A bit more about our Worship......
Our parish has three Parish Churches! The three buildings are very different; so are their congregations, and so are their ways of worshipping! You may want to try all three to see which one suits you best, or you may simply wish to worship in the church nearest to you.
All three churches stand firmly in the mainstream Anglican tradition. This means that most of our services are “Eucharistic” (i.e. celebrations of Holy Communion), but we also sometimes have less formal Family Services. We also have a mixture of traditional services using the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the more modern rites of “Common Worship” – the Church of England’s newest prayer book. Our main Sunday Services – and major celebrations for Feast Days that fall during the week – use the modern liturgy and we encourage lay people to be involved in these services by reading the lessons, acting as altar servers, leading the intercessions and assisting with giving communion.
The “ethos” of our churches:
St Mary’s, Broughton Astley
|St Mary’s stands in the “liberal catholic” tradition of the Church of England. The catholic (or “high church”) influence can be seen in the six candles behind the high altar, the statues of Our Lady (the Virgin Mary), the Stations of the Cross around the walls (pictures depicting Jesus’ journey to the cross) and the holy water stoup inside the main door (where people sometimes cross themselves with holy water as a reminder of their baptism). At the Eucharist, the Celebrant (priest) wears special robes called “vestments”. These are of differing colours, depending upon the liturgical season. Worship is fairly formal but relaxed and the music is led by an organist and choir. We occasionally use incense for special services or major feast days. The Blessed Sacrament (the consecrated bread and wine of Communion) is “reserved” in an Aumbry (a special safe) in the side Chapel, and this can be used to give Communion to the sick or housebound. It’s also a reminder of Jesus’ presence in the sacrament, so some people particularly like to pray where the sacrament is reserved.|
St Mary’s attracts a very diverse congregation from a range of traditions, and we try to strike a balance between traditional and modern and between ritual and informality, so that our worship is as inclusive as possible.
St Michael’s, Stoney Stanton
|Worship at St Michael’s is “Central Church of England” in feel and draws upon both the catholic and evangelical traditions. We aim to combine a reverential approach to the Eucharist with an open, relaxed style. The church has been tastefully re-ordered, with an altar/communion table on a dais at the front of the nave. This gives a real sense of us gathering as a family around the altar for worship. Equal emphasis is given to the ministries of Word and Sacrament, and we use both traditional and modern music and hymns. The music is usually led by an organist and choir. The celebrant (priest) wears appropriately coloured vestments according to the liturgical season, and the overall approach is probably best described as “friendly and semi-formal”.|
St Michael and All Angels, Croft
|The smallest of our three churches, St Michael and All Angels has an intimate, prayerful atmosphere. Worship here is in the “low-to-middle church” style and is conducted with dignity and simplicity. The priest dresses simply in an alb (a simple white garment) and a stole coloured according to the liturgical season. There is a small but dedicated congregation who are always glad to welcome visitors and newcomers. As there is no organist or choir, pre-recorded music is normally used to lead the hymns, which are a mixture of traditional and modern. The church plays a particularly significant role in the life of the village on such occasions as Harvest and Remembrance Sunday.|