• Next services in church...


    25th October 10am Morning Prayer
    1st November 10am Holy Communion
    8th November Remembrance Sunday  - No service in church - see below
    15th November 8am BCP Communion



    Why only one service each Sunday?

    Under regulations, after each service we have the option of either cleaning every surface which has been touched or leaving the building closed for 72 hours to be naturally decontaminated. St. Helen's building would require an awful lot of cleaning! 

    If circumstances allow we may introduce a service on a Wednesday to spread the demand.


    What will be different?

    We will all enter through the North door. You may have to queue and wait to enter. As you enter you will be asked for contact details (for track and trace) which will be stored for 21 days and then destroyed. Giving details is mandatory. We may check your temperature as a further safeguard. Please wear your face mask as you enter and only remove it when you leave at the end of the service.

    As you enter you will need to use hand sanitizer and you may be directed to where to sit. Each household must be in separate pews and all available pews will be at least 2m apart. All bibles will have been removed so bring your own! Service sheets will be in the pews. Please leave them in place as you leave.

    The services will feel different as there cannot be any singing but we will do our best to ensure a meaningful time is spent together. The services will also be shorter initially.

    At the end of the service you may be directed when to leave. If you wish to have a chat with friends please wait until you are outside!


    How many people can the church now hold safely?

    There will be room for around 20 "households" - a household is an individual, couple or family from the same home or extended household (eg grandparents can sit with grandchildren).


    Holy Communion?

    We can share Holy Communion - but only in one kind. The bread will be distributed as you leave the building to minimise movement inside.


    and the offertory?

    We won't be passing a plate around for our giving. Instead, there will be a plate/jar at the back to put gifts in at the beginning or end of the service. 


    Do I need to wear a face mask?

    Yes, please, unless you have medical need not to. Children under 11 and those with certain medical conditions are exempted. However, this may change.

    I recognise that this is a lot to take in but we are trying our best to provide as covid-safe an environment as we can. 


    And finally...

    We may need extra help to ensure that the arrangements we have in place work and that the welcome people receive is still warm. If you are fit and healthy and keen to return to the building, please do offer your services.

    This last few months have also been a huge burden on the financial resources of St. Helen's (as well as every parish church and diocese nationally!) Not only has there been no weekly offering but we have also had several weddings that have had to be postponed. The spring and summer is normally when our finances are boosted ready for the extra costs of autumn and winter. Can I please ask that you prayerfully consider your giving at this time?


    And finally, finally...

    We walk in faith trusting our heavenly father but we also use the wisdom, intelligence and compassion that He has gifted us with. Together, we can make reopening work at St. Helen's.



    A Way to Remember… Remembrance Sunday


    Normally at this time of year we would be thinking about the season of Remembrance and gearing up for the usual act of Remembrance around the war memorial. But, this year isn’t any normal year and it is with great regret that we simply cannot do what we would normally do.

    Due to the spread of COVID-19 we cannot gather in such large numbers and I know many people are quite rightly uncomfortable around large crowds. Therefore, this year we will not be having our usual act of Remembrance around the war memorial and service in church.

    Our act of Remembrance will move online and details for that will be available shortly. For those who would like to pay their respects at the war memorial, please do come but space out your visits over the course of the day.

    I would also encourage you to pay your respects in two other ways. Firstly, why not decorate a picture of a poppy and display it in your window and secondly at 11am on Sunday the 8th November mark the two-minute silence by standing at the front of your house so as a village we are still “remembering” together.


    But finally, I would encourage you to remember the words at the end of the act of remembrance:

    “Let us commit ourselves to responsible living and faithful service

    All:  We will strive for all that makes for peace, seeking to heal the wounds of war and working for a just future for all humanity.”

    When we remember, we not only think back but we look forward. We remember those who came before us and then we strive to build a better world.

    There is nothing that can prevent us from doing this and, one could argue, that in the midst of a global pandemic, there is no better time to ensure we are working for peace, love and reconciliation.

    In this coming season of Remembrance, my prayer is that all of us will remember the call to build a better world - for ourselves, for our neighbours, for future generations - that the horrors of the past are not repeated and that peace, instead, reigns.


    Rev Andy Hobbs



  • Part of the historic role of the Rector/Priest-in-Charge of Cliffe Church has been to be a permanent member of the St. Helen’s Primary School governing body. This can, at times, be quite an undertaking and commitment and I’m amazed at how many news things I have had to learn over the past three years! It is also a real privilege to be part of a fantastic and caring community which is faithfully and lovingly served by the different staff and volunteer governors.

    Part of our role recently has been to begin a conversation about an overarching Christian vision for the school. For a few years the school has had a set of Christian values (friendship, love, perseverance and trust) but now the diocese has asked for a vision into which we can pin these values. This vision will then become the basis by which we judge ourselves as a school.

    Now you might think that a school vision should centre on academic success or sporting prowess but as a Christian school, we wanted to go beyond that. Not every child is going to be an `academic success` and neither will all of them be great at sport – does that mean they are somehow failures? No! Our Christian vision instead looks for something everyone can aim for:


    “Loving God and neighbour” (Matthew 22:34-40)


    One of the most crucial things in life is to know that you are loved. When you know you are loved unconditionally and valued for who you are it enables you to grow and flourish in all sorts of ways.

    The Bible teaches that God loves each of us unconditionally – there is nothing we can do that will make God love us any more or any less. To “Love the Lord your God” isn’t about sticking to a set of rules. Instead it is about looking to make a positive difference in the world we live in. For example, God has given us a wonderful world to live in. Loving God means caring for his creation and seeking to pass it onto the next generation in a better state than which we found it.

    Loving God also involves loving your neighbour. Our neighbours aren’t just the people around us who look like us and think like us, they are also the people who are different from us. As we all know, this can be a challenge! At St. Helen’s school we want children to feel valued and loved by each other whatever their background, gifts, skills and abilities. We recognise that God has created each of us uniquely and every one of us can bring something positive to our community.

    As we move into a time of reflection during Lent, these are words that all of us can think upon and embody. What has God done to show his love for us? How can I reflect that love through the way I live in the world? Who can I be a loving neighbour to?

    Maybe this vision can go beyond just the school and instead be embodied in our whole parish…




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