Into the Summer
(offsite adventures!)

We continue our regular term-time  patterns of Sunday Afternoon Gatherings until our end of term Afternoon Tea (with optional side-chapel Communion) on 16th July. And then...

During the school holidays, we like to take advantage of the opportunity to do something a bit different. Aware that everyone’s summer looks different, we’ll be posting some ideas to help get you praying and thinking about shared topics from wherever you happen to be. In particular, we’ll be asking what God is saying to us as we reflect with Isaiah 54 and pray through the opportunity to bid to curate community land in Northstowe.  

Each Sunday gathering will work as a stand-alone drop in – don’t worry, no Isiah prep required! We will meet over food, refreshments, or community action. We will be taking advantage of being in slightly smaller groups to relax, get to know each other, and even have the time and space to share more deeply than normal… or to try out some new ways of praying and worshiping.  

Keep an eye on the Church WhatsApp Broadcast Messages, or email for venues and other updates.

A Sustaining Summer Adventure 

eating, drinking, praying, exploring and sharing together 

This summer, whether we are able to meet together in person, or whether our work or personal lives take us out of Northstowe, we will have the opportunity to start to dip our toes into one of the most rich and satisfying stories of our rooted-faith: the collection of writings known as “Isaiah”. 

Already, Isaiah 54 has helped us shape and articulate our sense of calling here in Northstowe. We are planning an in-depth exploration of what Isaiah can teach us about the nature of God during our “Kaleidoscope God” Autumn Series.  And these prophecies regularly feature in the Advent and Christmas stories. So what better way to set the scene than an invitation to start to read and journal your way through this great work – at a pace that works for you?  

What better way to set the scene than an invitation to start to read and journal your way through this great work – at a pace that works for you, dipping into, or reading as much of the books of Isaiah as feels achievable – from wherever you are.  There are three ways we can help this happen:

1.     You could borrow one of the 8 Church Journaling Bibles (Good News Translation) and try it out through the summer, with a particular focus on journaling in Isaiah. Then, in September, bring it back, offering your doodles, prayers, and questions back as a gift to us all as we reopen the Table Top Boxes each week

2.     You could take away-and-keep a [church funded] gift of a single-book edition paperback – the perfect size to fit in your suitcase! Either the brilliant Dyslexic Friendly Good News Translation of Isaiah  or the slimline ESV Illustrated Journaling Bible Book of Isaiah 

3.      Or you can use whatever you already use – your own journaling bible, phone app, audio version etc.

But don’t think this is “homework”  - don’t feel you have to stay away if you’ve not done it. In no way do our gatherings rely on this background reading!

Getting an overview of Isaiah

It is hard to pick up and read ancient books without context, so you may like to watch these two excellent videos from the Bible Project to get some background, and to scope out the big picture before you dive in. 

What to expect at our Term Time Gatherings

We're not following a blue print for "how to plant a church". We're pioneering... praying, exploring, and sharing together as we respond to what God's doing in this place. So our worship style is emerging in response to the gifts each person brings, with deep roots into the various Christian traditions.  So come as you are, walk with us for a while... experience church - but perhaps not as you know it!

Regular Sunday Gatherings
(3.30-5pm, Pathfinder School Hall during Term)

Most Sundays, we gather around tables in the school hall. We are deliberately intergenerational - we find that our worship and discovery is enriched through adults and children praying, exploring, and sharing together. 

As people arrive at 3.30pm, they help themselves to refreshments (available throughout), find a table, perhaps start a colouring... and join in with a conversation or activity on the theme of the day. Each table has a box of resources - feel free to use the playdoh, journal papers, post-it notes, whiteboards and bibles throughout.

At 3.40pm, we greet each other (often using sign-supported English), light candles, and refocus ourselves on God-amongst us.

