Working with our neighbouring parishes
From 2013 to 2016, these three parishes of Fauls, Tilstock and Whitchurch were part of a trial of six parishes aiming to develop along the lines of a “Minster” model. This involved the United Benefice of Edstaston, Fauls, Prees, Tilstock and Whixall and the single Parish Benefice of Whitchurch.
In the autumn of 2016, a decision was taken by all 6 PCCs to go forward with a different model: 2 groups of three parishes. Links between the two groups will continue.
Staffing and working together:
The clergy staffing for this group of three is:
- The Revd Sue Armstrong (OLM)
- House for Duty, living in Tilstock Vicarage - VACANT
- The Revd Canon Dr Judy Hunt, Rector of Whitchurch (full-time stipendiary), who has oversight responsibility for the three & will remain Priest-in-Charge of the United Benefice until further notice.
- The Revd Rich Clarkson (curate in training;
likely to be moving later in 2017)
- We also have one Reader, Mrs Jane Rylands.
- Part-time paid administrative support is provided by Jo Lavin, working from the office in St Alkmund’s Church, Whitchurch.
We have formed a Co-Ordinating Group with representation from each parish. This body has the task of looking at different options of how the three parishes can best work together in mission and ministry; recommendations will then be made to the individual PCCs. It will also facilitate joint events and aid the process of discerning what is best done at parish level and what would benefit from being at a group level.
The parishes of Fauls, Tilstock, and Whitchurch are set in the beautiful countryside of north Shropshire. Shrewsbury and Chester can be reached in 45 minutes and the North Wales coast is approximately one hour’s drive away.
This grouping encompasses one Market Town (Whitchurch with a population of around 10,000) and two more rural parishes which cover a large area and have a total population of approximately 1,260. The parishes are quite distinct: the parish of Tilstock is three miles to the south of Whitchurch and Fauls is another 4 miles south, just off the A41.
The three parishes have two CoE Primary Schools, one CoE Infant and Nursery School and one CoE Junior School. Each school holds regular services in its local church. Currently, the future of Tilstock School is uncertain. Links are good with all the schools.
Patterns of Sunday Worship each month
Fauls: 9.30am on 1st, 3rd & 4th Sundays; 6.30pm on 2nd Sunday
Tilstock: 11.00am on 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Sundays
Whitchurch: 8.00am BCP Communion on all Sundays
10.00am on 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Sundays
6.30pm BCP Sung Evensong on1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Sundays
The main morning services are usually Communion except on the first Sunday of the month at Fauls and Tilstock when Morning Prayer takes place instead.
Common Worship is used for most Communion Services, modern language at Tilstock and Whitchurch, varying between modern and traditional at Fauls.
Fifth Sundays are often used for a Joint Service.
The opportunities taken in working together for clergy, lay leaders and congregations of these three parishes have been fruitful in the last 3 years.
· Nurture courses
These have included modules from the Pilgrim Course and joint Confirmation preparation groups for young people and for adults.
· Time Together
This is a group meeting twice a month for those with Memory Loss / Dementia and their family members or carers. Its aim is to provide social, mental and spiritual support, plus some physical activity in a warm and loving atmosphere.
· Hospital Chaplaincy
There is a Community Hospital in Whitchurch which serves a wide area. From the autumn of 2015, we have developed a Chaplaincy Team which has both lay and ordained members and is ecumenical.
· Lent and Advent events
We have a programme of these events in various locations in the parishes
· Rogation Services
We have combined for an evening Rogation Service on a farm in 2015 and 2016. These services have been well attended
· Messy Church
This is a recent development; it has taken place on two occasions – close to Harvest and on Advent Sunday.
Holy Immanual, Fauls (below)