Following the success of the last youth pilgrimage, which welcomed a group of young Americans to the deanery, we’re excited to announce that the opportunity exists for a group of young people from our churches to be involved over the next two years in another journey together, that will involve hard work, spiritual growth, and ultimately, a chance to welcome another group of young people to this country in 2016, and to travel to the US in 2017. For more information, see the posters in our churches.
Welcome to the website of the Kirkby Team Ministry – the Church of England in Kirkby. We are three churches, St. Chad’s, St. Martin’s, and St. Andrew’s, that together serve the parish of Kirkby, Merseyside.
To find your way about the site, please use the menu above. Contact and location information are in the ‘Information’ menu, and Sunday service times are linked from the home page, as well as under each individual church.
We look forward to meeting you!
Kirkby is a town with ancient roots, but a very modern feel. Mentioned in the Doomsday book, we know that there has been a settlement here for over a thousand years, and the font in St. Chad’s dates back to that time. It is humbling to think that for half of Christian history, children in Kirkby have been christened in the font that is now in the present St. Chad’s.
Remaining an agricultural village for hundreds of years, the area was changed irrevocably by the Second World War, when the Royal Ordnance Factory was built. At the time, it was well away from any settlement, so that in the event of an accident, no houses would be affected. After the war, the factory was converted into Kirkby Industrial Estate, with major employers moving there, such as English Electric, AC Delco, Kraft, Kodak, and many more.
To allow for the ‘slums’ in Liverpool to be cleared, the City decided that it needed to build new towns on the outskirts, and so they bought the land for Kirkby off the Earl of Sefton, and began building in the early 1950s.
One of the stipulations that the Earl put in place, was that no one should build too close to St. Chad’s, which is what gives St. Chad’s such a wonderful green space all around it.
As the new estates were built, it was felt that each needed their own churches. These began, meeting in barns, huts, schools, etc. until eventually, the three of them built their own new buildings. The four churches have always been sister churches, and have a proud tradition of close working and friendship, a tradition that endures to this day. Sadly, in 2016, the decision was taken to move out of St. Mark’s church building, which was the end of an era in Northwood.
The churchmanship of the parish has varied, and each church has its own different history, but it’s fair to say that on the whole, the parish is nearer the top of the candle than the bottom! These days, we welcome most styles of worship, music and spirituality within the Christian tradition, and are inclusive and broad in our theology.
There is more history on the individual churches’ pages – please do browse around and have a read.
Everyone is welcome to attend our regular worship services in the parish.
St. Martin’s have their main Eucharist at 9.30am, with a family service on the last Sunday of the month at 10am as well.
St. Andrew’s and St. Chad’s have their main Eucharist at 11am.
St. Chad’s (at 11am) have an All Age Service on the first Sunday of the month.
Our evening worship services vary through the month. More information here.
There are regular Eucharists at St. Martin’s, 10am on Tuesdays, St. Chad’s, 9:45am on Wednesdays, and St. Andrew’s, 7pm on Wednesdays. These almost always happen, but it may be worth checking beforehand if it’s the first time you’ve been.
We also meet for morning prayer Mondays – Thursdays at 9am in different churches – if you’d like to join us, please contact us to find out where we are!
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. There will be a Candlelit Vigil Service in St. Chad’s to commemorate the declaration of war on Monday 4th August, at 7.30pm. We are working with other churches and organisations in Kirkby, including the Catholic Churches and Lifegate Church, to mark the occasion. Everyone is welcome, from any church or none.
St. Martin’s Church is 50 years old this year! Built in the 1960s in the prevailing style, and refurbished in 2010, we are celebrating with a Festival Eucharist and a Cream Tea on Saturday 12th July at 4pm. Come along to celebrate. Everyone welcome!
Special commemorative Fine Bone China mugs are also available to purchase – £6 or 2 for £10. All proceeds will go to support the work of the church.
Today we welcome Revd. Peter Smyth as the new Team Vicar of St. Andrew’s Church, Tower Hill, and as the Adult Discipleship Co-ordinator across the whole parish.
Peter takes up the role having been Assistant Curate in the Parish of Prescot. In the 1980’s Peter trained as a chef and worked for a number of years in the catering industry before moving into the retail sector and working his way up through the ranks of management. Although a Scouser born and bred Peter’s career has seen him living for a number of years in County Durham; a place he now calls his second home, and he also lived and worked for three years in Southern Spain. Peter has an eclectic taste in music; he enjoys walking, still enjoys cooking and likes to read to unwind.
Out with the old, in with the old… Rev. Jeremy Fagan, for the last eight years Team Vicar of St. Martin’s Southdene, and Children’s Chaplain to the whole parish, has been appointed as Team Rector of the Parish of Kirkby, remaining Team Vicar of St. Martin’s, but giving up his role with children and young people.
Jeremy was licensed on the 20th November, by the Rt Rev. Richard Blackburn, Bishop of Warrington, along with Ven. Ricky Panter, Archdeacon of Liverpool in St. Martin’s.
This appointment gives the parish a measure of continuity at a time of big changes elsewhere, with both Rev. Tim Stratford and Rev. Andy Heber leaving Kirkby over the summer. We look forward to welcoming new colleagues as Team Vicars at St. Andrew’s and St. Chad’s.