Our Exploration may include dramatic readings  from the Bible (we love to use THE VOICE bible translation alongside the NRSV, reminding us that whenever we read the Bible we read it in translation.) There may also be contemporary input (perhaps through music, poetry, or video). These usually lead to free-flow exploration of various interactive stations. Families often visit these stations together, or children and adults from different households might find themselves working together. Some people may choose to sit in quiet reflections. Others may read some of the books, commentaries, and articles that we share. We make a point of sharing resources from a wide range of Christian traditions - we won't all agree with all that we read!
Afterwards, we gather back to share what we've been noticing. No one is required to speak, but we love hearing from those who want to share. These reflections then inspire our subsequent prayers and worship. On Holy Communion weeks, we will weave our Explorations into our Offering as we prepare to share in bread and wine: and encounter God around the Table.

Finally, just before 5pm, we share family news, before being blessed for the week ahead. Everyone helps pack down the Table Boxes and put away the tables and chairs, while the team clear up the Stations and Hospitality. 
Would you like to get involved in the hosptiality, setup, or packdown team? Have a word with Beth, Stephen, or Will...

Wild Church 
(4th Sunday of the Month: 3.30-4.30pm in the School Field)

There are some things that work best outside! There is a wonderful ancient tradition of people encountering God in nature... our monthly Wild Church sessions really lean into this!

Please dress for the weather, bring your own drink in a keep cup/water bottle, and something to sit on (picnic chair/blanket). 

We focus the main activities within an hour when outside, but people often linger to chat (or perhaps roast more marshmallows!) around the campfire afterwards.

Recent Wild Churches have included us putting Pontius Pilate on Trial, planting silver birch trees, and celebrating the glory of God as we toasted popcorn over the fire!

5th Sundays - partnership with our sister churches
(often offsite and in the morning instead of an Afternoon Gathering)

A couple of times a year, we love to be able to celebrate our partnership with the local Anglican churches by joining in with Sunday Worship.

In January, we hosted a special Candlemas Service, celebrating Jesus the Light of the World even as dusk fell over our villages. Our musicians led the sung worship, and we enjoyed being able to demonstrate our interactive, reflective, and exploratory approach, giving our friends a taste of our regular Northstowe patterns.
On the other 5th Sunday's this year, we will have NO AFTERNOON GATHERING in Northstowe, but instead head over to one of the village churches for a Morning Service. Or, this October, host them here!
  • Sunday 30th April: 9.30am at All Saints Longstanton. (Revd Beth, of Pathfinder Church Northstowe, will be preaching)
  • Sunday 30th July: Why not use the church chat to arrange a group to visit either a 930am or 11am service in one of the 5folds villages, before our Northstowe Social BBQ at 12 noon? see 5 Folds website
  • Sunday 29th October 11am - We welcome our "praying cousins" from the 5folds to share in a special Northstowe-hosted Communion Service (no afternoon gathering)
  • Sunday 31st January TBC (AM)

Afternoon Tea
(half termly, in place of a regular Gathering,
3.30-5pm in the School Hall)

Every half term, we love to bring together the WHOLE community. We invite people from all religious and non religious background to simply spend time together. Often, we'll serve a seasonal treat - pancakes, hot cross buns - or scones and cakes.

For many, this is simply a time to "hang out" and be. The tables have board games and colouring. The baby and toddler area is set up. And news is shared on the rolling screen.

Around the room, there will also be various activity and reflection stations. Some of these might be Prayer Stations or Exploration Stations from the recent Sunday Gathering series, or linked to an upcoming festival. Others will simply be for fun.

We always set up a "side chapel" as a quiet place where anyone can pause and reflect. And we offer a simple poetic spoken communion service as an option, while other activities continue.

One of the main features of the Afternoon Teas, however, are the workshops. Recently, we welcome Northstowe Arts to help us create a lantern for the Light Up Northstowe Lantern Parade, Elaine Atkin has taught us poetry and short story skills, Michelle patiently taught us how to make bead angels,  Revd Beth will share some of what she discovered on her recent Exchange Trip to Kigali, Rwanda.


