The Okeford Benefice is a group of four Church of England parishes in the Blackmore Vale with a population of 4300.
All our churches are forward looking and all have a vision for their future. For some this means re-designing the inside space and for others this means making the services more family friendly or offering a broader range of services. For all of the churches however there is a deep commitment to praying together, studying the Bible and offering of our best when we worship God.
We are always seeking ways to look outside our own church doors and serve our communities and all our churches offer a warm welcome. None of our churches are cliques or clubs for the “in crowd”.
All the churches in our benefice are seeking to grow by encouraging others in many ways to experience for themselves the life changing message of Jesus’ love. We believe passionately that Jesus’ message of hope, forgiveness and love is for everyone regardless of age, gender, background, and sexuality.
There are lots of ways of exploring church life without having to “sign on the dotted” line of faith commitment. Come along to a coffee morning, a quiz night, or a parish lunch: talking to Christians and making friends is the best way by far of finding out what being a Christian is all about. If you are new to church and would like to explore Christian faith, please make contact with us or come along on a Sunday morning. We would love to help you discover more.
For young people, there are a wide range of groups and activities across the benefice including Messy Church and numerous clubs such as Trailblazers, Lighthouse, Shillingstone Youth Club and Young Explorer's.
There are also five schools in the benefice: three Church of England VA Primary Schools, one special school for severely autistic children and an independent prep school for girls. The village churches have close links with all the schools and the ministry team and parishioners support the schools in a variety of ways.
You can spend all your life learning about the Christian faith and still not get to all of it. Our faith is incredibly rich and deep and has all sorts of fascinating aspects to it. While you can gain some deeper understanding of the Christian faith from Sunday worship, by far and away the best way is to meet with other Christians during the week. There are lots of opportunities to meet in a group across the benefice, including house and prayer groups, Bible study, Lent and short courses with each having a different “feel” so there is something for everyone.
The benefice also offers three St. Cuthburga Awards that give you the opportunity to explore the Christian faith and discipleship in a structured but relaxed way. Join a group and open up your world to new insights, skills, friends and fun. Gain confidence in your faith and know God more deeply in your life.
Have you got engaged and are thinking about getting married? Have you had a baby and are amazed at this wonderful new person you have created? Have you just lost a loved one and are wondering what on earth you do next? Your church is here for you.
With weddings, baptisms and funerals your church has the right words and the right ceremony to mark these important life events. Often the services can be tailored to make them personal to you.
To learn more about what the benefice offers, please visit the benefice website at https://okefordbenefice.org or contact the Rector.