Report

2007 was not a dynamic year for Synod. The first meeting of the year was due to be on
“Youth in the Church” with speakers from Ampthill and Maulden; unfortunately it snowed
heavily and the Synod was cancelled. A new date for this topic has still to arranged. The
June meeting was a social one, with a meal prepared by Revd. Graham Bradshaw and
no business was discussed. The Final Synod of the year was in October when Revd. Nick
Bell spoke on „How to change a church and remain Anglican‟. He brought three leaders
from St Mary‟s, Luton who explained how they work with “cells” within their congregation.
If anyone would like to know more about this talk please ask to have a copy of the
minutes, which are very full.

Vocations

The parish were all very pleased to hear that Jon Denman was accepted to train for
Reader ministry. Jon has a lot to offer the parish in this ministry and will make a great
addition to the ministry team once he has completed his training.

Another member of the congregation took a long look at vocation in 2007 and for the
moment has found a way to serve God as a lay person that is an answer to their call to
God‟s service.

Richard is always willing to talk to any member of the congregation who feels they may
have a vocation.


                               Vision Statement
  St Mary’s Church exists to be a shining beacon of welcome in this village:

            To bring every person to the love of Jesus Christ, regardless of
             age or background,

            To help every person develop his/her personal Christian ministry,

            To provide a wide range of worship and wholesome social
             activity for everyone,

            To show a perfect example of love, tolerance, warmth,
             commitment and generosity in our dealings with each other, with
             the local community and the wider world.

                 We do all this in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

                                           39
         With this vision in five years…..
St. Mary’s church will be full of men, women and children of all
ages and from all backgrounds who have experienced, or who
are seeking to experience, the love, peace and joy of having
Jesus Christ in their lives and who wish to hear the word of God.
The Church will be, and be recognized as being, a place
where people come together in unity to care for and to support
each other and those throughout Maulden and the wider
world.




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