A Warm Welcome to The Waterside Churches
The Future as ‘The Waterside Churches’
- Many ambitions become possible with shared resources and talents as we seek to strengthen and share our Christian faith.
- Mission – growing our churches by taking our faith into the community, supporting and serving our parishes, strengthening and maturing our congregations.
- Children’s Work – building on the welcome of local schools, and the work of Messy Church, Holiday Clubs and Open the Book. It is vital that we reach out to the young in our communities, as well as other age groups.
- Pastoral – training and developing pastoral teams.
- The opportunity to create a common vision for the future of the three ‘Waterside Churches’ is both exciting and welcome. We share a thirst to develop our Churches in numbers and maturity, to promote the message and values of the Kingdom in our communities and introduce children to a life of faith.
We have welcomed Rev'd. Karen Wilson, and are excited by the prospect of working with her. Together we are looking to:
- Nurture and care for the existing congregation and encourage them in their faith and spiritual life.
- Lead and help to develop ways of widening the involvement in church life by the wider community.
- Lead and support the teams in the three parishes in this new grouping and encourage greater interaction between them.
The Waterside Benefice
The Pastoral Scheme has been approved by Bishop Philip (on 20th September), which is good news indeed!
As of 1st October 2021 our title for official purposes is The Waterside Benefice. We are in Powder Deanery and our Rural Dean is The Revd Marc Baker. The deanery chapter meet on a regular basis to discuss our churches and to celebrate what is happening in our own patches as well as finding ways of working more closely together. We continue to be known as The Waterside Churches in our daily lives: St Feock, St John and St Petroc (Devoran) and St Piran's.
It is a time to look forward and to see where God is calling us to in the future. We are working together, to share knowledge, to support each other, to pray for one another and to include one another in our plans and activities. Each of the three parishes has its own identity and this will not be diluted by becoming a benefice. Each parish is keeping its own PCC and is represented by three members each on the JCC.
Please keep checking this website for more details of our plans for the future and how you can be involved. It is always good to see new faces and to have new ideas brought forward. The Waterside Churches welcome everyone; each and every member of the communities of Feock, Devoran, Carnon Downs, Perranarworthal and Perranwell Station.
Where we are going:
We believe that our mission is to know God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and to make him known among the people of our parishes. We set out below our priorities: to know God, serve our parishes and reach out to others.
1. Knowing God:
We worship God faithfully and in a variety of ways, such as services of Holy Communion, Messy Church, Book of Common Prayer, Matins, informal ‘Worship For All’, Service of The Word and Family Services.
The three churches understand the need to assume greater responsibility for mission and ministry and welcome the greater resource available within The Waterside Churches to develop our discipleship with Bible study, Prayer groups and Pastoral Care teams,
We have active Lent Groups, Fellowship evenings, a holiday club for local youngsters and a book club, where people explore their faith.
All our churches are open for everyone in the parishes to come for moments of quiet contemplation and prayer.
2. Serving our parishes:
We have three churches with vibrant and active congregations engaged with their wider communities by way of lunch clubs, coffee mornings, film and holiday clubs for the young, Brownies/Guides and much more.
With increasingly elderly and diminishing congregations we are conscious of our need to embrace all age groups in our ministry and to provide a witness to the children and young families in our parishes.
Weddings, funerals and baptisms introduce many members of the communities to our churches, often for the first time. We plan to give more formal support and follow-up to these events and, with the greater expertise and experience within the three churches, provide a possible signposting service to other agencies when needed.
3. Reaching out to others:
We support the wider mission of the church in Cornwall and beyond with prayerful interest and practical support for local and international charities, such as for example, St. Petrocs, Send a Cow and Pearl of Africa.
Working together we can provide a sharper focus and wider resource to this outreach work.
Where we are now:
Full descriptions of the background and activities of the three churches are given later in the profile.
The onset of the pandemic in March’20 interrupted a Lent study programme which had drawn wide support from across the three parishes. We adapted by providing worship with ‘virtual’ meetings and services. Coronavirus has challenged every part of society as well as testing faith. During the lockdown, when physically attending church was not possible, services via Zoom were quickly arranged. We also ensured that members of our congregations and communities kept in touch with each other and arranged practical help when and where needed. The crisis has actually meant that we are closer together in faith and people are now more ‘connected’ than before.
