Worship in the Parish
Through our two churches of St Mary’s and Holy Trinity, we are the only established faith community in the parish of Leigh Woods and Abbots Leigh, we hope that the wide variety of services we provide for all ages will be of interest to all who wish to attend regularly or visit from time to time.
Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer) – Usually at 8.00am at St Mary’s, Leigh
Woods. Traditional language…..
Family Worship – Usually 9.30am and popular with families and anyone who prefers a short, easily accessible and very informal service, with a homily/address. This is usually the preferred service for the celebration of baptism as we welcome new members of the church. Once a month there are refreshments and chat after the service.
Parish Communion – A sung eucharist using Common Worship modern language with sermon. Refreshments and chat following the service.
Choral Evensong / Evening Prayer (Book of Common Prayer) – A service of the word in traditional language, with hymns, psalm, readings, sermon, prayers. A peaceful service before the week ahead. See table of church services – HERE
Taizé – 6.30pm usually last Sunday of the month – An ecumenical community founded after WW2 where young people especially on both sides of the conflict could pray in word and simple chants for the peace of the world. It has now become truly international with Taizé services for all being held by communities across the world.
Christian Meditation – Thursday evenings, 6.30pm at St Mary’s Vestry – An opportunity to share a half hour of silent prayer in the Christian tradition. Silent prayer is one of the oldest Christian practices following Jesus’ example and the practice of the early desert fathers and mothers of the church.
Remembrance Service in November is a civic service where Roll of Honour from each locality in the parish is read, the trumpeter plays the Last Post for the 2 minutes silence and the traditional hymns of Remembrance are sung.
The Salvation Army brass band lead us in worship outdoors (weather permitting) in June or July. Dog walkers often pause to join in the singing and the evening ends with refreshments and chat.
Dog owners and other pet (cat and other animal) owners congregate in a remarkable way for the annual Pet Service. Even a horse or two await their blessing at the end of the service!
Mothering Sunday – A celebration in the middle of Lent! (usually a Sunday in March – See Calendar of Services) This is an All Age Service where the posies are blessed and distributed to all the ladies. The previous day is Posy-Making Day, which is a fun gathering, making as many posies as possible in an hour, so all hands (and scissors!) are welcome! (Details in The Link).
Special Services – The Christian year provides opportunities to mark the sequence of seasons and festivals which form a particular focus in the parish to celebrate the various themes. Most often this includes the wider community, with Christmas, Easter and Harvest being the most popular celebrations but also the reflective seasons of Advent and Lent provide opportunities for extra time to meet for discussion on a range of topics covering personal spiritual growth to discussion on ways we can, by working together, serve a particular need in or beyond our community.
Other services include Baptism – usually take place at Family Worship; Weddings and Funerals.
Lots of Ways to Get Involved.
Parochial Church Council
District Church Councils
YOur church needs you
There are many roles
The local church is shaped by all its members and the community of which it’s a part. The following lists only some of skills and interests which parishioners have enjoyed using or acquired in the service of the parish.
WELCOME AND SIDES Sides-people perform a range of duties from helping to prepare the church for a service and welcome, to readings, collecting the offerings during the service. After the service receiving hymn books, inviting visitors to stay for coffee.
CHOIR If you would like to join the choir or find out more about it, do have a chat with Director of Music, John Talbot, at the end of a service or contact him through the admin office. Some people join the Choir just for the special festivals such as Easter and Christmas.
PRAYERS In addition to personal prayer, our parish church would have no vision to serve God in both the life of the church and the wider community, without ‘intercessory prayer’. Mostly that prayer is woven into the lives of parishioners. However, the Vicar is always pleased to receive offers to lead Prayers for both Family Worship and Parish Communion. Guidelines for intercessory prayer are provided.
FLOWER ARRANGERS Each church has a Flower Rota and the more the better! Before special festivals such as Christmas, Easter and Harvest all the flower arrangers and others combine to make the two churches look beautiful.
COFFEE SERVERS To quote a long-serving Canon of Bristol Cathedral, “I’ve met more wonderful people while preparing coffee with them or serving them than any other of my formal duties!”
SOCIAL, HOSPITALITY, FUND RAISING It can mean anything from a helping hand or running a stall at the Christmas or Summer Fayre, and other events during the year, such as concerts, or Cinema Night, Lent Lunch, Tea Time Special, Wedding Couples Evening or hosting a Fund Raising Coffee Morning or other event for the Lent charity or Quiz Night.
PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL (PCC) The United Parish of Abbots Leigh with Leigh Woods is served by a single PCC, which is usually chaired the Vicar or Lay Chair. The PCC also comprises Secretary, Treasurer, Church Wardens, representatives of the two churches and others such as Deanery Synod representatives. The PCC is responsible for the ‘Parish Share’ and via the DCCs (see below) the fabric of the churches and for Safeguarding. The various working groups in the parish present reports at each of the four PCCs during the year.
DISTRICT CHURCH COUNCILS (DCCs) Each of the two churches nominates its DCC to care for the fabric of the church building and grounds. This also involves from time to time some fun’ raising social events. Over the years, each locality within the parish has been increasingly mutually supportive of any projects run at the ‘other end’.
VARIOUS WORKING GROUPS The Pastoral, Publicity, Admin, Worship & Ministry and Finance meet as needed. The Vicar and PCC are always pleased to discuss with parishioners offers to contribute towards these various key Working Groups.
GIVING At some point in the Christian ‘journey’ and in response to all that we receive, there is the practical challenge in deciding how and to what degree we may give back. So the blessing hopefully comes in both the giving and receiving which, in practical terms, is in part any of the above and also playing a part in meeting the costs of running the parish and its two church buildings. Most parishioners decide to give by Gift Aided monthly or annual standing order with gifts approximately between £10 and £25 per week