As the Covid-19 restrictions ease, we have re-opened our church buildings for individual private prayer on Sunday afternoons and are worshipping in church one more. Each Sunday we will have a service in church, one on Zoom and our Prayers and Reflections for use at home (or in our gardens). We will continue to keep in touch with church members by phone. If you have any prayer requests, please contact Revd Katrina.
Click here for details of our Sunday Worship in Church.
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.
Three of our churches are also open for individual private prayer on Sundays. For details - click here.
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...
On Sunday we are celebrating God's gift to us of his holy Scriptures. Our bibles are one of the key ways that we grow as Christians and a place where God speaks to us. His printed and translated words can and do speak into our daily lives and into our deepest needs, if we take the time to read slowly, prayerfully and thoughtfully. Bible Sunday is a day for slow reading. How often have you or I missed a nuance or a clue in a book we're devouring because we're in too much of a hurry to see what's going to happen next or get to the last page. Sometimes, it is only on a second or third reading that we grasp the richness of the story and the fullness of its message to us. And the same is true of our bibles, which I invite you to read on a daily or regular basis.
God's word may have been spoken at a particular moment in time and written for a specific context yet it is timeless. A parable, an image or a verse can have valuable or inspirational insights for our current crisis or for the issues we are facing in our own personal lives. We just need to read - pause - notice - ponder and reflect on what God is saying to us rather than racing on to the next page. Take these words from Psalm 139, as an example of how God is making a promise to us, which words or lines stand out for you? And why? What is God saying to you? Pray through them.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquuainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night',
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
from Psalm 139
For me, the image that stands out is God's presence in our darkness. If we think of his Son on the cross on Good Friday, we know that God has experienced the darkest of places and through his searing pain has brought light into our world and into our lives. God is with us in the darkness of this coronavirus crisis. If we take the time to pause each day and lift our unspoken words to God, he will listen. His heart is already in tune with ours and we simply need to tune ours into his, and thus sense his light - his peace and calm - and let him lead us through a day at a time. Try to go at his pace rather than allow our thoughts to race on to what might be. When we are in a dark place, we cannot fully see or understand the world around us, but we can reach out God and trust in his guiding. He will never leave us.
May God's words inspire and strengthen you.
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.