Category: News

Still Moving

 Christian contemplative prayer through music and movement.  Run by Milly and Clay Sinclair and Juliette Saville, members of Stillpoint, an inclusive contemplative group connected to St Lawrence’s.   All Faith’s and none welcome.

Please join us this Sunday 9 May from 7.20pm for a 7.30pm start.

Here’s the zoom link.

VE Day

Whilst we will not celebrate it as we had planned, we will be remembering and giving thanks for VE day tomorrow.

To mark this occasion there will be a service broadcast from our Cathedral at 11.15 tomorrow morning. Friday – VE Day service.

Bishop Rachel says:

I am delighted that there will be a service provided virtually by the cathedral on Friday, available from 11.15am on the cathedral website and I am looking forward to joining some members of the Company of St Kyneburga for a virtual cup of tea in the afternoon and hearing some of their memories of that day in 1945.

Sunday Service celebrates the contemplative tradition in Stroud

This Sunday’s service (streamed at 10.10am and online thereafter here) celebrates the contemplative tradition that is thriving in the Stroud Parish Churches.

In the service, we include visits to our Still Moving, Taize & Cowshed communities – including input from their leaders (Milly Sinclair leads a body prayer, Simon & Julie Cooper weave diverse spiritual readings inspired by the Gospel around the chant Adoramus te Domine…).

You may also know of our Silent Sitting Communities (in normal times: Church of the Holy Spirit Pagan Hill 3pm Thursdays, St Laurence’s Stroud 8am Tuesdays – the latter now still meeting but sitting in our respective homes, with corresponding communications before & after) and the Praying Together community at Holy Trinity Slad (10am Thursdays – now online).

Contemplative prayer is experiencing a renaissance at the moment because of its facility to open the heart to deep spiritual remedies – if you’d like to connect with one or more of the aforementioned communities, do get in touch.

Christian Aid Week 10th-16th May

Again creative thinking has been applied by this esteemed social justice organisation – to see how best to ensure it can continue standing together with the most vulnerable and marginalised people during this time of global crisis.

They have a schedule of virtual events all taking place live from their Facebook page. And there are several more creative and fun ways on their website to help us join them in saving lives from our sofas.

Plant Sale for Christian Aid: Saturday 16th May, 10am – 1pm. Sutton Gardens, Middle Street. (Social distancing etc in force at the time will be observed; please bring your own boxes / carrier bags to take plants home)

Being Equipped for Everyday Faith: Cheltenham Racecourse, Sat 3rd October

This is an absolutely vital Diocesan event (Bishop Rachel is the National Episcopal Champion for Everyday Faith).

It is for those who spend most of their time out in the community, whether working, studying caring, volunteering…, and will equip and inspire us to live out our faith Sunday to Saturday.

It is for Christians who are grandparents, grandchildren, adults, teenagers, parents etc etc.

There are workshops, seminars and activities for all ages delivered by experienced speakers. Are you feeling this is for you? Brilliant. There are limited places so do let us know if you are.

The Door’s Challenge: 100k in May

The Door continues to offer vital support to young people and families at this time, and more so than ever as the impact of social isolation kicks in. These are challenging times for all of us, and The Door reports that amongst young people they are in contact with their mood is lower than they’ve ever seen before, and parents are telling them that their anxiety levels are rising. They have adapted quickly, moving all their support services to phone and video calls.

However, with their charity shop closed, and various events which they had fundraisers taking part in cancelled, they are losing around £500 per week.

So, the whole clergy team; Simon, Mathew, Graham and I have decided to step up to their challenge of 100k in May! That’s to run or walk 100km in the month of May to help to raise funds for The Door.

What can you do to support?

They say; ‘It’s going to be a challenge, but together we can
#KeepTheDoorOpen
and keep providing vital mental health support to local vulnerable young people and their families.’

New from the Rector

This is our weekly communication to remind us that we may be in isolation, but we are not alone.

Since I last wrote we have been told that we are going to be in lock down for a while longer. I hope that you are finding healthy ways of being, and enjoying the opportunity to connect with people in your congregations in new ways; be that by phone, by letter or by video call. If you are feeling lonely, pick up the phone and call someone – you will probably make their day, and make yours brighter too.

Simon and I have Open Vicarage from 10-11 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and are loving catching up with people during those times. Do ‘drop in’!

On the website there is also a little video preparing for our Agape meal together on Sunday, and an update about our curate, Helen Hill. 

You can also read about the challenge that Simon and I have accepted on behalf of The Door [will we live to regret this?!] and you can take a moment out to reflect on our wonderful earth through a video made for Earth Day by people in Slad.

