The café church format allows a more relaxed style and opportunity for people to meet up, eat together and discuss life issues from a Christian standpoint. "We have been delighted to welcome on average nearly 30 people to each meeting. This includes new people who live in the local community but who do not regularly attend a Sunday service in our Church building."
For many rural towns and villages that dominate our diocese, the post office, like the church, often remains one of the last centres of community life. The revelations of the challenges faced by those impacted by the Horizon scandal have rocked many and ignited a call for support.
A local Herefordshire family who attend Holy Trinity Church which is part of the West Hereford Team Ministry, share their family journey from coming back to church to getting baptism and then seeking confirmation.
As walkers approach the church door, they often stop to take a look at the small cairn (a hand-built pile of stones), which has been gradually growing with the passing seasons.
At St Dubricius church, which is part of the Wye Reaches benefice, removing a 180-year-old tree from the churchyard created a perfect space for a stone labyrinth. Created in the summer of 2022 for an arts and crafts exhibition, the vicar, Revd Tim Starling, kept intending to tidy up the stone labyrinth until he noticed that it was still being used.
In a small Norman church on the Welsh border, a group of committed Christians has been reexploring prayer as part of the diocese’s Year of Prayer. The church of St Mary the Virgin in Welsh Newton is a beautiful building in a rural setting. It has been a place of worship for over 800 years, marking the seasons and the passing trends in Christianity. It stands witness to many generations of worshippers who have sought a deeper spiritual connection with the Almighty.
“The benefit of walking outdoors helps people to connect spiritually with the world around them and the message of hope that Easter brings. It also gives us an opportunity to invite people to join us on Sundays.”
People project a lot of their own stuff onto you. A vicar told me a few days ago of their wife visiting the doctor’s surgery only to overhear a conversation amongst two others in the seats behind, complaining about the number of people in church post-COVID and blaming the vicar for it.
On Sunday 5 April at 10.45 am, BBC One will be broadcasting a pre-recorded service for Palm Sunday led by the Dean of Hereford, the Very Reverend Michael Tavinor.
I once visited St Paul's Cathedral in London during the week. Tourists aimlessly wandered around the monuments to dead white men. It was more like a neglected museum than a place of worship, mystery or celebration. 'One day,' I thought 'there will be a notice here explaining that, long ago, people used to come here for religious rites...'