Spiritual and Pastoral Care in the Benefice
Do you feel a spiritual hole which needs filling in your life? Would you appreciate the chance to chat informally over a cup of tea and cake? In addition to services at our village churches on Sunday, our benefice offers:
St Matthew’s Café is an informal gathering with tea and cakes and a story on the first Thursday of the month at St Matthew’s Midgham between 3.00 and 4.30 pm. Next ones: 6th September and 4th October.
Communion Service – a quiet service at Watermill Court at 3.30pm on the third Wednesday of every month followed by tea and cake. Next ones: 16th October and 21st November. Phone Pat Bhutta (see below) for details of venue.
Prayer – A small and completely confidential group meets every month to hold those in need in prayer. If there is someone or something you would like us to support through prayer, do let us know.
Benefice Pastoral Team
Winter with its short days and long dark nights can be time we all need more love and support. The Benefice has a pastoral team made up of both lay and clergy members from our villages who have particular gifts and have also received training in pastoral work.
If you, or someone you care for, would like one of the team to visit, either to receive a home communion or simple chat, please do get in touch with our Pastoral Care Co-ordinator, details below, who will find the best person for you.
“True, whole prayer is nothing but love.” St Augustine
“Draw near to God and God will draw near to you.” James 4:8
The life of prayer
‘Pray all the time’ says St Paul in the Bible... He can’t have meant that we should do nothing else but pray so surely he is talking about the way in which all of life can be lived in communion with God. The life of the church should be like this with prayer silently woven into every aspect of our community. In order for this to happen we need formal times of prayer, times when we gather together to remind ourselves that this is the heartbeat of every Christian.
At all of our churches this life of prayer is of course central to our worship – on Sundays and during the week at Benefice Prayers – but it is also seen in lots of other ways:
The Prayer Request books in each of our churches are there for anyone to write their prayer requests and are brought to the altar during Sunday worship as prayers are offered. Our Ministry Team also use these books to inform their personal prayers. Please contact Revd Pat Bhutta if you would like your name or the name of a loved one to be added to our prayer request list.
Thursday Benefice Prayers takes place at 11.30am most Thursdays for 30 minutes. Using a simple structure and listening to the Bible readings for the coming Sunday we pray together for the needs of the world, the suffering, and for the life of our local communities. Occasionally, the service prayer service is replaced with a communion service. The location varies, so please check the service rota.
Personal prayer at home is a discipline that each of us can cultivate. We don’t need fancy words, or even to say anything at all, as we seek to come closer to God. The key to unlocking prayer is simply to set aside some time to be alone uninterrupted, at home or out on a walk, and silently or out loud tell God what is on our mind, how we’re feeling, what we long for...
Resources to help us grow in prayer can be found on various websites. The one we especially recommend is thykingdom.co.uk commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
A short printable leaflet of simple prayers to get us started can be downloaded here.
If you are interested in learning more about the Christian faith, visit our Exploring Christianity page for further information.