St. Mary's is an Anglican church in the Deanery of Cheltenham in the Diocese of Gloucester. There is more information on the diocesan website and on the Church of England website.. St Mary's has 4 lay seats on the Deanery Synod, which meets three times a year to learn about initiatives in other Cheltenham churches and the diocese, and other Anglican ventures in Cheltenham.
The diocese of Gloucester has links with five other dioceses. Click here for more details. St Mary's is linked with a parish in one of these, Skinnskatteberg in the diocese of Vasteras in Sweden, and enjoyed a visit from the church choir in October 2009. You can read more about the town of Skinnskatteberg at www.skinnskatteberg.se. (Google it for an English version.)
St. Mary's works with the other churches in the village of Charlton Kings. These are Holy Apostles, Sacred Hearts Roman Catholic Church, and the Baptist church. We join together in various services and events (such as the Good Friday Walk of Witness shown here), and also cooperate in many local activities, see below.
'I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see;
I sought my God, but my God eluded me;
I sought my neighbour and found all three.'
One of the many ways the four churches in the village work together is to welcome people new to the area. Christmas and Easter cards are distributed to about 5000 homes by some 85 Church Neighbours (drawn from all four churches), giving details of each church's services.
For further details email email@example.com.
Open the Book is a nation-wide scheme aimed at enabling every child to hear the Bible stories at school in their primary years. Groups of volunteers, using costumes and props, enact bible stories weekly in schools. St Mary's began the programme in 2007 at Glenfall Primary School, and it proved so successful for teachers and popular with school-children that it was started at CK Junior School in 2009 and may be introduced at Holy Apostles. Volunteers now come from other CK churches as well as St Mary's. It is great fun for everyone - if you would like to volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charlton Kings Community Players were set up in March 1992 to "encourage faith, fun and fellowship through ecumenical involvement in a variety of drama and musical activities for all ages."
Members are drawn from all the churches in the village, but anyone who lives, works, attends school in Charlton Kings or has strong connections with the village is welcome to join in any of the activities. Although fund raising is not the main purpose over £12,000 have been donated to local charities since 1992.
Major productions include 'Oliver', 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', and 'My Fair Lady'. As well as major productions, sketches are performed on the annual Walk of Witness and a Christmas show is put on each year. If you are interested in joining, visit their website.
This Committee has been working with and for elderly people for more than 60 years, with the intention of helping them to stay in their own homes and to enjoy an improved quality of life. Its main function today is to run a minibus, taking passengers to supermarkets, to various social activities, and on outings. Other ventures include a holiday away in spring, and a 'Holiday at Home' for 2 days in August.
All Committee members and all drivers and helpers on the minibus are volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, or be interested in learning more, please go to their website. The Committee is non-denominational and non-political, and members of Charlton Kings churches play a key role.
Happy Circle is a social club for the elderly. It meets on Friday afternoons for talks or activities, and once a month there is an outing. The minibus is available to take people to meetings. If you or someone you know would be interested in joining, please email the webmaster, who can put you in touch with the organiser.
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