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SAVE THE DATES

Find us 3.30-5pm on Sunday Afternoons during term time in at The Pathfinder CofE Primary School for our regular Sunday Gatherings, or these special events. (Purple shows when we will be offsite)
  • Saturday 15th June: The Great Big Community Litter Pick
  • Saturday 22nd June: Northstowe’s Midsummer Festival (join us on the Deckchairs on the Green)
  • Saturday 29th June: Gardening Morning (in the school field)

  • Friday 5th July: The Pathfinder School Fayre (join us on the deckchairs in the school field)

  • Sunday 14th July: AFTERNOON TEA at the end of term
  • BREAKFAST GATHERINGS DURING SCHOOL SUMMER HOLIDAYS (No afternoon gatherings)
  • Sunday 25th August: FIND US AT THE GREENBELT FESTIVAL IN KETTERING (NO NORTHSTOWE GATHERING)
  • Sunday 1st September: AFTERNOON TEA at the start of term
  • Sunday 29th September: WILD CHURCH
  • Sunday 20th October: Covenant Service with Bishop, Regional Minister, & Moderator
  • Sunday 10th November: Remembrance Sunday
    • 10.40am Civic Remembrance by the Lake
    • 3.30pm AFTERNOON TEA
  • Sunday 24th November: WILD CHURCH
  • Christmas events will be advertised separately - watch this space
  • Sunday 29th December: NO NORTHSTOWE GATHERING (why not visit one of our sister churches?)

last updated  21st May 2024

What to expect at our Term Time Sunday 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. We often share family news during this slot.

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 in a  blessing 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...

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 or around special Meals perhaps hosting by the Compline community (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 are now also reinstating the Common Cup for those from traditions where this is important, but if you do not want to drink from it for health reasons then feel free to receive in one kind:  we remember 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. 

WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM ANYONE KEEN TO TAKE THE NEXT STEPS HERE:
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.

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

Every half term, Pathfinder Church Northstowe host at afternoon tea that not only brings together those from across the Northstowe Church Network (those involved in Little ExplorersCompline, etc) but also our friends, neighbours, and those involved in other community groups. It is a joy to see those of  all religious and non religious backgrounds simply spending 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 oftne  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.  At our last Afternoon Tea, Northstowe Arts ran a Lantern Making workshop, ready to Light Up Longest Night.

Festivals

Festivals - with the whole Northstowe Church Network

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.

Our special Advent and Christmas events included Beer and Carols, Campfire compline on Longest Night, a Scratch Nativity, Midnight Campfire Communion, and a Christmas morning Breakfast.

Back in the Spring, 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. 
 

Part of the Family at The Pathfinder Church of England Primary School

We've a wonderful relationship linking the church and school. Pictured here are Revd Beth, Revd Stephen, Bishop Dagmar, head teacher Claire Eskelson, and some of last year's Worship Gang - a rolling group of year 5/6 children who help plan and deliver collective worship, sensitive to the range of religious and non-religious beliefs across the school community.

The Pathfinder CofE Primary School has a vision of:
"the roots to grow, the path to follow, the wings to fly". 
 

Similarly, we are:

GROWING ROOTS

We are rooted in the stories of our lives and the people and places that matter to us; in God’s story; in how these stories interweave; in the ancient belief in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and in a sense of belonging to the world-wide family of the church
 

FOLLOWING A PATH

We believe that, in Jesus, God has walked this earth before us, and that with Jesus as our companion and guide we can travel through life differently

 

LEARNING TO FLY

We believe that God’s Spirit uses us to make a different in the world. We’ll make mistakes along the way, but God will give us the strength and hope to keep going
One way we show our partnership is by working together to develop the outdoor spaces in the school for both learning and to help develop spirituality, These are spaces that the school use through the week, and we, as Pathfinder Church, also use for worship at appropriate points through the year.

Pathfinder Church also support the school community at various key points in the term - such as bringing along the Deckchair Listening Project and offering First Day Coffee and Chat, or providing breakfast and a reflective start to the term for staff on their inset day. 

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 and the Northstowe Church Network are 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.