ABOUT OUR CHURCH
As with all Church of England churches, we are closed during the Covid-19 crisis, so what follows reflects what we have provided in the past, and hope to return to.
This is in two sections – a factual part (immediately after this sentence), and then a chattier bit that gives a flavour of what it’s like to come to our church.
St Nicholas’ Church is set at the edge of lovely countryside in a North Warwickshire village. The church building dates from the 1840s, and is complemented by a well-equipped church hall. The Church is popular for weddings and baptisms. We try hard to be welcoming, helpful and relevant to our community, and are very much on the lookout for new members. We have good links with Woodside Primary School in the village; the school is “Church of England Controlled”, and comes to us in school-time for traditional occasions such as Harvest, Christmas and Easter. Parents and other family are usually able to attend these special services.
Currently we have no vicar, following the retirement of our incumbent in summer 2019, but the Diocese has been working to find a replacement, a priest who would serve Baddesley Ensor, Grendon and Dordon. Meanwhile, we have two Licensed Readers who lead services, and about once a month, a visiting priest offers Holy Communion.
We have a usual Sunday attendance in the 30s, but a much larger fringe of occasional worshippers. There is a pattern of varied services through the month. For Communion services we use service-booklets compiled from the standard Common Worship prayer-book, selecting features that are appropriate to the church-season. We use the standard Common Worship books for Morning Worship. For informal All-Age services and for baptisms we use our own service-cards. Where possible, we provide our worship information in a user-friendly format.
We offer Messy Church, and “Stay, Play and Pray”, which is a weekly venture in association with Atherstone Early Years. Messy Church has become a well-attended and dynamic extension to our more traditional activities, combining a clear spiritual character – for parents and grandparents, as well as the children – with lots of fun. We have occasional evening services of healing. We hold a summer Garden Party at the Church Hall, a Christmas Fair also in the Church Hall, and we join in with various village events. Our Palm Sunday processions and our Advent Lantern Walks have attracted large numbers of participants and spectators.
Where people bring young children to church, we quite understand that they become restless, so we provide play-bags, and we have a carpeted open play-area at the back of the Church.
As well as our Church-based worship, we have various community activities in the Church Hall, including Luncheon Club and monthly bingo.
The church building was consecrated in 1846, replacing a Norman church – no longer in existence – which had become isolated when the centre of the village gradually migrated further up the hill. Our present church is stone-built, set in a large traditional churchyard with many mature trees, has a tower capped with a spire, and a large nave. Two main historical features, to be seen inside the church, are the Latimer Pulpit, from which Bishop Latimer preached shortly before his martyrdom; and a large brass plaque in the Chancel, commemorating those who lost their lives in a devastating mine explosion in the 1880s. This is a reminder of the mining history of the village – the pit closed in 1989, but much of the spirit of community that was so characteristic of mining areas still remains.
PEOPLE LIKE YOU..... .....COME TO CHURCH
Many people feel drawn to God, but don't come to church because they aren't sure what happens. Some of us used to feel just like that! Increasingly, people are looking for meaning and purpose in life.
WHAT ARE WE LIKE? Friendly and cheerful and down to earth. We try to be welcoming but not pushy. You should be relaxed and enjoying yourself, not worried! There should be someone to welcome you at the door and give you (usually) a hymn-book, a prayer-book, and a news-sheet for the week (the news-sheet is for you to take away). If you're not sure where to sit, one of the welcomers will help. If you'd like to sit with someone else, you will be welcome. If you'd rather sit by yourself, that's fine too. If you haven't been to church before, or not recently, just watch what other people do. The person leading the service usually says when to sit or stand.
WHAT WE ARE NOT LIKE Well, we're certainly not perfect! We won't try to make you feel like an outsider. We won't act "superior" because we've been going to church longer than you. We don't have all the answers, either, so we're all very much in need of God's love, forgiveness and support.
WHAT IS A SERVICE LIKE? The first thing to say is that we have different kinds of church service (times are shown on the Services and Events tab on this website entry). They last about 45 minutes to an hour. All the Sunday services involve singing and prayers. We usually end services with a hymn accompanied by noisy shakers and tambourines which anyone can play - or not - as they want. There is always a "collection" during a hymn, when a couple of people go around with plates to collect donations. Give as much or as little as you like - or nothing - it's not "ticket only"! The collection will be announced before it starts, so that you can be ready.
MESSY CHURCH meets roughly once a month and includes activities and worship for parents and children. If you want to "try out" going to church, the All Age Service is the best one to start with. It's pretty relaxed, probably the most suitable service for families with children, and for people who are feeling their way. For people who are familiar with church and perhaps have just moved into the area, we also have Morning Worship and Holy Communion (see the Services and Events tab for details). Everyone is welcome at any of our services.
HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON IN THE CHURCH? We have a website - see the main entry-page in "A Church Near You". Posters and fliers for special events are put on the noticeboard at the church gate.
OTHER QUESTIONS: What should I wear? - What you are comfortable with. For some people it's a suit and tie; for others, it's jeans and T-shirt. You'll see all sorts! Will I be asked to do anything, read anything etc, by myself? - No, not as a newcomer. If I start going to church, do I have to go every week? - No; come when you want to. Do I have to have been baptised, to come to church? - No. If I start going to church, do I have to be baptised (or confirmed)? - No. Some of us came for years without being baptised. If I'm still not sure about all this, who can I ask for more information? - Easy: one of the Churchwardens, Ray Sweet (01827 712810) or Claire Blakeley (01827 715454); or you can ask anyone you know who goes to church. WE HOPE YOU WILL DECIDE TO COME - YOU WILL BE WELCOME!
"The parish of Baddesley Ensor is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Parish Safeguarding Officer(s), PSOs. The Diocese of Birmingham’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) who advise our PSOs. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the DSA. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adults Services."