Category Archive New Events

The Funeral of our dear brother Len Griffiths

The funeral of our dear brother Len will take place at St Mary’s church at 11.30am on Thursday 29th October. In the current circumstances it is not possible for anyone other than family to attend at the church but the service will be available on Zoom. If you would like to have the Zoom link please email me on and I will send the link to you.  Please continue to give thanks for Len’s wonderful Christian example and pray for his daughter Christine and the rest of the family.

St John’s services and St Mary’s services (29th September update)


Sunday services at St. Mary’s

Sadly, St. Mary’s still cannot be safely opened for public worship in compliance with the current guidelines but I am delighted that we have re-started broadcasting a morning communion service online from St Mary’s at 9am each Sunday. Follow the link to our Facebook page to join us live or on delayed viewing.

Sunday services at St. John’s

We have held a number of 11am communion services on Sundays at St. John’s. These have been very much enjoyed by those who have been able to attend, despite being for a limited number of people and subject to restrictions to ensure safety. If you would like to join us for a future Sunday it is necessary to book in advance so that seats can be arranged and allocated to individuals and households. We have now tried to make this a little easier to do (please see “How to book” below). I apologise for any inconvenience but I assure you that we are only doing what we have to do to comply with government regulations and to keep you safe! We do hope that you will want to join us for worship.

What will happen in the service?

The service will be a spoken service of Holy Communion. We will use the words that we usually use at a St. John’s communion service. The distribution of communion will be of the bread only and will be done differently from our normal practice (this will be explained at the service). There will be a sermon and prayers but, sadly, we are not yet permitted to sing. Children are welcome to attend as members of a household but we regret that, as yet, we will not be able to make any special provision for them and they will have to stay in their designated seats. (We are very sorry not to be able to offer more for children but please do use the wonderful St. John’s Kids sessions available on our website!).

How to book:

Please book by email to during the week but before the weekend of the Sunday when you wish to attend. Alternatively telephone 01268 542156 and leave a message, stating your name and phone number very clearly! Places will be limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis (but priority will be given in future weeks to any who are unable to get a place for a particular Sunday).


We do hope that you will want to book in and join us but please be aware of the following restrictions:

  • You cannot attend if you or anyone else in your party have had or are having any symptoms.
  • People who are designated in the government’s vulnerable group are strongly advised not to attend.
  • Whilst we are doing everything we can to make the church COVID secure and therefore as safe as is practicable, we must advise anyone over 70 years of age that it is an increased risk for them to attend and you must consider this risk when deciding to attend.
  • It is now mandatory (by law) for all those people attending worship to wear a mask and all members of your household must remember to bring a face mask with them. We cannot allow anyone in the building who is not wearing a mask.
  • Contact details will be stored and, if required, made available to the government Track and Trace system. All details will be held according to GDPR and you will be asked to sign consent to this upon arrival.

We are very sorry that we are unable to offer more in our churches at this time and we hope that it will soon be possible to gather together more freely for worship and fellowship. In the meantime, I want to pay tribute to all those in our community who have been offering support to one another during lockdown and to invite you once again to make use of the various resources and opportunities for fellowship offered through our website at

Rev. Colin Hopkinson

Three Initiatives you may wish to join

I am delighted to commend to you three new initiatives for our church which seek to respond to issues of critical importance in our time:

  1. The Environment
  2. Mental Health
  3. Race

I am very grateful to Paula Sofowora who has offered to gather those who feel called to respond to these issues. Please read her letter below for further information. If you would like to participate in our thinking and/or action in any of these areas please contact Paula at





Hello everyone,

I hope you and your families are well and healthy, and that you are enjoying the summer weather.

I am writing to share 3 exciting, initiatives with you which I have been thinking and praying about for several months. They support some of
the five marks of mission which had been developed by the Anglican Consultative Council since 1984.  Since then, the marks of mission have been widely adopted as an understanding of what contemporary mission is about. The marks were adopted by the General Synod of the Church of England in 1996 and many dioceses and other denominations use them as the basis of action plans and creative mission ideas.

I would like to know your views on the matter and if you would like to get involved.


CofE Mark of Mission 4: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Eco Church is A Rocha UK’s award scheme for churches in England and Wales who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth.

A Rocha UK is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world, both as a response to the biblical mandate to care for the earth, and as a demonstration of the Christian hope for God’s world.

The vision is to create a vast network of churches as local centres of creation care in the community – shining beacons of hope for a brighter environmental future. The  vision was endorsed by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams speaking at the launch of Eco Church at St Paul’s Cathedral in January 2016 and the idea is to ensure that environmental concerns become ‘embedded more deeply’ in church culture.

Please visit the website : and view the survey questions which I propose that we complete as a church. The result will highlight areas that require attention and form the basis of our action plan. We will also start collecting points towards an Eco Church Award. The more we do , the more points we collect. There is a video presentation which will be posted on the website for those of you who would like further information.

Charity starts at home though so I would like to encourage everyone to consider the Buildings and Lifestyle section of the survey in relation to your respective homes and places of work.


