When it comes to weddings, everyone wants their big day to be special. Everything has to be right- and that includes the setting for the ceremony. We think that our church of St Lawrence is a perfect setting for a memorable marriage- but we also think not a lot of people know about it! St Lawrence is situated in the village of Stoak, in a rural setting, not far from the village pub. The churchyard is an ideal setting for those all important photographs, and the inside of the church is attractive and comfortable, easily seating up to 100 people. On a practical note, there is a large carpark next to the churchyard. As well as having an organ/piano for live music, CDs can also be used to provide suitable music for the special occasion. As part of our parish, St Lawrence is available to all residents of Ellesmere Port who are looking for a church wedding. You are not obliged to be married in the town centre church. You can see from the photographs that St Lawrence makes an ideal location for a wedding. If you would like to visit the church and see for yourself then contact us , and we will arrange a tour.
Being born, growing up, settling down and passing on. These are the common experiences of us all. And the church plays its part at each stage of life. What we call the Occasional Offices- baptism (or christening), weddings and funerals- are services we offer to the whole community, through which we pray that people will connect to Christ, and discover just how much God is interested in their lives. If you are resident in our parish, you have a right to have your children christened in either of our two churches. The same goes with weddings and funerals. If you want to know more about any of the Occasional Offices, then contact us by phone or email.
How Do We Connect With The Community?
For many people, ’Church’ is a bit of a mystery- they are uncertain what goes on behind church walls. So as well as making sure we are as welcoming as possible to people who do pass the doors of St Thomas and St Lawrence, we think it important that the church is active in the local community. The links below will show you what we do in our town and area, to put into practice the second half of our mission statement: ‘The Church at the Centre of the Community’.
This list changes from time to time as other ideas and initiatives arise. Watch this space!
Church At Home
Church is all about being a community- and it’s not easy to make friends during a once a week Sunday service. We encourage everyone who wants to get more involved in our church family to join a group that meets in the homes of church members- we call them ‘cell groups’. These usually run on a fortnightly basis, and involve what’s known as the four Ws:
So groups catch up on what’s been going on in their lives, spend some time in prayer and read and discuss different parts of the Bible. They also consider how they can help each other live out their faith in Jesus in their day to day lives.
From time to time we will run courses that cover different aspects of our shared faith- for example, a Lent course. These courses are run during the week, daytime and evening, and bring the church together away from Sunday worship.
Children & Young People
What’s there for young people in our two churches?
In a word ‘lots’! On Sundays we run ‘Ignite’ during the 10.45am service at St Thomas, mainly for children in Key Stage 1 and 2. (We find that our older children like to stay in the main service). We also run what we call ‘Youth Cells’, which run every two weeks. One group is for Key Stage 2, the other for early Key Stage 3. We also have a young adults group which meets once a month.
Obviously, we try to tailor the material to suit the age and experience of our members, but in all three groups we are tying to get away from a ‘school room’ model of teaching and learning. Particularly with our young adults, we are wanting to help them explore the Christian faith and how it relates to the issues they are facing and the questions they are asking, including the big questions about meaning and purpose.
The leaders of all the groups are seeking to build trust with our members and to encourage them to ask their questions. Fun has to be a factor in our groups as well, so there are usually plenty of games and activities. For example, different groups have learned to make simple pasta, created a Climate Change Challenge for the wider church, and advertised it via video; we hold parties from time to time and with Covid lifting, are looking to get our young people engaged in preparing and delivering worship.
At St Lawrence Church we run the immensely popular ABC (Adults, Babies and Children) group once a month on a Sunday afternoon. These meeting include food, craft and teaching and the group is growing. But there’s always room for more…
As well as these regular activities we run a holiday club for primary children in the February half term and a Cinema Night every so often for parents and children.