Our Diocese of Gloucester
"We are a family of Christian communities gathered around the Bishop, who belong together to the Church of England, and to the worldwide
Anglican Communion, who are strengthening and encouraging one another
in making Christ known."
"We are called in the power and grace of the Holy Spirit: to proclaim and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, transforming lives and communities, advancing the Kingdom of God".
Our Motto Verse for 2018 - 2019
"Call to me and I will answer you and will show you great and mighty things that you have not known!
Our Links with the Church of Sweden
As a Diocese we are delighted to have ongoing links with the Diocese of Västerås which is part of the Church of Sweden.
The Church of England and the Church of Sweden are both Churches which, out of the turbulent times of the Reformation, maintained catholic order and sacramental practice.
In the three churches of this Benefice we are actively exploring twinning with parishes in the Benefice of Kungsåra near the city of Västerås.
Our Mission Links
At Hardwicke Church, we tithe our income to provide sponsorship for Christian Mission and Community Development work in the UK and across the world.
Hardwicke Church sponsors the work of Mission Aviation Fellowship. Listen to an excerpt from the Severn FM "Sunday Spirit" programme outlining the work of MAF.
Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) serves people who deal with challenges due to isolation in regions such as Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America by providing aviation, communications, and learning technology services.
You can read more about their work providing medical assistance, disaster response, community development and evangelism by clicking on the MAF logo above
Hardwicke and Longney Primary Acadamies
We have two church acadamies in our benefice where members of our congregations
serve as Foundation Governors.
Both schools are firmly committed to Christian values, serve our local communities well and have been judged "good" by Ofsted.
Longney Academy has been judged "outstanding" at their SIAMS Inspection.
The partnerships between our Churches and our Schools are an essential part of our work and an intergral part of how we further our mission.
Church members serve on the teaching staff and governing bodies of our schools and visit as part of our "Open the Book" ministry.
More than that, these partnerships resource who we are as Christians serving our local communities.
Our three Churches working together
Our three Churches are part of the life of the Diocese of Gloucester and are set within the Deanery of Gloucester City.
"We are working as a diocesan family in order to share the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ with people in and around Gloucestershire".
At St John the Baptist Church, Elmore and St Laurence Church, Longney, there is a Eucharist on alternate Sundays usually at 9.30am, while on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month there is a service of Evensong at Elmore.
At St Nicholas Church, Hardwicke we offer the Eucharist at 11.00am each Sunday, the style of the worship varying from week to week. On the 1st and 3rd Sunday we celebrate a traditional style Common Worship Eucharist, on the 2nd Sunday we enjoy "Storyteller" Eucharist - our service for familes. On the 4th Sunday our "Simply Worship" Eucharist contains live contemporary style music and a worship activity or presentation instead of a sermon.
On the 5th Sunday of the month, we celebrate our shared life, as a group of parishes, by holding just one
United Service in the style of "Cafe Church".
This informal service begins at 10.45am with coffee and cake and is
usually held in the hall at Hardwicke Primary Academy.
Our team of clergy and lay ministers, together with many others, lead the Christian life of our communities. Hardwicke has a beautiful, ancient village Church but most people live on housing estates to the north of the old village. Two new large housing developments are currently being built and this is changing the shape and feel of our village. Longney is a rural farming community with a Church School. Elmore is also a rural farming community based around the Elmore Court estate.
St Nicholas, Hardwicke Mission Statement
The three churches of our Benefice are committed to the new Gloucester Diocesan Vision called "Life" which provides a focus on the four areas of:
"Leadership - Imagination - Faith - Engagement".
For the period 2017 - 2019, St Nicholas’ Church Family is committed to carrying out this vision through:
Continuing to build our Ministry Team of licensed ordained and lay ministers by identifying particular areas of ministry which each minister can lead and develop. Working with Church Wardens and other church leaders in each of our parishes in order to discern the needs of parishioners and more adequately respond to those needs.
Participating in a half day workshop twice a year for licensed ministers and other group leaders and members to learn together and plan future ministry. Providing opportunities to share ideas and experiences, building fellowship and recognising and supporting each others’ gifts and talents.
Continuing to research the experience and views of baptism families and provide celebrations to which they are invited developing better communication and ongoing involvement with them. Developing further our “Prayer Partners” scheme, praying for those to be baptised and their parents and godparents before and after the baptism takes place.
Evaluating our ongoing work as School Foundation Governors, Open the Book Team, involvement in School Collective Worship, use of Education Sunday as a worship opportunity involving the whole school community and continued clergy and ministry team contact with the young people in our care. Exploring additional ways in which we can partner and support the school community e.g. prayer spaces, help in class.
Evolving our Café Church style worship, in school on the fifth Sunday of each month, to connect with more people who live around the school. Considering further “church in the community” use of The British Legion Club facilities. Promoting more widely and regularly the Cappuccino Church meetings at The Roastery and on the Hunts Grove estate when facilities are built. Creating opportunities to meet together socially to grow friendship and fellowship.
Continuing to evolve our Sunday worship in Church in creative ways, building on our commitment to provide varying styles of worship each month within a Eucharistic pattern. Occasionally using non-Eucharistic worship when it seems appropriate to do so. Using set-piece high quality sermons, meditations based on powerpoint presentations, music as an entrance to faith issues, lectio divina techniques and more in our proclamation and exploration of scripture.
Continuing to hold Drop into Silence days, Prayer Workshops, Taize style worship and opening the church for visitors as an invitation to enjoy time with God and fellowship with each other. Re-energizing our Prayer Ministry to our community through our Prayer Chain and Prayer Shawl Ministry which we will offer and advertise through community newsletters and other publicity channels.
Using our regular contact with the elderly at St Nicholas Court and Lloyd Baker Court to develop a more prayerful underpinning of their daily life. Committing ourselves to continue to use the insights of our “Children’s Charter” to nurture the young people in our care through Sunday School and relevant Sunday worship. Continue to give faith formation to our youngsters through the Communion before Confirmation scheme and our Fusion Youth Group.
Continue to use our social media Facebook page and its associated Twitter feed, recently trialled pop up micro-church internet feed, and online video and images to attract interest in our faith and fellowship and the services we offer for married couples and baptism families.
Being generous givers of our time, talents and money in response to God’s generosity to us. Giving financial and prayerful support to “Mission Aviation Fellowship” which receives our tithed charity giving from our annual church budget, supporting the Leprosy Mission, continuing our Partner Links with the Benefice of Kungsåra in Sweden and nearer to home through the work of the Gloucester Foodbank.
Renewing our commitment to various forms of outreach in Hunts Grove and Sellars Bridge Estates to supplement our Christmas Carol Singing, Door to Door Mail Drops and Good Friday Walk of Witness. Facilitating “random encounters” faith sharing initiatives (prayer stones / literature drops in public places). Promoting the “random acts of kindness” initiative that we trialled during Lent. Recognising the community links already in place with church members supporting them. Attending community events to support and ensure a church presence.
Each of these four key areas are monitored regularly at PCC and particular targets for development are set, actioned and reviewed each year.