Ministers

Revd Dr Beth Cope

Pioneer Minister for Northstowe


Beth moved to Northstowe in 2018, bringing a love of new build communities - noise, dust and all! - and passion for community-building, coffee, and asking Big Questions. She has a background as a computational mineral physicist, gaining her PhD at the University of Cambridge using Quantum Physics to probe deeply into how material structures function. She sees science and faith as perfect partners in the quest to understand the world around us. 


Beth is deeply committed to working together with Christians from other backgrounds, as well as those exploring their spirituality for the first time.  She trained as an Anglican Pioneer Priest with the Cambridge Theological Federation, with placements in both local Anglican and Baptist churches, while also being involved in lay leadership in the nearby New Town of Cambourne (where the church is a partnership of the Methodist, Baptist, United Reformed and Anglican Churches, with strong links with the Quakers and Roman Catholics).

contact@northstowe.church

Revd Stephen Dove

Assistant Pioneer Minister for Northstowe

Hello, I'm Stephen! I live with my growing collection of house plants in phase 2 of Northstowe, having joined the adventure here in June 2022.I'm a big fan of music, coffee and colourful clothing and you might spot me out for a run around Northstowe. I love glitter, gardening and gin, not necessarily at the same time but it has been known!
 
I'm an ordained Anglican Pioneer Priest with a degree in Interior Design so I love exploring the creative nature of God and bringing a creativity to our faith exploration. Prior to ordination I was a lay pioneer minister, setting up a new church in an area of new housing in Ely and bringing a pioneer's enthusiasm to other churches in the team.

contact@northstowe.church

Trustees

The trustees are responsible for the governance, with responsibility for the strategic direction of the Northstowe Church Network. Revd Beth and Revd Stephen are also ex-officio trustees.

Will Addison

Warden - warden @ northstowe.church


"I’ve really enjoyed being part of Pathfinder Church. I am excited by the chance for us to work together to build a community of Christians in Northstowe and the surrounding villages. I’d like to get to know you all better and I look forward to finding new ways for us to support each other in growing our connection with God and the impact that has on our lives. I’d also like to do my bit to help with the practical functioning of our new church."

Becky Eccleston 

Treasurer - treasurer @ northstowe.church

"Hello! My name is Becky. I’m a Mum, teacher, wife and sailor; I love the outdoors and coffee. My favourite place in the world is by the sea, preferably with a good book. When we can’t get to the sea, we enjoy sailing locally instead. I stepped down from teaching adults when we moved here last year and I now run my own business from home. 
I’m standing for council as I want to use my skills and experience to serve God and his people, and because I enjoy solving problems and making things happen.  I also know about the quality of cake around here!."

Hannah Mellows


"Hello, my name is Hannah Mellows. I am a mother of three, living in Northstowe. We as a family have loved being part of Pathfinder Church Northstowe and I've enjoyed being involved in the development of the church. Being on church council means that I can prayerfully be involved in the growth of the church and support those in leadership, which in turn will help the community of Northstowe.."

Cameron Witheridge Pearce

"Hello, I'm Cameron, I live in Northstowe and love being part of the Pathfinder community. I hope that I can use my skills and experiences to help the Church, but also want to serve God in this new community."

Other key roles

Michelle Kemp

Safeguarding officer - safeguarding @ northstowe.church


If you have any questions or concerns about safeguarding, please get in touch with Michelle on safeguarding@northstowe.church

Rachel Addison

Church of England Link (Deanery Representative)


"I'm Rachel, a mum of two, part time music teacher, foster carer and big fan of Pathfinder church, Northstowe. A large part of our time at the church has been online, but even so we have felt so welcomed by the family and love the ethos of praying and exploring together. We are really looking forward to journeying with everyone as the church continues to grow and evolve and I'm happy to serve in whatever way helps the community."

Coming soon...

At our AGM in early 2024, in celebration of our new ecumenical partnerships, we are looking to elect a  Link with Baptists Together and the United Reformed Church. Talk to Revd Beth if you think God might be prompting you to explore this more...

