All posts by KFord

Helping us to help you

A letter from Revd Will Gibbs

During this time of the Coronavirus pandemic, church has had to be a little different, but it hasn’t stopped. We’ve moved online for service broadcasts and our fellowship has been through telephone conversations, emails and lovely chats from a distance when we’ve bumped into friends on our daily walk. Alongside these things, I’ve been sending occasional letters, printed service booklets and bible studies to members of St Mary’s without access to the internet. We’ve been working hard to ensure that in the worrying times we’re experiencing, we can still pray together and worship together even if we can’t be together.

At the same time, the churchyard is continuing to be maintained beautifully and flowers are being arranged in the niches at the church door each week. Thank you to everyone who is working so hard through this period in various parts of the life of our church with music, readings, prayers, administration and keeping on top of the church accounts.

It is on this last matter that I want to now turn. We are fortunate at St Mary’s to enjoy strong support for our church and, with this, strong financial support also. Many people give their stewardship by regular standing order and this has been vital in order to keep the church afloat financially. But we are missing over £1000 a month from lettings income from the Transept, and other income from donations and loose plate collections. It varies a bit from month to month but typically we’re losing somewhere between £3,000 and £4,000 a month during the lockdown. That means that if this continues, and it looks like this situation isn’t going to change anytime soon, then we are going to have used up all the money in our account.

We’ve obviously done everything we can to reduce our costs, we’ve turned the heating right down in church and in the Transept and one member of staff has been furloughed but the fact is that whilst our income has dropped, many of our costs haven’t gone down very much. We still need a Vicar (I hope!), we have higher costs for phone calls and we still need to insure our buildings.

So, can you help?

There are three ways that could make a real difference to us at this time:

  1. Make a one-off donation through our online giving page to help cover the costs of our ministry. This can be Gift Aided to make your kind support go even further.
  2. Make a donation by cheque, payable to ‘PCC St Mary’s, Redbourn’ and send it in, (and even better if you can Gift Aid it for us too). Click to download and print a gift aid form
  3. Set up or change your regular donation to St Mary’s.  You can download the two separate forms you need to do this here and here, or contact Jim May by e-mail or on 01582 794676 with any questions.

I realise that some people are facing financial hardship through the Coronavirus pandemic but if you can help in one of these three ways, then that would be amazing.

Thank you, and please be assured of my prayers for you as you kindly pray for me also.

We long for the time when we can be back in church and back together. It will be so special and emotional but, in the meantime, please stay safe and well and do get in touch if I can help and support you with anything.

Yours, in Christ


The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Mary Redbourn is registered with the Charity Commission: 1130677

Christian Aid Week 2020: 10th – 16th May

Love never fails. Coronavirus impacts all of us. But love unites us all.

As this virus spreads across the world, love rises up in response. You’ve already shown incredible kindness to your neighbours. Now is the time to reach out to your neighbours both near and far.

Your love protects. From storms, from drought, and now from coronavirus. Your love protects our global neighbours battling the spread of this illness. Your love protects. With soap, clean water and medical supplies.

By making a donation this Christian Aid Week, you can reach out and protect more of your neighbours today.

Watch this short film about Florence who lives in Kenya, and the life-changing impact of a dam full of fresh water near to her village:


Please consider making a difference this Christian Aid week by:

  1. Making a donation to Christian Aid click here to donate
  2. Sending an e-Envelope to your friends, family and neighbours click here to send an envelope

Thank you for your support.

St Mary’s Virtual Choir Recordings

Those who have been joining the virtual Sunday Services in recent weeks will have heard our St Mary’s ‘Virtual Choir’ in fine voice.

You can listen here to their most recent recording of ‘Now the Green Blade Riseth‘ arranged by our churchwarden and choir member Paul Vernon, with instrumental parts from the Beaman family.

Click on the play button below:

A huge amount of time, effort and expertise goes into the making of these recordings of the anthem and hymns for our weekly worship.

Here’s how they happen:

  • First, organ backing tracks are recorded on a keyboard for the choir to follow as they record their individual parts, often with a conductor’s voice-over added too.
  • These are e-mailed along with the sheet music to choir members who then practice their parts at home – the Juniors are having a weekly online choir practice, and the adults are practicing on their own, (whilst washing up is usually Jonathan’s suggestion!).
  • To record their parts, each choir member listens to the backing track through earphones on one device (eg their mobile phone) whilst recording their singing on another (eg a tablet or computer).
  • They send back their individual recordings early in the week, which are then ‘mixed’ in a special computer programme – usually by Paul and Kay’s son Tom.  Each part is added one by one, trimmed until it starts at exactly the same point as everyone else, and then the volumes of all the individual parts are adjusted until the voices are blended into the beautiful choral sound in the finished recordings.
  • The recordings are then sent on to Will who adds the words of the hymns to sing along to at home, photographs etc, then adds them to the final ‘movie’ of the complete Sunday service.

Huge thanks to everyone for giving of their time and talents in making these recordings happen each week.

If you are interested in finding out more about joining the ‘real’ choir (either juniors or adults) when church reopens, please contact our Director of Music Jonathan Goodchild.