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Update from the Vicar 

23rd November 2022

Click here for the video update

Hi everyone, we’re about to enter Advent this Sunday, already!, so it’s a good time for an update on what’s happening at St Mary’s. This weekend don’t forget to come along to our prayer and fasting, drop in for as long as you’re able between 11am and 5pm. We’re particularly praying for God’s provision for our ministry following the recent finance update highlighting some challenges we’re facing, and also listening to his leading as we think about this new season we’re in.
Over recent months of prayer and discernment about vision we’ve seen some new ideas around our key focus areas emerging. So do be thanking God that in this liminal in between time he’s given us vision and is helping us explore possibilities. Our current four priorities are Prayer, Whole Church Hospitality, Small Groups, and Outreach. This is all while we try to live out our calling as an Isaiah 61 church. The PCC, staff and ministry leaders have been praying about and seeking God in discerning what may be God’s leading, please do be praying and seeking God too.
Many of you will have already enjoyed some of our ‘Whole Church Hospitality’ Church Lunches. There was one last weekend wasn’t there. Hats off to Sarah Davies and her awesome team for such beautiful food and warm hospitality! It’s been a fantastic time for enjoying each others company, for getting to know visitors and for inviting friends along. The plan is to do these each month. Also as part of our vision for Whole Church Hospitality (that means hospitality that we share across the whole church, whatever age we are, in all our diversity) is to begin having some new socials next year. Listen out for Cat Pearson’s update on these ideas and do get in touch with her if you’d like to join in with making things happen. The idea is to have a regular hobbies night each month and also to have a series of socials that would appeal to a wide variety of interests. Won’t it be great to have more times of fun and connection where we can invite family, friends and neighbours along too.
Another area of development that the Lord seems to be leading us towards, is with our work that we do through CAP (Christians Against Poverty), so that as well as the work across Warwickshire that we are doing already and that will grow, we could run a pilot where we give particular focus to a geographical area. The first of these would be at Fallow Hill on Sydenham. The idea has been bubbling for a while and has support as a pilot, over a few years from our partners. Please be exploring with us in prayer whether this is God’s priority for this new season and ask him to provide all that’s needed. One of the benefits of a geographical focus like this is that we could make wider use of the suite of support that CAP offers in that place, like money courses, job club, skills, signposting and being a blessing as we are being led.
We are also hoping to run a Christian basics course like Alpha later on next year. In 2023 there will be a significant amount of work needed to the fix the building including our heating system.
In addition to these that are probably more immediate areas of development, we have the beginning of some other dreams too. We’ve are wondering about the possibility of a 24/7 prayer room because we have sensed that the Lord wants for all our ministry and mission to overflow from intimacy with him in prayer and that he seems to be calling us to be a ‘house of prayer for all nations’. Also we’re dreaming dreams about the development of youthwork, including ideas about a relational fun space that would be available during the week.
That gives us more than enough to be praying into as we seek God’s priorities and purposes together for the season ahead, particularly with our prayer and fasting day on Saturday. Please be praying for discernment, for clarity about what God’s saying are things for now and what might be just a good idea rather than a God idea, or perhaps some ideas are not for now but could be for several years time. It’s exciting to be dreaming dreams, and clarifying what we will focus on in 2023 and immediate years. Please join the PCC in praying for wisdom. There’s been a lot of thinking that’s been going into these things in recent months and please pray for resources (finance, for people excited and committed to serve in mission, for capacity, enthusiasm, basically all the things that would help move us forward from where we are today towards where we’d love to be in the future).
Also please be praying for our Christmas services and events, and get the word out so others can enjoy them too. We’re excited to be joining our neighbours on Fallow Hill for carol singing on the 17th Dec, do get in touch with Darren if you’d like to be a part of that. Do thank God as well because we have school visits from all our schools in our parish and also pray for all the services coming up like Nursery Rhyme Nativities, the Christingles, our Nativity service, Carol service and Christmas Day itself! I’m sure we’ll also have the chance to celebrate with our immediate neighbours as Christmas approaches – in previous years several of us have gathered in our streets for mince pies or we’ve done local carol singing in local streets. You might like to put up your homemade Christmas posters in your windows again this year?
Lastly, a few of ideas of books that you might find helpful as we enter Advent to help in the waiting and preparing: Gifts of Grace by Jared C. Wilson provides 25 devotions (this opens the door on different aspects of the coming of Jesus, as a daily gift of grace), The Ultimate Christmas Wishlist by Rico Tice (explores hope, peace, purpose and confidence), and for Family Devotions The God of Amazing Gifts by Lizzie Laferton (25 devotions with different questions for children of different ages and extra ideas for conversations and activities). These might be good, do find something that works for you to help you through Advent to focus on eternal things and not just the busyness in preparation for Christmas.
Thanks for listening and look forward to seeing you soon!

