St. Andrew's Shared Church
|A History of St. Andrew's|
First thoughts of a shared church began in the mid 1960’s when the Church
of England (C of E) of St Andrew’s (then the sister church of St Peter’s
Burnham) worshipped in the building which is now used as the Furniture Mart.
The Roman Catholics (R.C.) were sadly having difficulty in finding a suitable building in Cippenham in which to hold services. So having discussed the situation at the C of E Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting it was agreed that the offer was made to the Catholic Church for use of the Church Hall/Hut. Friendships were born that continue to this day.
Eventually the idea that the C of E and the Roman Catholics could build
a Church used by both congregations evolved as the Reverend Alan Carey
the C of E Minister, and Father David Woodard R.C. Parish Priest worked
towards this vision with their respective congregations, mindful of legal
requirements and religious sensibilities. This was the first time in Britain
that the Church of England and the Catholics had got together at Parish
level to build a Church.
The Church has been so designed to have large movable screens and furniture, which will allow the space to be subdivided so that, if necessary, four different activities can go on simultaneously. It will also allow the building to be used by other local groups.
In June 1969 a company was formed (The Cippenham Shared Church Trust Ltd),
the object of which was to promote the advance of Christian Religion and
other charitable purposes and beneficial to the community. The Board of
Trustees were made up of one member each of the C of E and R.C. clergy and
five members from each of the congregations. Their responsibilities oversaw
the finances and building programme (albeit for an unconventional Style
Church building). In 1970 the building became a reality and was opened
with much publicity and celebration as the first C of E /Roman Catholic
purpose built Church.
The years have seen much in the way of sharing service to the community and witnessing (however imperfectly) to the unity of purpose, which is Christ for His Church. The Church together with the Furniture Mart has become a focal point of the community in Cippenham.
Today the daily working of the building, its occasions of shared worship and social life are guided by a Joint Enabling Council, helping clergy and laity together in the delivery of the ministry and mission of the Church.
Work on the Church is on going and in the beginning of 2002 the waste land behind the church was cleared and the Sanctuary Garden was opened. This was created so that the community of Cippenham have a place for quiet and reconnecting with the sacred and spiritual dimension we believe Christ offers to all who are weary and heavy laden. With the advent of the garden it is hoped that this exciting new step together as the shared Church of St Andrews; Cippenham to be even more so, servants of the Lord in this place. The garden is also used by many outside groups for social events.