Students and young people

Ministry Students from the Cambridge Theological Federation

We hugely value strengthening our connections with the wider church, across the denominations, by having students on placements. The students are often doing different courses, and have different levels of involvement. Our students undertake these placements as part of a course of academic study involving interaction with people. Conversations and encounters from the student’s placement learning may be used as the basis for theological reflections, which may or may not be written, spoken and / or assessed as part of a Durham University Common Awards programme. Conversations and encounters, when used in such ways, will be anonymised; the names and identifying features of individuals, families, churches and communities will not be included. Do speak to Revd Beth if you have any questions

We have recently had trainee ministers from Ridley, Westcott, and Westminster colleges

Duke of Edinburgh volunteers

We have appreciated having young people on the DofE scheme do their volunteering  with us for their Bronze and Silver awards. Recent placement have included a focus on running hospitality and helping to set up and pack down, including children's resources, s during Sunday Afternoon Gatherings.

Worship Gang

The Worship Gang is made up of 8 Yr 5/6 students at The Pathfinder CofE Primary School.  Supported by Revds Beth and Stephen (wearing their pink lanyards), the students proudly wear blue lanyards as they meet on Thursday lunchtimes to review recent Collective Worships, discuss how they could be Even Better, and prepare to plan and lead upcoming events. They also get involved in dreaming about ways to help those of all religious and non religious beliefs find space to reflect, and put those reflections in action, for the good of the whole community, not just themselves. They have taken responsibility for the development of Rooted Stations, as well as leading  Collective Worship for the whole school most weeks.

What is the Northstowe Church Network?

Those of us gathering in the various new communities that make up the Northstowe Church Network come from all Christian traditions as well as those new to Christianity: together we are pilgrims on a journey, asking questions and exploring the connections we find between everyday life and our spirituality and faith. At the heart of all this is a recognition that we are seeking to follow “The Pathfinder”, Jesus Christ. Our vision is to be people who are praying, exploring and sharing: we’d love you to join our partnership!

The Northstowe Church Network is:
  • a network of missional and worshiping communities: you might find your primary home in Pathfinder Church, or Little Explorers, or the Compline Community… or be part of developing something new!
  • a local ecumenical partnership of the Church of England, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, and the United Reformed Church. We are working closely with the other Christian traditions involved in Churches Together in Cambridgeshire, including the Quakers.
  • the charity that provides the umbrella for our shared mission and ministry in the growing new town of Northstowe.
What unites us is much stronger than our denominational backgrounds: it is a rooted, growing, and transforming faith based on an encounter with the ancient God who still changes lives today.
 

Stretch Wide The Tent: the aims of the Northstowe Church Network

In late 2023, the local church community expressed their aims for the next five years as follows:
Inspired by Isaiah 54, we will ‘stretch wide the tent’ – bringing together those new to faith with those of many Trinitarian Christian traditions – grasping missional and formational opportunities to allow everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, to develop our relationship and love of God, equipping us to fulfil God’s purposes for us in the places He has called us to be.

Therefore, we commit to sharing – partnering with those who live, work, study, or are called to love Northstowe, creating safe spaces where questions can be asked, confidence developed, and Spirit-breathed plans turned into action. We dare to explore new expressions of church as well as pioneering future inherited modes of church. These individual missional and worshipping communities will develop contextually and organically. Locally led, they will be part of a visible and sustainable network, not just sharing ecumenical governance but periodically coming together in prayer, worship, and to do things that could not be done alone. Across the network, we long to be known for our peaceful, prayerful presence, having the confidence to hold the ministry of hospitality and loving service alongside acts of Christian worship.

Through the ‘tent pegs’ of prayer and exploration of the still-unfolding story of God’s encounter with his people, we will be rooted, deep into the soil, which is slowly, person by person, house by house, school by school, and phase by phase becoming Northstowe.

Our ecumenical story: multiple Christian denominations working in partnership

The word “denomination” refers to which branch of the Christian family tree you are part of – what traditions most shape you. Here, our partner denominations are the Church of England, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, and the United Reformed Church. Denominations working together in partnership is known as “ecumenism”.

