Welcome to the Stilton Group of Churches
We do our best to be available to anyone who wants to take part in worship as well as be available
for life events, especially weddings, baptisms and funerals. For the last 18 months, many of us have
had to adjust to new restrictions, but now life is returning to something closer to normality, this letter will
be dedicated to getting you up to speed with what's happening.
Many of us have not only made necessary changes to our lifestyles of late, but also spent time thinking through what our lives need to be about rather than just how we may feel things have been dictated to us. You may have thought it was impossible to work from home, but necessity has made it happen anyway. It may be that you have been looking to create a better life balance than before. If you are looking to explore new possibilities, then why not include connecting with your church?
As our Group opens up in a more complete way we are, of course, starting with worship. As you read through you will find that the worship available in our Group is perhaps as diverse as it has ever been. If you look at our service plan on the website, you will see we include not just a traditional style, with its structure, peace and familiarity - services such as Holy Communion and Morning Praise. We also have fast-paced, and interactive worship dedicated to the needs of families, especially our series of afternoon services called 'Messy Praise'. Alternatively, if you like your praise songs loud and lively, then 'Inspire' could be for you. We trialled this a while ago and feel it's well worth increasing our provision. We also have worship designed to enable all ages to worship together - these are our All Age services.
Taking Reasonable Precautions this Autumn
We don't want to be overly cautious when national restrictions have largely ceased. However, the leadership of our churches have decided that we request anyone attending church is aware of the following;
We will not be returning to using a shared cup at Communion. However, you can choose to receive the wafer or bread dipped in wine by the priest if you wish.
We request that masks are worn on entry to and exit from the church. They can be removed whilst seated if you wish.
Singing can take place in church with or without a mask according to preference.
In all our churches, we will endeavour to provide an area of seating for those who wish to continue social distancing.
Shaking hands is still not to be encouraged. When sharing the Peace, we will continue with non-contact sharing, such as by waving, and not moving round the church.
We will continue to ventilate our churches as much as possible.
We request that everyone entering church uses the sanitizer provided.
Our churches are free to offer refreshments if they wish.
What is Messy Praise?
In the past we have hosted a wide variety of events and services aimed at families. Sometimes these have been more like services in church and at others, we have had different events such as Messy Church (examples of which you can find on youtube).
Messy Praise will be a blend of these including activities, stories and songs to make an exciting and fun place for families to share their life with God and each other. Like Messy Church, at the moment we can't look after unattended children so please make sure all children have someone to look after them.
What is 'Inspire'?
This is our name for a service filled with the latest Christian music led by guitars, drums and keyboard. You may have heard of the Spring Harvest or New Wine summer festivals (the latter often takes place in Peterborough) and we will be singing the kinds of songs they use in these settings. We add listening to and reflecting on the Bible's teaching for the week and time for prayer to make a complete and uplifting service.
Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals
You don't have to go to church to have these services in church. In our family of churches, we are available to our whole communities, so you can come to your local church and we will be able to help with any of these services. If you want more information on weddings and baptisms then our website, stiltonchurches.com has everything you need to know, but you can also contact the Group clergy at the numbers given on this newsletter.
If you would like to make a donation to our churches please follow this link to do so.
All donations are gratefully received.
Over the coming weeks there will be daily content added to our YouTube channel. Click on the image to go to the page.
The Stilton Group of Churches is committed to safeguarding all children and vulnerable adults in our parishes. Please click on the Safeguarding tab for more information, including our Safeguarding Policy and contact details if you have a concern.
The Safeguarding Team at the Diocese of Ely have been running a duty phone for over a year now. It was set up so people, with a safeguarding concern, could speak to a Safeguarding Adviser and receiver advice and guidance as to what action may need to be taken. The Safeguarding Duty Phone number is 01353 654747.
A dedicated helpline operated independently from the church by the NSPCC is available on 0800 802020. Anyone can use the helpline to provide information or to raise concerns regarding abuse within a Church of England context; whether they are reporting issues relating to children, adults or seeking to report poor safeguarding practice.