As soon as ‘lockdown’ was eased, we laid on ‘Service of the Word’ and our churches opened for prayer. We have gradually returned to other types of service and worship, and are now looking to move into "outreach" mode.
A virtual prayer group meets Monday to Thursday at 8.30am. This was formed to pray together during transition and, now established, we look forward to continuing as a Waterside prayer group.
Teams from each church meet regularly to discuss the many practical implications of the new venture and to agree a pattern of services for the coming months. Please see our Services & Events Page for details.
We have recognized the increasing value of internet and social media in reaching much larger audiences and improving our communication. You are reading our new website and we hope it provides the information you are looking for. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything you can't find.
Where we have come from:
We are a newly formed group of churches in the parishes of Devoran, St Feock and Perranarworthal, close to the city of Truro in Cornwall.
We were part of the 8 Saints Cluster for over ten years. This was an informal grouping of churches distributed over a large part of mid-Cornwall. It became increasingly apparent that this structure was too large and too disparate to be managed effectively. In February 2020 the three parishes bordering the southern outskirts of Truro approached the Archdeacon with a proposal to form a new group which we have subsequently called The Waterside Churches, reflecting the significance of water in the Christian faith and the proximity of all three churches to the water.
The three rural parishes have a great deal in common with a shared understanding of our mission and priorities. Resistance to change is giving way to an enthusiasm for new thoughts and ideas and the opportunities that shared mission offers. Karen has been ‘in at the start’ and is already an integral part of our new journey. We are excited by the prospect of working with her as we believe her to have the energy, vision, bravery and innovation needed to shepherd us on our journey.
Where has time gone….? A message from Karen
It has now been just over six months since I was licensed as Priest in Charge of the Waterside Churches and I cannot believe where that time has gone….
I feel that now is a good time to have a look at what has been happening in the churches, your churches in the last six months. I use the word ‘your’ deliberately here. They are your churches, serving your community.
The churches in Feock, along with Devoran and Perranarworthal, have been a part of the lives of their communities for hundreds of years. We still continue to do so and we would like to build upon our presence in each of these communities.
The Waterside Churches became the Waterside Benefice in October of last year.
The church of St Feock, along with St John and St Petroc and St Piran made the decision to join together and still maintain their own identities and PCC’s. This conscious decision by the churches joined them together to support one another, to share resources, to worship together, to mission together, to pray for one another, to serve their communities, to build the kingdom of God and to build relationships with each other.
My role, amongst others, is to draw the three churches together, to encourage them to build a benefice which serves the communities of Feock, Devoran, Carnon Downs and Perranarworthal, ensuring that we are both fruitful and sustainable for many years to come.
The three churches each have an equal role to play in the benefice, working and supporting one another.
Much has happened in the six months since I joined you and I wanted to take this opportunity to give you an overview of what is happening in your churches and community. I am aware that much of the work that is going on is ‘background’ work that may not be obvious to everyone but, led by the Spirit, is building a fruitful and sustainable benefice for future years.
We now have a JCC (Joint Church Council) made up of two volunteers from each church, along with a Church Warden from each, which is chaired by me. The JCC members have the overall responsibility for mission and outreach and this will be their focus when we meet.
Our Churchwardens also now meet with me every three months and this gives us an opportunity to pray together and to discuss their work. Churchwardens play a vital role in the life of the church and much of their hard work goes unseen.
The benefice also has a new Ministry Team, which meets every three months. The Ministry Team is made up of our PTO (Permission to Officiate), The Revd. Canon Martin Boxall. Our LLM’s; Jane Darlington and David Watson, our Lay Worship Leaders Anne Ramsden, Jenny Kemp, Nina Davey and a Local Worship Leader, Janet Thomas. We are also joined by Revd. Jeff James, who supports us and leads some of our Holy Communion Services. My husband Chris has recently started to lead services of worship, as he has done in the past and joins us on the team.
We also have a new Pastoral Care Team which is looking after the pastoral needs of our communities: making pastoral phone calls, visiting, following up on baptisms and funerals with support for families. The team has been put together to work towards inclusivity and to reflect the love of Christ to all of our community members.