  • Survey to be completed. PS and CH;
  • Expressions of interest in working party to PS;
  • PCC Decision regarding any proposals.


CofE Mark of Mission 3:  To respond to human need by loving service.

CofE Mark of Mission 4: To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.

We may not collectively have the expertise to delve too deeply into mental health and wellbeing but I feel called quite strongly to show love to vulnerable brothers and sisters in our church and community.

I was thinking of a monthly drop in session at St Johns. Activities could include the following :   Film night, Zumba, Games night, Arts and Craft, Curry night or a guest speaker on relevant topics of interest. These are just a few suggestions but I would welcome feedback from the congregation and especially those who might benefit from the service and or have first-hand experience of a need in this regard, and what a solution might look like.

I would like to compile a handy fact sheet which will include important information to sign post vulnerable individuals to the correct professional services and contact details. Suggestions as to what else should be included in this guide would also be appreciated.


  • Expressions of interest and feedback to PS;
  • PCC Decision regarding final proposals.



CofE Mark of Mission 4: To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.

Several non- black friends and colleagues have reached out to me following the death of George Floyd and subsequent global BLM movement that gathered momentum.

The Rev’d John Townsend of Holy Trinity, and St Michael, Rayleigh has produced a helpful Bible study called “Let’s Talk about Race” comprising three sessions (Session One: black and immigrant in the Bible; Session Two: all one in Christ; and Session Three: compassion and justice for all).

Racism is an evil and unjust structure of society. We are called as Christians to love our neighbours as ourselves and racism is an affront to this commandment and to God. I believe this resource would be a helpful and practical study guide that will help facilitate difficult but important conversations that need to be had as a church at home and in the wider community.

I would like to canvas the congregation’s interest in a study group talking about Race, using this resource.


  • Expressions of interest and feedback to PS;
  • PCC Decision regarding final proposals.

At this stage I am consulting to see what people think. Please email if you are interested in any of these 3 initiatives or if you have any feedback or comments.

God bless, stay safe and kind regards,


Sunday Streaming Church Service

Join us for a broadcast service on Sunday.

When you follow the link you will be taken to a Facebook page. You do NOT need to have or create a Facebook account to view the video. To watch go to the videos section and click on the video you want.  Previous services will also be there.

You can find the service in the video section by following this Link

If you would like an order of service follow this Link


Dear Church Family

The Parish needs your help!

Our Churches have closed and our collection plates are empty…

But in the background life goes on and for many work continues.

Prayers, bible readings, quiet reflection, streamed services and group support are all happening in our Parish and country wide.

People are showing love, kindness, generosity and compassion to those they know and those they don’t. What a blessing…

When our Churches do re-open, we must continue to spread the Good news and love of Jesus Christ in our communities and welcome people into our Churches.  Having financial stability will enable us to do this.

If you normally give weekly via the plate collections, please consider if you are able to set up a regular monthly donation via Standing order.      STANDING ORDER FORM

You can also make a one off donation to our Parish via this website.    DONATION

Debbie and I can also send you the standing order forms. Please email us.

Thank you so much for your kind generosity and support at this difficult time.

May God bless you and your family

Debbie Porter (Finance Manager) -


St John’s Kids Online

Come and join us today for the first St John’s Kids online

Follow this link to the churches videos

Copper Kettle Virtual Cafe

Wednesday’s at 10am

A chance to meet up online and have a chat

For a zoom link please email:

Morning Prayer Online

Just the Mon and Tue after Easter Sunday there will not be any morning prayer.

Join us for Morning Prayer online at 9am from this Thursday 26 March and thereafter on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.

It is very easy to join us. Just send an email to me at requesting to join. I will add you to the group and send you an invitation email to join a “Zoom meeting”. Click on the link on the email a few minutes before 9am to join the meeting. (The first time you do this Zoom will download and install the Zoom app. It is safe to install this).

To be able to join in with the words you will also need to download the Daily Prayer app (search your app store for “Daily Prayer Church of England”, it has a blue logo with Daily Prayer in it) and when you open it should take you straight to the words for that morning. You will need one screen (e.g. phone) to look at the words and another (e.g. laptop) to join the Zoom meeting.

If you would like a prayer request to be included please be sure to have the consent of any person named in the request and send it to me at on a separate email titled “prayer request”.

Bishops Crook – Virtual Pub

Every Saturday at 7.00pm

For a lively chat and catch-up with your friends or an opportunity to make new friends come and join us.  Bring you own bottle!

For a zoom link please email


Hebrews 13v16:

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

In these troubling times which is causing anxiety for many, it’s time to reach-out and support one another.

We want to encourage people to join a new WhatsApp group ‘Reaching-Out’ to provide a simple way to connect folks so that they can ask for support, ministry, advice or give your time to support others.  You just need to give us your name and mobile details.

We also are encouraging folks to subscribe on our web site so you can receive information directly on what’s happening in our church.

Don’t feel you are alone – our church wants to help.

Please hand your details to one of our church wardens or email or text 07754 540005

Name: _________________________________