We celebrate that all the denominations involved in the Northstowe Church Network bring different gifts and strengths. We won’t agree on everything. Often, even people within the same denomination don’t agree on everything! But working together gives us opportunities to learn from each other, and gives glory to God.
 
Our basis for unity with our partner churches follows the example of Churches Together England*. Such groups unite in pilgrimage those Churches  which, acknowledging God’s revelation in Christ, confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures, and, in obedience to God’s will and in the power of the Holy Spirit commit themselves:
  • to seek a deepening of their communion with Christ and with one another in the Church, which is his body; and
  • to fulfil their mission to proclaim the Gospel by common witness and service in the world

to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

* including the welcome of Quaker involvement because of their manifold shared faith evenwhile acknowledging  that they do not have a creedal basis.

How we reached this point: the Ecumenical Vision Statement for Northstowe

From the early days of Northstowe,  God has been calling together people from across Christian traditions and those new to faith, who have been putting down roots in Northstowe and developing into an ecumenical worshipping community. This community has adopted the Churches Together Basis for Unity as its model for joint working.  

The initial worshiping community, known as Pathfinder Church Northstowe, was formed under Anglican governance and funding, with strong ecumenical support.  It had a vision of:
developing a worshipping community so that it might become a sustainable and viable church with responsibly for mission in the area of Northstowe, establishing an organic Christian community for the people who live there, making disciples of Jesus and serving the local community.”
From the initial Northstowe Bishop’s Mission Order 1/11/2019

In response to what God was doing, and the size of the opportunity in Northstowe, there was a desire to enlarge this ecumenical vision to become a network of worshipping and missional communities, organically developing as Christian community for the people who live there, making disciples of Jesus and serving the local community.

In a celebration of receptive ecumenism, and building on the joint working already in place, Pathfinder Church Northstowe sought the support of the denominations involved in Churches Together in Cambridgeshire. The following Shared Commitment has been agreed by the Council of Pathfinder Church Northstowe, the Diocese of Ely (Church of England), the Eastern Synod of the United Reformed Church,  the Eastern Baptist Association, the Cambridgeshire Area Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and the Eastern Baptist Association. 

Shared Commitment:

Together, we have committed to share in prayer for Northstowe, and provide practical support in setting up the right structures for the next stages:
  • We commit ourselves to sharing together in the ministry of Christ to the world, and within this context to explore together the meaning and possibilities of unity for worship, evangelism, mission and service.
  • We commit ourselves to assessing the resources of church and community in terms of people, money and buildings, and to deploying them in the best way in relation to the aspirations and needs of local people
  • We commit ourselves to maintaining and developing relationships with our parent bodies and with Churches Together in Cambridgeshire (previously Cambridgeshire Ecumenical Council).

Charitable Objectives of the Northstowe Church Network

The Northstowe Church Network is a Registered Charity #1206577.

The objects of the Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP), to be carried out for the public benefit in the geographic area of Northstowe in Cambridgeshire (hereinafter referred to as ‘the area of benefit’), are:

(3.1) To advance the Christian faith in accordance with the principles and practices of the Participating Denominations in the area of benefit. In furtherance of this object, but not otherwise, the LEP may engage in a range of activities, either on its own or with others, including (but not restricted to):
 
  • the celebration of public worship in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions set out in the Partnership Agreement entered into by the Participating Denominations;
  • the teaching of the Christian faith;
  • mission and evangelism;
  • pastoral work, including visiting the sick and the bereaved;  
  • the provision of facilities with a Christian ethos for the local community, including (but not restricted to) the elderly, the young and other groups with special needs.
  • the support, within a Christian ethos, of charitable organisations in the UK and overseas.

