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Update from the Vicar 

Becky Jones
11th January 2023

For the video update click here

Hi Happy New Year. I wanted to give you an update to help you know what’s happening at the start of this year. We are meeting for Prayer and Fasting this Saturday 14th at church between 11am and 5pm. As before we’ll sing worship at 11am, 1pm and 3pm and pray together. There’ll also be times of quiet where you can listen to God and seek him individually. There will be a few creative prayer spaces to help you. Do drop in as you are able or come for the whole time if you can, and make it a retreat day. If you’re just visiting you’re also very welcome. We will have the Hub (the cosy room at the back) dedicated for ‘soaking’ prayer with quiet music playing, a space to rest (sit/lie down) in God’s presence. Come along if you are in need of refreshing and are hungry for an opportunity to seek God’s voice for you at the start of this year, and please listen for our church. We are praying into God’s call on us for mission at St Mary’s.
Our vision is founded on Isaiah 61, we’re Jesus centred and Jesus shaped. We are about Encountering God, being Rooted in Christ and seeing Lives Transformed. We are called as those anointed with the Holy Spirit to proclaim good news to the poor. You could come and reflect on Isaiah 61 in the Bible and reflect on Jesus’ life. This year we’re focussing on 4 areas: prayer, small groups, outreach and whole church hospitality. Please come and listen to God for his leading and pray for his preparing of us for mission this year.
We are going to be exploring whether God is leading us to develop a pilot project with CAP where we respond in a more focussed way to the needs of the area around us, of course also continuing the wonderful work we do across the county. This could involve a local variety of responses to need, like offering job clubs, drop ins, money courses, sharing skills and responding to needs as they arise. We want to wisely develop our work in combatting the struggles poverty. If this is something that catches your heart for mission please be in touch with Darren.
Also we’re excited to be developing our Whole Church Hospitality this year, so there’ll soon be some new opportunities for gathering to share hobbies and with socials alongside our monthly church lunches. We believe we’re being led to build community in ways that bring us all together from across our whole church with all our diversity of ages, various interests. We all can make a difference to one anothers discipleship and be a loving community. We have already been enjoying the blessings of getting to know one another better and being welcoming to visitors through our church lunches in recent months. Let’s be intentionally encouraging of one another and offer loving community.
Later on in the year, perhaps in the Autumn, we hope to run an Alpha course so please be praying about whether it’d be helpful for you and friends and family, or considering whether you could serve in helping out on the course.
I’m hoping we can grow some new small groups, so if you feel a call to lead a small group, please be in touch with me. Please be praying about how to get stuck in this year, and look out for the ways you could invite friends, family, colleagues along.
We need to really look out for one another, being in a small group is the best way of doing this, and for going deeper in discipleship and mission. There are also more pastoral needs so if you think God is leading you into helping with the pastoral care of others please let us know. We want to be able to support one other bringing strength, especially when life is challenging.
On a practical note if you haven’t given us your contact details or found your way around Church Suite (our address book for church) do let us know, it really helps for connecting.
Please could you be praying for God to call some new PCC members ahead of the annual meeting in April.
It was brilliant to have James Spencer with us last Sunday talking about the charity Compassion and I’m excited by what God’s doing in partnering with them, through sponsoring children there’ll be precious lives transformed, for them, their families, their projects, communities and churches. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the difference being made, it’s great to see individuals setting up sponsorship and also groups are considering sponsoring together. If you’re interested there is a dedicated link for us to use online and some more profiles in the church office. You should’ve had an email about it and it’s on our Facebook group, if you’ve missed the details and want to know let us know. James’ talk is on our St Mary’s Youtube account if you missed it. I know of around 8 sponsorships but there may be more. If you’re already sponsoring all James needs is your postcode to link you to St Mary’s so you can hear more feedback of the projects when he next comes.
Now would be a good time to be planning holiday, so why not consider coming with St Mary’s to New Wine United B at the Kent event centre from 1-5 August. I’ve just heard the great news that the Impact venue is back this year and that Simon Ponsonby is the Bible teacher for our week. Early bird tickets are available until 31 January or perhaps think about being on team, it’s a great experience and you get your ticket for free. If you have any concerns about money or camping equipment do have a chat with us. Some people choose to stay off site if they don’t want to do the camping. There’s fantastic worship and sessions, great fun hanging out together at the campsite and brilliant childrens and youth sessions.
CPAS Ventures and Falcons holidays are also taking bookings: I really recommend these for children from 8 years upwards. Ask Lizzy about the Venture many of our Rockets children attend. Volunteering on Ventures is a fantastic opportunity too. There are some Ventures leaflets at the back of church too.
Finally, I wanted to let you know that I’m planning to take a Sabbatical this year from May to July. I’ll come back to New Wine United B. I’ll have been ordained 14 years this year and I’ve been offered this opportunity for rest and prayer, for renewal and listening to God for this new season. I’d really welcome your prayer for this time, for me and my family and for our church while we won’t be around. I’ll be taking retreats and listening to God through study/retreat/recreation and having conversations with other leaders. I want to grow the depth of my relationship with God and to be refreshed to serve him. I’m passionate about abiding in God so that our mission flows out of deep encounter with him. I’m hoping the Lord will lead me in deeper understanding of the love of Father God and that this will benefit us all at St Mary’s. On the topic of retreats, don’t forget that you can apply for a retreat grant from Coventry Diocese of up to £120 per year, just fill in the the form and I’ll sign it off for you:
I’m looking forward to seeing more of God’s love and power in 2023. We had some brilliant times over the Christmas season, with fun and opportunities to be a blessing amongst many people, welcoming children to our church from all the schools in our parish. It was a real highlight and wasn’t it great to see some of their families then coming to our carol service! There’s so much to give him thanks for in our church.
Come along to First Priority prayer next Tues 17th at 8pm-9pm at church or join online and also to Prayer and Fasting this Saturday. Come with expectant hearts. I’ve heard some special testimonies of what God’s been doing recently. So there’s much to give thanks for.  Seek his equipping, surrender to him and give this year to him.

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