Benefice of Holy Innocents, Great Barton and St Peter's, Thurston

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Home > News > Rev'd Manette's Letter March 2019

Rev'd Manette's Letter March 2019

24 February 2019

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Image 18 02 2019 at 11.41HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CAFÉ CHURCH!

It doesn’t seem possible but it has been a year since Café Church opened its doors for the first time in March 2018 and we’ve been going from strength to strength. Café Church began as part of our ‘Growing in God’ initiative as we realised we needed an informal worship space for families with young children and those among the older generation who enjoy informal worship. Above all, we needed somewhere warm with space for the children’s art & craft, a kitchen to make breakfast and space for our worship group with the piano being an added bonus.

Where do we meet? At the Church Institute on the corner of School Road / The Street in Great Barton.When? Every 3rd Sunday from 9 – 10am.

What? We start with Buffet breakfast (toast, croissants, pain-au-chocolate etc.) & juice, tea and cafetière coffee followed by an informal time of worship with a thought for the day, prayers and hymns / songs accompanied by our worship group.

Who for? Anyone – we currently have singles, couples and families from Thurston, Great Barton and further afield.Age range? From 0 – 85-ish ....

It’s great to see how teams have developed with different responsibilities, from arranging the crafts, leading worship and playing music to helping with the breakfast to clearing up at the end – and a good time is had by all!

As I write this on a Sunday evening, about 50 of us gathered this morning and we thought about our different gifts and how we are all valuable parts of the Body of Christ. All the tables engaged with the theme and young and old contributed to some lovely art work. If you haven’t been yet, come and see us on Sunday, 17th March at 9am for our 1st Birthday celebrations – there might even be a Birthday Cake!

The British-American Philosopher Alan Watts wrote: “There’s an interdependence between flowers and bees. Where there are no flowers there are no bees, and where there are no bees, there are no flowers. They are really one organism. And so in the same way,everything in nature depends on everything else.”

And the same applies to the Church. We can only do what we do if we all work together. And I was reminded of this when I read the following story which was posted on another church’s website – and apologies for not remembering where I found this!

Imagine you are on holiday on the beach and you are watching a small boy playing in a stream. He has a little boat and he wants to make a dam to create a pool deep enough for it to float on. He can’t do this on his own so he calls for his friends to help shovel sand to stop the stream, but the stream is too strong and washes the sand away. His father comes along and starts to put down some rocks. Before long a whole team of children and parents are working together to complete the dam and create the pool which is now big enough not only to float the boat but also for the children to play and paddle in.

If we contemplate life’s journey, we progress from complete dependence on others to our own independence, where we believe that we don’t need the help of anyone, to an understanding that we have a mutual interdependence on each other to achieve our common goals.

We all depend on one another and I hope that we all have someone to call on if we are in need of help, and that we are willing to offer that same help to others. And, of course, we can always call on the one who is alongside us all the days of our lives ...

A poignant story, especially for us as a Benefice as we look at ways of working more closely together, and Café Church is just one example. Only if we work together as the Body of Christ can we fulfil our calling to be Church in our Benefice and be an active presence in our community.

Come and join us and we’ll walk into the future together.

Yours in Christ,


Rev’d Manette Crossman, Vicar of Great Barton and Thurston Tel. 01284 787554 - Email: