Due to the current critical situation with the coronavirus crisis, in order to keep church members and visitors safe, we have taken the tough yet caring decision to worship online and at home only for the time being. Our plan is to resume worship in church at the start of Step 2 of the government's Covid-19 Response Plan, which is due to start on Monday April 12th. You can join us for worship on Zoom or join in at home with our weekly Prayers and Reflections. We will continue to keep in touch with church members by phone. If you have any prayer requests, please contact Revd Katrina. Funerals can take place in church in line with Covid-19 restrictions.
Click here to find out how to sign up for Sunday Worship on Zoom.
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 once a day 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...
Lent has begun. We have set out on a 40-day pilgrimage of self-discipline and self-learning. Traditionally, we give up something for Lent to aid our focus on God's call on our lives. Which is a useful discipline in ordinary times. At the moment, life in lockdown can feel like we have already given up enough without choosing to go without one more thing that we love. So... why not keep Lent in a different way this year? By being kind to yourself and looking for a moment of joy or a source of gladness each day. Or, you can use one of the two resources from Together @ Lent to bless yourself and your family as you journey through Lent at home. You'll find them - HERE.
Talking to church members and villagers on the phone and out on my walks, I know that life in this third lockdown is tough. If you are spending time at home alone, each day, it can be a struggle to find things to do or to stay motivated and positive. If you are working and have children, home schooling is adding to the pressure of daily life. If you are a key worker on the frontline of this crisis or keeping essential services going, you will have seen too much and/or experienced so many worries about your safety and that of your family. If you run a business or work for one that is closed, this has brought its own anxieties. I am holding you all in my thoughts and prayers.
Taking care of ourselves is vital for our wellbeing and for our prayer life. We cannot be present with God if we are too stressed to pause, be still and be with him. And, knowing that life can be challenging, Jesus gave us a prayer to say when we are too overwhlemed to find our own words. It contains all that we need to centre ourselves on his heavenly Father and raise our concerns to him. The Lord's Prayer invites us to gather up our heart's desires for ourselves, our family and friends, as well as for our village and nation, and our hurting world, and lay them into our Father's waiting hands. It contains our past - our present - our future too. It encourages us to trust in God's steadfast love and journey with him one day at a time. Which - sometimes - is all that we can manage. Through Lent, we will be praying with and through this prayer as a family of churches. May the words that Jesus gave us strengthen, guide and inspire your daily living in the coming days.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name:
thy kingdom come:
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
If you would like to join with us in praying daily at home, you'll find our Daily Prayer in Lent booklet - HERE. Its theme is "Thy will de done".
May God bless you with his peace and calm. Go well, go safely. May the Lord be with you through Lent.
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.
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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.