Alongside these news items we have our worship; continue to offer Morning Prayer daily, Compline is always there as are the services we have shared.

Our virtual prayer board is there for you to ask for prayer, and our wonderful prayer team are faithfully praying for all of those people and situations.

Stay safe and well, and may you know the peace of God which passes all understanding.

Grace, love and peace, Kate

Welcoming Helen Hill Curate for The Stroud Team from 28 June 2020

Helen, along with her husband Peter, will be joining us in June as Helen begins her curacy in the Stroud Team. Helen is a Self Supporting Curate and will be with us for two days a week plus Sundays.

Helen and Peter will be staying in their home in Charfield, and Helen will be travelling to Stroud on the days she is ministering amongst us.

As a part-time curate, Helen will be with us for 3-5 years. Many of you will have already met Helen, and will have already recognised what a huge asset she will be to our team, while she was with us on placement last summer.

Of course, this is an extraordinary year to be ordained, and it is looking, at best, uncertain as to when the actual ordination will be able to take place. However, we have been assured by our Bishops that all curates will be able to start at the time they were expecting to and will, in the first place, be licensed as Pastoral Assistants until such a time as they are able to be Deaconed, and this allows wide-ranging ministry practice comparative to the world of a Deacon.

Helen has been training on the Cuddesdon, Gloucester and Hereford Programme for the last 2 years. Helen is an active member of the lay ministry team in Wickwar Benefice where she lives, establishing new areas of mission and ministry.

What can we do to help support and train Helen Hill, our new curate?

A curate is placed in a training parish for two reasons:

  1. There is a minister suitable to be a training incumbent
  2. The group of churches is healthy and able to provide a variety and range of opportunities for the curate

Alongside these,  you as the Stroud Team will pay Helen’s expenses in full, and will allow Helen and Kate to spend time training as part of her development. As well as this, there are other things that you, the congregations, can do that will play a vitally important part in Helen’s training:

  1. Tell her when she’s got it right. Affirm and encourage Helen. Tell her why it helped you and how it built up the people involved [be as specific as you can – that was a lovely sermon is great, but doesn’t give anything to build on]. If you have more negative feedback, offer it to Kate who can decide what best to do with it.
  2. Try new ideas. Helen will come with lots of new ideas. Some may sound mad and are in fact brilliant. Some may sound really challenging but will transform the life of the church. Some may just be bad ideas. We won’t know which are the brilliant and transformational ones unless you try them!
  3. Share your jobs and wisdom. Helen needs to do things. Please give her a chance to do stuff, even if that is normally your role. And share the wisdom you have accrued from the ministries in which you are involved.
  4. Be generous with your time. Both Helen and Kate will need your patience as they take on new roles as curate and training incumbent. Please support them in this.
  5. Value mistakes. Mistakes are vital to learning. If Helen never takes risks or makes mistakes she [and we] will never learn. Mistakes are important things, they should be valued.
  6. Learn with Helen. Having someone in training is a chance for the whole community to reflect and learn from one another, and from the Spirit of God calling us out and on.
  7. Pray! Do this regularly. Pray for Helen, and for Peter, for the leadership team and for one another.
    God has many gifts to give us and many lessons to teach us. Pray that we might all be open to receiving and learning. 

Top tips for supporting a Curate.

  1. Praying for Helen and her family.
  2. Don’t expect Helen to know your name – each time you meet her introduce yourself. 
  3. Offer local information to Helen and Peter – they are new to the churches and the area.
  4. Invite Helen to your home, but not just in the first couple of weeks!
  5. Respect the days when Helen isn’t on duty – we will make sure these are well publicised.
  6. Take risks in mission and ministry with Helen.
  7. Be ready to learn yourself, as an individual and as part of a congregation.
  8. Don’t compare Helen to anyone else.
  9. Allow Helen to show you new things – she brings a whole host of riches to share.
  10. Enjoy having Helen as our curate. 

A prayer to keep somewhere where you will be reminded to pray for Helen.

God of all wisdom, whose Son Jesus Christ calls us to be his disciples; form and teach us through the places and people to whom you call us. Help us to learn from one another and from you, that we may grow in discipleship, serve your church, and ever be renewed as ministers in your Kingdom. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our teacher, shepherd and Lord. Amen.

Earth Day 2020

To mark Earth Day 2020 some residents of Slad have put together this video.

Take a moment to watch and be inspired to think about our impact and relationship with the world around us.

With thanks to Amanda for giving us permission to share.