Category Archives: Featured

St. Martin's Cabbage Patch!

St. Martin's Community Garden

St. Martin’s has been working with Southdene Neighbourhood Network to open the patch of land behind the church as a space for community gardening and allotments. We’ve finally managed to secure the funding from Liverpool Housing Trust and Church Urban Fund, and the land has been transformed into four large allotments and four raised beds. The allotments are being used by a variety of community groups, including Southdene Resource Centre, Kirkby Women’s Health group, Kirkby Network, the University of the Third Age and St. Martin’s.

The name of the garden was decided after a competition among the prospective gardeners from the Southdene Resource Centre, and they came up with St. Martin’s Cabbage Patch!

We are officially opening the garden on Thursday 31st – keep an eye out for home grown vegetables in the coming months, and if you’ve got green fingers, or would like to develop them, then let us know!

Jayne's Ordination

Jayne with Bishop RichardOn Sunday 10th June, Jayne VanDenBerg-Owens will be ordained as a priest in Liverpool Cathedral. This will be an exciting moment in Jayne’s ministry, and the cathedral will be packed for the occasion.

We will be travelling down to the cathedral from Kirkby together, and then in the evening, Jayne will preside for the first time at a service of Holy Communion in St. Martin’s Church, in Southdene, followed by a party to celebrate!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already a year since Jayne came to Kirkby. Although she has been part of our parish life since last summer, she keeps bumping into old friends who she knows from growing up here. We think this makes her feel at home here, rather than making her feel old!

Jayne with Bishop Richard

Rev. Andy Heber

Andy Heber with his new Home Communion setSunday 13th May marked Rev. Andy Heber’s final Sunday in the parish, after nine years here in Kirkby. He and Lynne have moved to Northern Ireland, to three churches outside Omagh: Seskinore, Drumnakilly and Clogherny. His leaving was marked by a service in St. Andrew’s Church, with over 100 people packed into the hall to see them off. In an emotional farewell, he thanked everyone for all their support, and they were presented with a picture of the Liverpool waterfront, a Home Communion set, and a gift to help them set up their new home together.

He will be licensed into his new parishes on Thursday 14th June.Some of the many people present for Andy's leaving do

Some photographs from the evening are on our Facebook site – why not have a browse and ‘like’ the page while you’re there?

New Monthly 'Prayers of Remembrance' launched across Kirkby

The Church of England in Kirkby are offering the local community the chance to take time out and remember  their loved ones on the first Wednesday of each month from 2-4pm. The new monthly ‘Prayers of Remembrance’ allows people time to have their own space and be still and quiet in church, with the option of saying prayers, and talking with someone confidentially if they wish. It is open to everyone – and especially those who do not usually attend church.

The Prayers of Remembrance is organised in conjunction with the bereavement support group in the Kirkby Parish, who can also offer longer term personal one to one support at home. Rev Jayne VanDenBerg-Owens from St. Martins, Southdene, Kirkby said, “Grief can be a funny thing, and it doesn’t matter how long it was since you lost someone. You can be fine for weeks and then it can suddenly come flooding back. Prayers for Remembrance is open to anyone who just wants some quiet time and space to remember their loved ones. We can also provide a confidential, listening ear, as sometimes it is difficult to talk about our grief with those closest to us.

Those who have attended so far have said that they really value having some dedicated time set aside to remember their loved ones.”


Prayers for Remembrance will take place on the following dates this year:

Wed 2nd May – St. Andrew’s Church, Towerhill

Wed 6th June – St. Chad’s Church, Westvale

Wed 4th July – St. Mark’s Church, Northwood

Wed 1st August – St. Martin’s Church, Southdene

Wed 5th September – St. Andrew’s Church, Towerhill

Wed 3rd October – St. Chad’s Church, Westvale

Sunday 4th November – St. Chad’s at 3.00pm, St. Mark’s at 4.00pm, St. Andrews at 6.30pm St. Martin’s at 6.30pm

Wed 5th December – St. Mark’s Church, Northwood

For more information, please speak to any of the clergy or contact:  Rev. Jayne VanDenBerg-Owens

Telephone: 0151 721 6814    Mobile: 07828 701890     Email:


Walking through Holy Week

Good Friday Workshop


The doors opened at 10 am and 80 children and young people piled into St Chad’s for a morning of craft, party, story, worship and Easter egg hunt.

Whilst the majority of the children went round the 10 craft tables the group with no name worked on their own canvas masterpieces in the vestry and surrounding areas, paint and sequins being used in great abundance.

The rest of the church was taken up with craft tables and a special area for the under fives. The crafts and the story help the children remember the events from Palm Sunday through to Easter Day.