(3.2) To further or benefit the residents in and around the area of benefit without distinction of sex, sexual orientation, race or of political, religious or other opinions by associating together the said residents and the local authorities, voluntary and other organisations in a common effort to advance education and to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure time occupation with the objective of improving the conditions of life for the residents. In furtherance of these objects but not otherwise, the trustees shall have power: To establish or secure the establishment of a community centre and to maintain or manage or co-operate with any statutory authority in the maintenance and management of such a centre for activities promoted by the charity in furtherance of the above objects.

 

Our backstory

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Hear some of our backstory in this Pecha Kucha made in October 2022

Other Partnerships: Growing Faith

Growing Faith is the movement that exists to change the culture of the Church of England so that everyone instinctively puts children, young people and families at the heart of all the mission and ministry of the Church. It comes from the vision set by the House of Bishops and endorsed by General Synod in 2019. It involves churches, schools and households working together to help children, young people and families have life in all its fullness.
 
The Growing Faith Foundation seeks to benefit children and young people, helping them create the world they want to live in, specifically through the lens of the Christian faith. In the short term, this will mean focusing on 0-16 year olds but in the medium to long term it will include 17-21 year olds.
 
The Growing Faith Foundation has chosen us to be one of 12 Learning Hubs across the country to further its impact in these areas. Together, we aim to become strong developmental communities of practice from which other school and church leaders (both regionally and nationally) can learn.
"In partnership with Northstowe’s young people, families, and schools, we are exploring a possible Outdoor Eco Worship and Learning Environment embodying “the roots to grow, the path to follow, the wings to fly”, through a “service-first” approach. Four years of collaborations seeded ecumenical prayers, Little Explorers (“time for you, your baby, and God”), schools work, transitions work, a youth charity, sustainability projects, and fresh expression of church with half under 16. All without a physical home. Through discipling emerging leaders, we plan to develop these, creating unique spaces where rooted faith contextually blesses our new town: praying, exploring, and sharing."

Other Partnerships: The Northstowe Youth Hive

Since the early days of Northstowe, those involved in Pathfinder Church and what is now the Northstowe Church Network have been committed to supporting Northstowe's Young People. Working with other community members, and in response to what we were hearing from the young people themselves, we set up and established the Northstowe Youth Hive. The Northstowe Church Network appoints a trustee for the Northstowe Youth Hive: the current representative is Revd Beth Cope, who is serving as Chair. But this project is much bigger than just church involvement, drawing trustees and members from across many religious and non-religious background. The Northstowe Youth Hive work in partnership with many other community groups and organizations, most closely with Romsey Mill. 

The Northstowe Youth Hive aims to bring together Northstowe’s young people from different cultures, faiths, genders and backgrounds to

  • have fun,

  • develop,

  • and make a difference


At the request of the young people, the Northstowe Youth Hive have partnered with the Northstowe Hub to open the Hub Cafe after school on Wednesdays, serving the milkshakes that they asked for, alongside the Romsey Mill led youth club for years 9-11. Several people from the church volunteer in this cafe slot, alongside others from many different religious and non religious beliefs. Fancy joining us, or helping with the new Monday evening youth club? Get in touch... 

Charitable Giving and Mission Partners

As the Northstowe Church Network, we know that there are places where we cannot personally give hands on support. So, in keeping with our Christian ethos, we commit to work with other organisations, locally, nationally, and internationally.  We try to make a significant difference to a small number of causes (rather than spreading our support thinly) and make a commitment for several years when needed.  Our aim is to develop a relationship of accountability and trust which we do by praying regularly for them, receiving updates on how our contributions are being spent and hosting speakers. In 2023, we were delighted to support the following as a church:

 

INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION (IJMUK)


A global organisation working with local authorities, partners and survivors to stop slavery and violence. As a Partner Church, we have committed to pray for the work of IJMUK, and benefit from regular updates from the team at IJMUK. We encourage individuals to sign up to get the IJM prayer mailings directly. We also fundraise for the work of IJM, and were delighted to be able to give £500 in 2023.
 In their latest update they wrote:
 