There are sections of this website devoted to each of these teams.
We hold a quarterly ‘Just As I Am’ service which is aimed at those who find getting to regular church services difficult. It is a short, dementia friendly service followed by refreshments at The Linden Hey Tea Garden.
Anne Ramsden, our LLM, Jane and Chris Ryall are very keen to start a Youth Church and will be working to build upon our work with young families.
St John and St Petroc Church in Devoran hold a Worship for All service on the first Sunday of the month. The W4All team plan and lead this service for families. We are very keen to engage with our young families and young people.
Amongst the activities that we have hosted have been an outdoor Crib Service in Devoran churchyard in December, which was attended by many families. We walked around the churchyard hunting for the characters from the Nativity Story, singing Carols by candle and torch light. There was a wonderful atmosphere and we even heard the angels singing!
At Christmas we held a ‘sheep trail’ in Devoran as well as a Christmas Craft event, both were enjoyed by all who took part.
Chris Ryall organised an Easter Trail in Perranwell in Holy Week, which ended with bonfire and candlelight service for the children.
My husband Chris and I have hosted two Men’s Breakfast events in The Perranwell Centre. I cook a full English Breakfast with toast, tea and coffee. Newpapers are available to browse and there is always plenty of chat and laughter. There is no charge for this event and our next one will be on 30th July at 9am. Do contact me if you would like to book a place.
The Oggymen gave a wonderful concert at St. Piran’s Church before Christmas. This was followed up with an atmospheric candlelight concert by Will Keating and John Dowling, as part of their tour of Cornish churches. The church was full for both events and the concerts will be happening again in 2022.
The Pancake Party witnessed our young people bringing a chocolate fountain, as well as flipping pancakes.
These are only a few of the activities that we have hosted in recent months. None of which would have been possible without our fabulous team of volunteers. They give of their time and energy freely and I couldn’t do without them. There is so much work that goes on ‘behind the scenes’ to make these events in our churches and halls a success. I am indebted to them all. We are always looking for more volunteers and if you have some time that you would like to give and would like to join these friendly, welcoming teams do let me know, it would be very much appreciated.
Since the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted ‘Coffee Stop’ has been re-started in both Devoran (parish centre and The Perranwell Centre). These coffee mornings, run by volunteers are open for all to come along, to enjoy a coffee and to have a chat (donations for coffee and biscuits).
On Saturday 12th March Nina and Martin Davey launched ‘Just coffee and cake’ at their tea garden, Linden Hey, raising funds for St Feock Church.
Paul Stuart runs our comprehensive website www.thewatersidechurches.com which advertises all of our events and services and has a contact form if you would like to get in touch. Please do go and have a look and find out what is coming up.
We have a presence on social media site Facebook for the Waterside Benefice which is hosted by our LLM Jane, another good way of finding out what is going on. I also host a Twitter feed; just search for Revd. Karen Wilson.
I write an article in the St.Feock Parish Magazine once every two months and write ‘Karen’s Corner’ for our website each week.
Ecumenically, I coordinate the Churches Together Up the Creek team. This volunteer group are drawn from the Anglican, Methodist and Quaker churches in the area.
I organised a Good Friday ‘Walk of Witness’ and we look forward to our Lent Talks for this year, as well an outdoor service to be held in the summer. Many other events are planned for later in the year.
I have met with the Methodist circuit ministers to talk about ways that we can work together and support each other. Community breakfasts have taken place with superb speakers. Again, do look at our website for details.
Bex and Keith from the HAIRE project and I meet to discuss ways in which we can support each other and to offer help and support to our local communities.
More is planned and this quick overview is a snapshot of what has been going on in your churches and communities. This is all aside from our regular services of worship, our Christenings, Weddings, Memorial Services, Funerals and special services.
Your churches, your Vicar and our volunteers are here for you; to support you spiritually, emotionally and with practical help; to serve you. Jesus commissioned us to love each other and that is our prime mission.
Since I have been here I have been witness to our churches inclusivity, their friendliness, their welcoming nature, dedication, their faith and their love for their communities. Often there is much laughter too.
Please do go to our website for more details and to read further about our mission and events. Do get in touch if you would like to find out more.