Hello! and a warm welcome to St Mary's church.
If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here.

Planning your Visit

A Warm Hello 

We hope that you can visit and get to know us better, we would love to meet you!

Our Service

The main service begins at 10.30am with a warm welcome from one of our team members. Then follows a time of sung worship, led by our band. We typically have 2 or 3 songs lasting approximately 20 minutes. Sometimes a person might pray out loud or read a small passage from the Bible. Sometimes people share things that they believe God is saying to the whole church family. This might seem strange the first time you hear it but it’s all part of our connecting with God. We share news and notices, usually about what’s going on in the life of the church. One of our leaders will then give a sermon that is Bible-based and that we can apply to our everyday life. We then finish with a final worship song. Sometimes there is an opportunity to receive prayer at the end of the service. If you have any questions please ask!

Accessibility: There is wheelchair access, and a sound loop for anyone who needs it. Please let one of the Welcome Team know on your arrival and they will help you to get set up. There is a disabled toilet in the Church centre.

Newcomers Lunch

We invite everyone to be a guest at a Newcomers Welcome Lunch normally held once a term after the 10.30 Sunday service, usually in the Church Centre.

As well as an opportunity for us all to get to know one another better, you can hear more about the life and ministry of St Mary’s and how as a committed Christian you may be able to get involved.

We also have a Whole Church Sunday lunch together once a month in our Lower Hall.

Christmas inside church

What about my kids?

Children's groups run on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Sundays of every month (except school holidays) and your kids are very welcome to join them.

Each group (excluding Crèche) includes, sung worship, Bible reading, prayer, listening to God, games, craft and food! 

All groups are led by wonderful volunteers from within the church family who have completed a DBS check and are safely recruited.

Creche (0 months to 2 years). Parent supervised.
Sparklers (2-4 years)
Flames (5-7 years)
Rockets (8-11 years Junior School)
Youth (Secondary School age) 

Children stay with their parent or grown-up at the start of the service as we worship (sing songs), together for the first part of the morning. At some point someone will announce that it’s time for the younger members to go to their various groups. You will need to go with your children to their groups at first and register them as part of our child safety policy.

For more information about what happens in the children's work please visit the Children's Ministry page. Children return to the service before the end. 

St Mary's has lots of children and families, we love having kids around and try to make them feel welcome and at home. 

Hope kids pic

Getting Connected

Small Groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our small groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week, some afternoons and some evenings. Check out Small Groups and see if there’s one that you could join, or we can put you in touch with a small group leader who will be more than happy to invite you along to their group.

Serving and Volunteering

If you want to get involved in the life of the church and help us make Sundays run smoothly, you can sign up to serve on a team. 

Get in touch with us to plan your visit
If you would like to come and visit the church beforehand you are more than welcome! Get in touch and we can arrange a time that suits you.
Email Address:
Comments / Questions or anything you would like to say?

Next, we will contact you by email to say hello and help arrange anything necessary for your visit.
Rev'd Becky Jones    
Vicar of St Mary's    
We hope that whoever you are, you will feel at home at our church.

Best Wishes