On Sundays, we worship in church, on Zoom and at home with our weekly Prayers and Reflections. From Step 3 of the government's Covid-19 Response Plan, our Sunday morning services in church will include the option to receive communion in one kind (the bread). We continue to keep in touch with church members by phone and by outdoor visits. Funerals and weddings can take place in church in line with the Covid-19 rules. If you have any prayer requests, please contact Revd Katrina.
Click here to find out how to sign up for Sunday Worship on Zoom.
Click here to find out about our services in church.
Click here for this Sunday's Prayers and Reflections for use at home (uploaded on Thursdays).
To encourage people to following the Covid-19 rules and stay safe, we will not be opening our church buildings on Sunday afternoons until Step 3 of the government's plan, when we will then be allowed to mix indoors in limited numbers for the first time in months . You can still experience the timeless presence of our delightful churches, and visit loved ones' graves, on your daily walks.
Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults within this benefice
In this benefice, we take safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults very seriously. Our Safeguarding Policy and Procedure was adopted by the Benefice Church Council in September 2020. It follows and is consistent with the Church of England's House of Bishops' Promoting a Safer Church - Safeguarding policy statement for children, young people and adults 2017 and Parish Safeguarding Handbook, and incorporates Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and Care Act 2014.
For more information and contact details, please follow this LINK.
Reverend Katrina writes...
Forty days after the joyous return of Jesus on Easter morning, his friends have to say goodbye to him. He is returning to his Father in heaven. Whilst this is great news for Jesus, it must have been a sad and scary time for his team. It is time for them to fly solo. Well, not quite solo as Jesus promises to send them his Spirit to guide and strengthen them. And so began a short period of prayerful waiting. I wonder if, during those long days and nights of waiting (time always seems to go slowly when you're waiting), did they think of the prayer of protection that Jesus prayed over them at the Last Supper.
He didn't pray that life would be easy for his team or for us, his followers, but that his Father would protect us as we live through life's challenges, try to make sense of them, and do our best to serve him in every aspect of our lives. His prayer was that we would keep on trusting in him, and in his Father's love, when the storms of life threaten to overwhelm us. And, I think that this prayer has done an amazing job in helping us to keep going through the coronavirus crisis. As the storm raged, we kept on worshipping - at home, in church and online. We kept on praying, believing that our prayers can and do make a difference to us and to those who are on our hearts. We have trusted in God our Rock, and he has been there for us.
As the eye of the storm passes on to other parts of the globe and we edge to towards calmer waters, I invite you to take a moment to look back and see how God has guided you through the dangers and challenges. Notice how you are feeling now. Seek what you need from him to journey on with love and hope.
If you wish, say this prayer of protection.
our hearts are restless
till they find their rest in you.
Hold me when the storms of life rage
and the waves crash over me.
Be my rest and my security.
Help me to know
that everything good and beautiful
comes from you,
including the precious gift of love.
Hold me in your loving care and embrace,
as I hold others in mine.
In your Son's name,
I pray. Amen.
Adapted from a prayer by Stephen Cottrell
May God bless and keep you and your loved ones safe in the storms of life and in its calmer waters too.
Here is a lovely prayer from the Church of England to help us be there for others, and to allow them to be there for us, in these challenging times:
Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name's sake.
For more of the Church of England's prayer resources to use at home, please follow this LINK.
For a Children's guide to the Coronavirus, please follow this LINK. It's been produced by the UK's Children's Commissioner and can be helpful for parents and carers too.
* * * * * *
Welcome to our website
A warm welcome to the benefice of Mears Ashby, Hardwick, Sywell and Overstone. Across our four historic churches, we offer a variety of services for people of all ages and stages in the Christian faith. We have traditional Holy Communion and Evensong services, as well as more contemporary and informal All-age worship. We also have regular coffee mornings (socials) and evening fellowship gatherings (faith discussions).
Whether you are a regular churchgoer or someone seeking to know more about the Christian faith, we would love to welcome you at our services. If you have any questions or requests, please contact our vicar Revd Katrina or e-mail the Benefice Team secretary.