Just before the Easter egg hunt the chancel rocked to Great Big God with 80 children and adults singing with all the actions.

Jen Stratford.

Click on the images below to enlarge them.

Photos © Tim Stratford

Anniversary of the Last Supper

Chalice & Paten

An important part of the life of our churches is to walk in the steps of Jesus through Holy Week (the week before Easter). Doing this helps Christian people to identify themselves as part of Jesus’ story. This is a week that led to his sacrifice and execution on a cross. By walking in his footsteps his followers are able to renew themselves to a life of love even to the point of self-sacrifice.

Maundy Thursday is the day in Holy Week when Jesus’s Last Supper is remembered. The occasion on which he took bread and wine bidding his followers to remember him each time they break bread and drink wine in the future. Out of this occasion has sprung the regular practice of Holy Communion in the Christian church. A constant reminder in the church of our call to walk in Christ’s footsteps and to be more Christ-like.

This year members of our churches met in St Chad’s over a meal reminiscent of the Passover, as the Last Supper was itself a Passover banquet. During the meal bread and wine were shared as a special act of Holy Communion in a context perhaps more like Jesus’s own context than our normal weekly Communion services. It transported the diners into Jesus story. The great reredos at St Chad’s depicts the Last Supper and Institiution of Holy Communion and this occasion was as if we were in the picture.

Thanks to all our helpers who catered for over 60 people on the evening: Claire, Jean, Brenda, Joyce, Edie, Doris, Paula and Jen.

This was one of a number of events through Holy Week that helped the church community in Kirkby commit themselves further to be a part of Jesus’s story.

Church set for a banquet
Church set for a banquet.
The banquet
The banquet - Communion and Passover.



Easter Eggstravaganza in the Inshops


Eggstravaganza crowd
If you ventured into the Inshops on the Saturday before Easter you may have been surprised to be greeted by Whinny the Pooh and Tigger or maybe even the Queen of Hearts. Venture further in and you will have seen children having their faces painted or making Easter cards. Puppet shows occurred at regular intervals and details were available about the Easter services and the work of the Anglican Churches in Kirkby. Whilst children participated in an elaborate Easter Egg hunt around the Inshops adults wrote down their prayer requests which were nailed to a large wooden cross, or were entertained by the adventures of bert, Lucy, Rosie and Jim or Cheeky Charlie the monkey..

This was the second outreach event in the Inshops following up our Christmas activities. It comes out of our belief that the church should be out in the market place and amongst the people and not just shut away behind the walls on Sundays. By all accounts this day was extremely valuable and a huge success. 130 children participated in the treasure hunt each receiving an Easter Egg as a prize on completion. 110 people asked specifically for prayer, their requests totally covering the large cross. These requests were taken back to our 4 churches and prayed over that Sunday and in some cases for the following weeks as well. Many good conversations also took place and much literature was distributed hopefully demonstrating that the church in Kirkby is alive and relevant today. There was also much goodwill from the Inshop traders who experienced increased trade that day and also from the shops manager who has invited us back again in the summer. many thanks also to the committed team who worked so hard to make this day what it was.

Andy Heber

Christel Ann in full flow Vera Dave the King of Hearts Hannah
Pics © Tim Stratford.

A Journey with Jesus – Easter & Holy Week Services

Holy Week and Easter Services in the parish:

Sunday 1st April – Palm Sunday
Our Journey with Jesus begins on Palm Sunday in all four churches,  when we remember his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, riding on a colt.

St. Mark’s     9.30am       St. Martin’s      9.30am

St. Chad’s    11.00am      St. Andrew’s   11.00am

Three Evening Easter Meditations (7.30pm)
Mon 2nd at St. Andrew’s –  Does he know me?
Tues 3rd at St. Martin’s – Can he forgive Me?
Wed 4th at St. Mark’s – Does he love Me?

Maundy Thursday – St. Chad’s at 7.00pm
As we journey towards Jesus’ death, we remember how after sharing supper with his friends –  he humbly washed their feet. Tickets are required for the Seder Supper. (To book contact Rev. Tim Stratford on 0151 547 2155 or email:

Good Friday – St. Martin’s at 2.00pm
Meditation  – St. Andrew’s at 6.30pm
We pause for awhile in our Journe
y with Jesus,  as we wait with him for one hour at foot of the cross.

Easter Eve Vigil – St. Andrews at 8.00pm
Our journey now moves  from the darkeness of death into the light of new life.

Sunday 8th April – Easter Sunday
Our Journey takes a new direction as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus in all four of our churches in Kirkby.

St. Mark’s   9.30am            St. Martin’s    9.30am  St. Chad’s  11.00am       St. Andrew’s   11.00am