I wanted to email to say a HUGE thank you for your Christmas gift to help stop slavery and violence. Your kind donation of £500 will help IJM’s work with authorities to bring more children, men, and women like Zoey* to safety and support them as they overcome trauma. Today, over 1,000 children are safe from abuse in the Philippines – thanks to the support of people like you. Zoey was a child when she was trafficked and abused by people she thought she could trust, for sex offenders around the world to watch online. Zoey endured four years of abuse before she was brought to safety by IJM and Philippine authorities. A Swedish man was convicted for directing and watching her abuse online. With support from IJM social workers and her friends, Zoey began to recover and decided to go to college to study psychology. She hopes to be a licensed psychologist one day to help other children heal from trauma and find hope for the future.  Today, Zoey is a member of the Philippine Survivor Network, a group of survivors who are using their experiences to shape and lead the movement to protect children from violence.

Thank you for being part of the movement, until all are free.

“I see how my story inspires others. I want to let others know how I endured my past and how I was able to overcome.” - Zoey (*Pseudonym. To protect survivor, her face has been obscured. Consent gathered for all images.)

 

 

CCHP:

Closer to home, we have supported the work of Cambridge Churches Homeless Project - a collection of churches and a synagogue that work together to offer practical care and support to people who would otherwise be sleeping rough in Cambridge  each winter.
 
“The growing challenge of homelessness in our society is one of the great scandals of our time. Christian communities, recognising the immeasurable value of every individual, must continue to witness to the dignity of the homeless, to serve their needs, and to challenge society to confront a situation which is shameful for a wealthy nation and a prosperous city.” Dr. Rowan Williams | former patron, CCHP.

In 2023, we were able to give £500 to support the work of this small local charity as they:
  • provide meals and support services through our volunteer network at the winter shelter provided by Cambridge City Council in partnership with It Takes a City at Crossways on Chesterton Road,
 
  • provide emergency accommodation and support to those who fall through the safety net of statutory provision, and
 
  • provide funding for the post of Bishop of Ely’s Officer for the Homeless which provides chaplaincy, practical and pastoral support to the Homeless. The post is currently vacant but they are hoping that it will be filled in the near future, as it has proved a valuable and much appreciated service to the homeless community.

Ethical and Sustainable Commitments

Litter Picks and Care of Creation

Since the earliest days of Northstowe, we have worked to help residents care for our new town.  We planned and delivered Northstowe's 1st Sustainability Day back in 2019, which led to partnerships with local residents, and the emerging community groups. For many years, we coordinated a monthly litter pick, working closely with first Longstanton Parish Council, and subsequently the newly-formed Northstowe Town Council, as well as Sustainable Northstowe and Longstanton and Plastic Free Northstowe and Longstanton.  Today, Northstowe is simply too big to litter pick on a monthly basis... and (wonderfully!) there isn't nearly as much litter as there used to be. So, instead, we are focusing on a few big events throughout year, often during national campaigns such as Great Big Green Week. 

Our Plastic Free Pledge

We're long been passionate about caring for creation. So, when the opportunity arose to sign up to the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free pledge, and become a Plastic Free ally, we jumped in!

We found several ways that we could reduce our single use plastics - such as switching to use washable cups and plates at our community and church events wherever possible; swapping to use plastic-free teabags; and using clip frames and reusable poster stands instead of laminating in the vast majority of cases.

 

Ethical Coffee Comittment

Since 2022, we have been buying our coffee from Kickstart coffee. Not only is this ethically sourced Ugandan speciality coffee, roasted and packaged in Cambridge, UK but every penny of profits supporting children's health & education in Uganda. Read more: Our story & purpose – Kickstart coffee

Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults

The Northstowe Church Network takes seriously the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. This images below gives information and advice on what to do if you suspect abuse, and is particularly helpful if you are in a position of responsibility within the church.

The Northstowe Church Network continues the practice of Pathfinder Church, and has  adopted the Church of England's policy document, which can be downloaded here: Promoting a Safer Church (pdf)

Click on the images to download a PDF version of our current paperwork.

