St Andrew’s Church is situated adjacent to the village green, pub and primary school, a well cared for Victorian church building which is much loved by the community and a valued part of the life of the thriving village of Shepherdswell.
Some pews were removed recently to provide wheelchair and pushchair space within the body of the church. This will also create space for a planned weekly bible study/play/worship group for the very young and their parents/carers.
The building is open during daylight hours, the Visitor’s book attests that this is appreciated. There is an increasing number of pilgrims walking the Via Francigena (between Canterbury and Rome). Members of the community also value the quiet space and sanctuary of the building.
Different styles of worship are used to meet the diverse needs of the congregation. Sunday services are split between Eucharistic and more informal, non-Eucharistic worship often led by ALMs. There is a monthly Sunday afternoon communion in the village’s two nursing homes and Morning Prayer is said on most weekdays.
Special outreach services are held at Christmas and All Souls. An all-night vigil is held on Maundy Thursday and a walk of witness on Good Friday.
A group which has evolved from the Mothers’ Union is now a social and bible study group.
Messy Church meets bi-monthly in the Village Hall and is well supported, providing an informal activity based environment for children and accompanying adults. An informal act of worship closes each Messy Church meeting.
There is a small music group and an active adult choir. Many in the congregation are part of Cursillo meeting regularly, in small reunion groups, to pray together and support each other in their Christian journeys.
Whilst links with the community are most evident at Remembrance Sunday and Christmas (Street Nativity, Crib service and two community carol events), as in many villages, our church members are also active members of village organisations so that outreach is part of day-to-day life.
St. Andrew's Church and the worshipping community are involved with the wider village community throughout the year, with barn dances, quizzes and a summer lunch. Members of the congregation are actively involved with Fairtrade, Street Pastors, the Deal Area Emergency Foodbank, Lovelight Romania and Rainbow Romania Aid, Christian Aid and the Children’s Society.