We love to draw on the richness of tradition as well as the emerging patterns of our new town as we celebrate the big Christian festivals together.

Most recently, we marked Holy Week and Easter together. Every evening, we paused to pray Compline (some of us in person, others joining in from home), and to read the story day-by-day. On Maundy Thursday, we shared a special communion meal, eating Jacket Potatoes as we discussed the biblical stories and traditions. On Good Friday, we hosted a hot cross bun afternoon tea, and journeyed, as if with Joseph of Arimathea, to bury the cross at the heart of the Glade. Easter Sunday dawned as we proclaimed "Alleluia, Christ is Risen" as we lit the Pascal Candle by Bug Hunters Waters, before sharing bacon. And then our musicians led us in singing "Thine Be The Glory" as part of our intergenerational Easter Communion. 

You can see some highlights from our Christmas activities on the Christmas page... and join the August Advent and Christmas planning session to help shape next year!
The next Festivals in the church year are Ascension and Pentecost. WATCH THIS SPACE for more on how we're marking these - with opportunities to partner with our sister churches during Thy Kingdom Come, and our now-traditional Northstowe Kite-making and Flying at Pentecost!

How we share Holy Communion within Sunday Gatherings

We celebrate communion at least once a month all together (intergenerationally) in a main Sunday Gathering. When we celebrate communion, it shapes our entire Sunday Gathering, with the Great Thanksgiving and Sharing of Bread and Wine happening within the "offering and responding" part of the service. We also offer additional midweek communions periodically, as well as a quiet reflective communion in the side-chapel during Afternoon Teas. Occasionally, we may also celebrate communion at Wild Church (advertising this explicitly).

We come from many different Christians traditions - and many of us our completely new to faith! So sharing in communion is both beautiful... and a little messy as we seek to honour each other well! Our ministers are Anglican priests, so communion services follow the patterns and practices of the Church of England. However, we ask that all those taking part do so in line with their own position and heritage. For those new to all this, we encourage you to talk this over with us, and we love to offer blessings to everyone!

We always offer gluten-free bread, and non-alcoholic wine/grape juice. Because of our ecumenical partnerships, for those from traditions who would receive from individual cups, this is available. We have not yet returned to a common cup since Covid, so, for those from such traditions, we celebrate that The Church has always taught that the fullness of God's Grace is still received even if only the bread is eaten. 

The standard practice of the Church of England is that the bread and wine are shared between those who have been baptised and confirmed (made an adult profession of faith) - or those who are already in the habit of receiving communion. Within Anglican tradition, Children who have been baptised can be prepared for their first communion, and adults who would live to affirm their faith are encouraged to seek confirmation or appropriate full membership of their denomination.  But we also recognise that some families who join us will come from traditions where children receive communing from a young age, or not until after Confirmation - either such position will of course be honoured. We encourage families to talk about the communion practices that are important to them, and are happy to be part of those conversations. 

whether than means a formal "admission to communion", or to explore baptism, confirmation, or another way of (re-) affirming faith as a mature believer. We will work with our partner denominations to do this in a way that honours and celebrates the full breadth of  traditions among us.

From our church family...

“I find I’m talking to people at work about what we did on Sundays, thinking through different aspects as the week progresses. The focus of meetings is not on limitations - what we can’t, or shouldn’t, do - but on how knowing Jesus is the best, most liberating, gift the world offers. And at Pathfinder I feel like I’m being equipped and trusted to develop this relationship with Jesus myself.”
“Pathfinder is a beautiful community, in which there is space to explore our faith in exciting ways.

A great church for our young family!!”

“Being part of a church community that is multidenominational is a blessing and how Jesus would have wanted us to approach our faith and the community. It's hard to come by a church that makes everyone feel so welcome with no level of judgement and a constant link and connection to the local community and other churches in the area. ”

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Pathfinder Church, Northstowe