Safeguarding Training

We are are committed to promoting a safer culture in our church and all our activities. This means we promote the welfare of children, young people and adults, work to prevent abuse from occurring, seek to protect those that are at risk of being abused and respond well to those that have been abused. Sadly we know abuse is not rare and we want everyone at church to feel safe and know what to do if they did have concerns. This means everyone on the church council or leading a group has had training on safeguarding.

We encourage everyone regularly involved with the Northstowe Church Network to consider taking the short, online, Basic Awareness training module provided by the Church of England Safeguarding Training Portal (cofeportal.org). If you do, please send a copy of your certificate, afterwards, to our volunteer email address.

If you would like to get more involved in helping run events, please email volunteer @ northstowe.church [without the spaces!]

All those involved in leadership are Safely Recruited, with appropriate levels of references and DBS checks, as well as additional safeguarding training.


Sadly, we recognise that churches haven't always got this right. If that has been your experience, you might find Safe Spaces a helpful organization to speak to.

Equalities Policy

The Northstowe Church Network (an ecumenical partnership of the United Reformed Church, Baptist Union, and Church of England) believes that all people are created in God’s image and are loved by God. In his ministry Jesus showed God’s love by his openness to all people, including those who were marginalised in his day.

This church affirms its commitment to show the same openness to all people in today’s world. It intends in spirit and in deed to promote equality of opportunity and diversity in all spheres of its activity and is committed to behaving as an equal opportunity organisation. It acknowledges that people are called to be diverse and lively, inclusive and flexible through the sharing of the gospel.

  1. We will nurture inclusive communities where all will be treated with dignity, respect and fairness.
  2. We will value the distinctive contribution of diverse cultures in our society generally, and in our worshipping community in particular.
  3. We are committed to social justice and will resolutely oppose discrimination within our church and in wider society.
Read the full policy...

Photo Consent Form

At our events, we love to take photographs as a record of the day, and  which may be used for publicity including but not limited to church displays/posters/leaflets/social media/streaming in accordance with our Photography Policy, as reproduced on our form or available to download [Photography Policy]

If you want to opt out even of informal roaming group photography, you can use our form. Please also let the Session Lead know.

We only take individual photography with your consent . Our form can be used to update that too:

bit.ly/PCNPhotos

Social Media

The Northstowe Church Network adheres to the best practice guidance from the Church of England, with particular reference to Chapter 12 of the Parish Safeguarding Handbook, and the National Church of England Digital Charter which sets out to make the digital world as loving and generous as we would when speaking face to face:
  • Truth - we should hold ourselves to high ideals of checking that what we post online is fair and factual.
  • Kindness - we are all different and that makes the world an interesting place – and at times a challenging one. Think the best of people, whether they share our views or are speaking against them and aim to be constructive in the way we engage.
  • Welcome - in the language we use and the way we interact. It’s easy for Christians to speak in another language using words that those outside the Church might not relate to.
  • Inspiration - we are called to be witnesses of our faith and to use social media in a way that genuinely engages others.
  • Togetherness - we are one Church and other members of this Church are our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is crucial we treat those around us in this way.
  • Safeguarding - if you have any concerns about the wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults, please contact our minister, safeguarding officer, or the relevant diocesan safeguarding adviser.
  • Agree to the Church’s and Archbishops’ social media guidelines.

Annual Reports

Pathfinder Church Northstowe has been operating since 2019 as a Bishop's Mission Order, and a subsidery of Ely Diocesan Board of Finance. From 2023, Annual Reports will be for the new ecumenical Northstowe Church Network.

PDF downloads)

Forms

You can download our Gift Aid form here. But we really prefer to handle this online! Visit our Giving page to find out more about tax efficient giving.

Please print, complete, and return c/o Church House, 6 Woodpecker Close, Northstowe, CB24 1AW

Downloads of Policies (PDF)


Want to support our work? We are  registered with the Parish Giving Scheme and as such a regular Direct Debit can be set up online.. [continue reading]

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Sign up for a weekly email with all the latest news and events from around the Northstowe Church Network

Northstowe Church Network

The Northstowe Church Network is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Safeguarding Officer. The Diocese of Ely’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) who advise our SO. 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."