Pastoral Care

We have a caring and committed pastoral care team who seek restoration for the whole person through Christ. Their desire is that no one is uncared for.

Pastoral care comes in many different ways and often depends on individual circumstances. It can involve listening, comforting, encouraging, providing hospitality, befriending, visiting, celebrating, providing practical help and praying.Pastoral care can be for anyone of any age.

This vision for pastoral care is found in the St Mark's church vision...

is loved and welcomed Loving God and loving each other is more important to us than being right in our opinions about things. Relationships matter most. We are happy to admit we have much to learn. Our ethos is to be servants who are willing to be vulnerable.

Everyone is being restored We seek restoration for the whole person through Christ. We aim to develop networks of pastoral care in which no one is uncared for. We look for the healing power of God to work in and through us.

Our pastoral care team work with 4 key values:

• prayer • listening – to others, to ourselves and to God • confidentiality • accountability


Home Visiting

We have a team of visitors who go out to visit those who are housebound – whether permanently or temporarily. If it is a long-term arrangement, the same pastoral visitor goes monthly so that they get to know and build a relationship with the person they are visiting.

Our visiting team is co-ordinated by Christine Hornby

Home Communion

If someone is unable to get to church regularly we can arrange for communion at home. We have pastoral visitors who can bring home communion, as well as the clergy doing this.

Our visiting team is co-ordinated by Christine Hornby

Hospital visiting

We can make regular visits to anyone connected with our church family when they are in hospital. The clergy team, the hospital chaplaincy team and pastoral visitors all make hospital visits. If you would like communion in hospital, we can arrange this.

Hospital visiting is co-ordinated by Christine Hornby


Care home communion

We have teams who organise a monthly communion service for residents at Ashfield Court, Larchfield, Carlton Lodge and Hampden House

Bereavement support

Our bereavement support volunteer makes initial contact with anyone in our church family who is bereaved to offer prayer and support on behalf of the church. For those bereaved, grief can be a very lonely journey.  A safe place where you are understood and supported is really important – but that can mean different things to different people.  Others have found these places helpful:

Haven – an informal group meeting weekly in the Narthex on a Friday afternoon from 2pm offering support, fun and friendship for all, including those who have been bereaved.


Prayer ministry focused prayer, centered on healing, available at the end of most of our Sunday services.  We have a healing service at 7pm on the 5th Sunday of the month. The prayer ministry team are available to listen and pray at other times during the week.

Bereavement counselling available locally through Just ‘B’ (a service offered by St Michael’s Hospice), CRUSE and Wellspring.  We are very happy to help you make contact with these organisations if you feel that counselling may help you through your bereavement.


Open Church St Mark’s is open Monday to Friday from 10am to noon. Just pop in for a coffee, a chat, some time to reflect.


The Silver Line if you are in need of help or a listening ear then The Silver Line is a free, confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.


Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance – Every autumn (late October/early November) we hold a Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance for all those who have lost loved ones during the year.  This is a quiet and reflective service, followed by afternoon tea, hosted by members of our pastoral team.  The time and date of the service will be advertised in the church magazine, Inform, and in the weekly email in the weeks leading up to the service.  If you, or anyone you know, might want to attend the service please let us know and we can send a personal invitation.

Bereavement support is led by Mary Hutchinson


Haven is an informal group meeting weekly in the Narthex on a Friday afternoon from 2pm offering support, fun and friendship for all, including those who have been bereaved.

Haven has been a stepping stone for a number of people who have gone on be involved at St Mark’s in a variety of other ways and who have forged new friendships which began at Haven.

Haven is led by Ann Worthington


Pastoral prayer ministry
Click here
to find out more

Fast Food

We keep a stock of meals in the freezer at church for those who need some food fast – someone in the family is ill and there isn’t time to cook, you’re moving house and the cupboards are bare, you’ve got no money and need something to eat.  So long as we have food in the freezer, we’ll share it with you.

Open Church

St Mark’s is open from 10am to noon Monday to Friday for tea, coffee and biscuits. We have a team of friendly people who love to chat and keep your tea cup topped up.

It’s good fun, open to all, and a simple way of getting alongside the community in Jesus’ name. Why not come along?

Click here to find out more

Tuesday lunch club

On the 4th Tuesday of each month (other than December) we have a fabulous team who cook and host a two course lunch for around 50 people.  The lunch club is aimed at those who are no longer working but still young at heart and the cost is £5 per person

Places need to be booked in advance, so give the Church Office a call and the lunch club co-ordinator will ring you back and let you know whether there is space.  We work hard to make sure everyone who wants to come is able to and, if you do have to go on a waiting list, usually it isn’t for very long.

Tuesday lunch club is co-ordinated by Ann Worthington.

Click here for a calendar of lunch dates


Thursday communion lunch

On the 2nd Thursday of each month (other than August) we have a great team who host a delicious lunch of soup and dessert.  There’s no need to book –we haven’t yet run out of food, although we have come close on occasion!  Each month the lunch has a different charity focus and the suggested donation of £4 goes towards supporting that charity.

Thursday communion lunch is organised by Alison Glover and Jose Rhodes

Click here for a calendar of lunch dates



We work with the local organization Driving Force to offer lifts to our midweek communion service at 11am each Thursday.  We can also make arrangements to provide lifts to and from our Sunday services.

Driving Force lifts are co-ordinated by Margaret McMaster

For more information about how to access any aspect of pastoral care or, if reading about pastoral care has made you think about getting involved please contact Alison Glover (Pastoral Director) on or call the Church Office on 01423 544528.
We take seriously the safety of those we care for and the safety of those who volunteer to be involved in our pastoral ministry.  We have a safer recruitment procedure for all new volunteers.  You will need to complete a short application form, be provided with a description of the role for which you are volunteering, you will need to provide references from 2 referees and, where appropriate we will carry out checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service.  By following this recruitment process we hope to ensure that you can serve in a ministry area for which you have suitable skills and experience.  It is also our intention that the recruitment process should deter and/or prevent anyone whose past behaviour would make them unsuitable to work with those who are vulnerable.

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