Once again the local community came together on a bright summer day for a festival of local talent and service. The Kirkby Festival took place on Saturday 14th July on the green connected to St Chad’s Church and demonstrated the fantastic community spirit that makes Kirkby the place it is. Local churches, community organisations and some public service providers pulled together to lay on a fantastic day. Over 4000 residents are thought to have attended, not put off by the early morning rain that soon gave way to sunshine.
Special thanks to John, Margie, Jean, Julie, Lisa and Pauline.
Living in the light of heaven touching earth.
What does it mean to be church in Kirkby?
What should the church look like and its people be like?
What is the Christian difference we aspire to live out?
These are questions that members of our churches are working through at the moment. At a joint church gathering on 23rd May it was decided to set up three small groups to think through what are our prophetic, spiritual and fellowship challenges.
This discussion has been running for some months now and has been set out for the churches in writing:
The story so far
There are many ways in which our churches have continued to break new ground in the Diocese and wider church. Established as the first formal Team Ministry we now represent a good example for others to follow of co-operation, joined up thinking between different congregations, diverse patterns of worship, a variety of expressions of church and a vision for whole-town mission. We should be proud of the variety of things we have nurtured:
- Four district churches in each corner of Kirkby
- A single joint church council
- A varied evening worship programme
- Fresh expressions of church such as After School Church and Café Church
- Kids Clubs, Cool School and Junior Church
- Bereavement Support and Healing Teams
- Nurture courses such as Questions of Faith
- Discipleship Development such as Foundations of Faith, Home Groups and Bible Studies
- A staff team that shares work and uses each other’s gifts across the parish
- A single point of contact for church bookings
- A vibrant web site and good IT
- Community cafes, lunch clubs and TANGO
- and more ….
It is now timely to ask the question: “What is the quality of Christian life that underlies all this?”
Betws-y-Coed – Being Church
About thirty church members, mainly from the PCC, spent a weekend at Betws-y-Coed in November 2010. They considered what it means to BE church and not just what it means to DO church. This was a way of taking this question on.
Two commitments came out of that weekend:
- To improve communications
- To hold a Parish Conference in 2011
Trafford Centre September 2011 – God’s Love For Kirkby
The Parish Conference took place ten months later. Christel has summarized it for us:
1. We began by looking at our town. ‘Our Kirkby’ and asking ourselves what we thought of it.
This is what we felt ‘Our Kirkby’ was like:
- Good community Spirit
- School problems
- Town centre a bit of a mess
- Fixed attitudes a problem
- Underlying poverty
- Family Issues
- Limited horizon for young people
- Sense of fear in older generation
- A predominately Catholic community
- St Chad’s seen as the ‘main’ church
- Church only there for weddings/funerals/baptisms
- Only one church is open all day
- If church is threatened people would rally round
2. We then asked ourselves “What does God feel about Kirkby”
We felt that God……..
- Loves Kirkby
- Sees our potential
- Feels our frustration
- Wants to guide us
- Is exited about Kirkby
- Feels our pain
- Is saddened by what he sees
- Thinks Kirkby is important
- Thinks we have a part to play
- Feels that that no one listens to him
- Feels hurt by us
- Feels ignored and let down
3. We then looked at how we could possibly respond to God’s feelings about the church and Kirkby and how we could best communicate God’s feelings towards Kirkby to the people of the town.
This was what we came up with:
- LOVE EACH OTHER!!!!!
- We need to set a good example:
- Don’t judge
- The church should MOVE OUT into the community (use our homes etc)
- Visit people in their homes (not just the clergy)
- More schools work
- Come together as ONE church to pray together
- Provide something for men
- We should stop thinking as individual district churches and think as ONE church.
- Improved communication and marketing of what we do.
- Provide a clear message about the church and maybe provide a personal face to the church.
- Use shops etc to hold surgeries
4. At the end of the day we asked for names of people who were willing to be part of a group who would work at trying to deliver some of the things mentioned above. The names were as follows:
Vicky Collins, Irene Turton, David Moran, Jill Ridgeway, Dave Ridgeway, Jean Williams, Claire Digney, Tim Stratford, Sharon Lee, Abigail Lee, Edie Riding, Barbara Humphreys, Sean Lee, Louise Currie, Pam Cummins, Vic Davies.This group then met on 10th October at St Mark’s to decide on a way forward.
Advent 2011 – Heaven Touching Our World
The 2011 parish-wide Advent Groups followed up on this. It was felt that the aspirations in the 3rd session of the Parish Conference were the beginning of our Vision and Values and were drawn from our experience of being church here. In the Advent Groups we drew on the wider tradition and experience of the world-wide church.
Using the tradition of the Advent Wreath we reflected on how Christian people down the ages have experienced heaven touching our world. The idea of ‘heaven touching our world’ may itself represent what BEING church is about. There are five Advent candles in the wreath. We dwelt on four of them together:
These represent increasingly strong illustrations of how heaven touches our world.
The strongest of all is represented by the fifth candle: Jesus’ birth; God with us; heaven in our midst. This we celebrated separately in each of our churches at Christmas.
Lent 2012 – Saints in Community
In Lent we continued the pattern of drawing on the wealth of the wider church to broaden our own vision of what it means to BE church. We did this by looking at how a range of saintly and leading Christian figures have inspired the church into Godly ways:
- Aidan and Hilda
- George McLeod (Iona)
- Brother Roger (Taize)
Have we reached a stage where we can begin to pull some strands together?
What are the distinctive features we want to inspire our churches to strive for?
What is the Christian Difference that we hope will distinguish every Christian person being formed by our church fellowships?
How can we best share our vision?
23 May 2012