A Warm Welcome to The Waterside Benefice
The Future as ‘The Waterside Churches’
- Many ambitions become possible with shared resources and talents as we seek to strengthen and share our Christian faith.
- Mission – growing our churches by taking our faith into the community, supporting and serving our parishes, strengthening and maturing our congregations.
- Children’s Work – building on the welcome of local schools, and the work of Messy Church, Holiday Clubs and Open the Book. It is vital that we reach out to the young in our communities, as well as other age groups.
- Pastoral – training and developing pastoral teams.
- The opportunity to create a common vision for the future of the three ‘Waterside Churches’ is both exciting and welcome. We share a thirst to develop our Churches in numbers and maturity, to promote the message and values of the Kingdom in our communities and introduce children to a life of faith.
We welcome Rev'd. Karen Wilson, and are excited by the prospect of working with her. Together we shall be looking to:
- Nurture and care for the existing congregation and encourage them in their faith and spiritual life.
- Lead and help to develop ways of widening the involvement in church life by the wider community.
- Lead and support the teams in the three parishes in this new grouping and encourage greater interaction between them.
The Waterside Benefice
The Pastoral Scheme has been approved by Bishop Philip (on 20th September), which is good news indeed!
As of 1st October 2021 we will be known as The Waterside Benefice. Huge thanks to all who were involved from the parishes in the Pastoral Scheme and who have shown a dedication to working together as a benefice. It has been a long process, working through the lockdowns and the pandemic.
The Waterside benefice will remain in the Powder Deanery and our Rural Dean is The Revd Marc Baker. The deanery chapter meet on a regular basis to discuss our churches and to celebrate what is happening in our own patches as well as finding ways of working more closely together.
This is a time to celebrate as we become a benefice of three churches: St Feock, St John and St Petroc and St Piran's. It is also a time to look forward and to see where God is calling us to in the future. Being a benefice enables us to work together, to share knowledge, to support each other, to pray for one another and to include one another in our plans and activities.
Each of the three parishes has its own identity and this will not be diluted by becoming a benefice. Each parish will retain its own PCC and will be represented by three members each on the JCC. Working in the three parishes over the last two months has given me the opportunity to learn about the strengths of each of the parishes and also where to support them as we move forward.
Please do keep checking this website for more details of our plans for the future and how you can be involved. It is always good to see new faces and to have new ideas brought forward. The benefice is an inclusive body where everyone is welcome. It is for each and every member of the communities of Feock, Devoran, Carnon Downs, Perranarworthal and Perranwell.
Where we are going:
We believe that our mission is to know God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and to make him known among the people of our parishes. We set out below our priorities: to know God, serve our parishes and reach out to others.
1. Knowing God:
We worship God faithfully and in a variety of ways, such as services of Holy Communion, Messy Church, Book of Common Prayer, Matins, informal ‘Worship For All’, Service of The Word and Family Services.
The three churches understand the need to assume greater responsibility for mission and ministry and welcome the greater resource available within The Waterside Churches to develop our discipleship with Bible study, Prayer groups and Pastoral Care teams,
Within the Benefice there are active Lent Groups, Fellowship evenings, a holiday club for local youngsters and a book club, where people explore their faith.
All our churches are open for everyone in the parishes to come for moments of quiet contemplation and prayer.
2. Serving our parishes:
We have three churches with vibrant and active congregations engaged with their wider communities by way of lunch clubs, coffee mornings, film and holiday clubs for the young, Brownies/Guides and much more.
With increasingly elderly and diminishing congregations we are conscious of our need to embrace all age groups in our ministry and to provide a witness to the children and young families in our parishes.
Weddings, funerals and baptisms introduce many members of the communities to our churches, often for the first time. We would plan to give more formal support and follow-up to these events and, with the greater expertise and experience within the three churches, provide a possible signposting service to other agencies when needed.
3. Reaching out to others:
We support the wider mission of the church in Cornwall and beyond with prayerful interest and practical support for local and international charities, such as for example, St. Petrocs, Send a Cow and Pearl of Africa.
Working together we can provide a sharper focus and wider resource to this outreach work.
Where we are now:
Full descriptions of the background and activities of the three churches are given later in the profile.
The onset of the pandemic in March’20 interrupted a Lent study programme which had drawn wide support from across the three parishes. We have continued in recent months to adapt our worship with ‘virtual’ meetings and services. Coronavirus has challenged every part of society as well as testing faith. During the lockdown, when physically attending church was not possible, services via Zoom were quickly arranged. As soon as ‘lockdown’ was eased, we laid on ‘Service of the Word’ and our churches opened for prayer. We are gradually returning to other types of service and worship, as we strive to help our communities through the pandemic. We also ensured that members of our congregations and communities kept in touch with each other and arranged practical help when and where needed. The crisis has actually meant that we are closer together in faith and people are now more ‘connected’ than before.
A virtual prayer group meets Monday to Thursday at 8.30am. This was formed to pray together during transition and, now established, we look forward to continuing as a Waterside prayer group.
Teams from each church met regularly by Zoom to discuss the many practical implications of the new venture and to agree a pattern of services for the coming months. Please see our Services & Events Page for details.
We have recognized the increasing value of internet and social media in reaching much larger audiences and improving our communication. You are reading our new website and we hope it provides the information you are looking for. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything you can't find.
Where we have come from:
We are a newly formed group of churches in the parishes of Devoran, St Feock and Perranarworthal, close to the city of Truro in Cornwall. For the past ten years we have been part of the 8 Saints Cluster, an informal grouping of churches distributed over a large part of mid-Cornwall. It had become increasingly apparent that this structure was too large and too disparate to be managed effectively. In February 2020 the three parishes bordering the southern outskirts of Truro approached the Archdeacon with a proposal to form a new group which we have subsequently called The Waterside Churches, reflecting the significance of water in the Christian faith and the proximity of all three churches to the water.
The three rural parishes have a great deal in common with a shared understanding of our mission and priorities. Resistance to change is giving way to an enthusiasm for new thoughts and ideas and the opportunities that shared mission offers. Karen has been ‘in at the start’ and will, therefore, be an integral part of our new journey. We are excited by the prospect of working with her as we believe her to have the energy, vision, bravery and innovation needed to shepherd us on our journey.