St Mary's Uttoxeter

  • Exploring faith the multi sensory way

    Exploring faith the multi sensory way

    28 Nov 2019 • Articles

    Exploring faith the multi sensory way

    Origami doves, making and trying out mocktail recipes, playing Jenga. In the Uttoxeter Area in November we ran another of our creative faith half days. This time it was on the Beatitudes. We use activities as a basis for discussing deep questions of faith and those who come, love exploring and deepening their faith this way.

    The afternoon was based on material from the Church of England Pilgrim Course: The Beatitudes. Usually each session in the main booklet is matched to an activity and the session material used to stimulate discussion. Our newest afternoon and earlier ones have been a great way for people around our multi church Area of Parishes to come together to explore their Christian faith and socialise.

    After a bring-and-share lunch, our half day always starts with worship and prayer to focus our selves on God and always ends with prayer.

    This time we started as one large group and used relaxation techniques to explore 'Living with Openness to God'. Then we split into smaller groups to take part in a rotation of activities - making origami doves - 'Peacemaking'; playing Jenga - 'Foundations'; making up mocktails - 'Thirsting for What is Right'; and making suncatchers - 'Living Transparently'. We ended back all together to look at 'Living as Citizens of God's Kingdom'.

    We have previously also used the Pilgrim material booklet on The Creeds - we painted and sketched, used playdough, made jewellery, had a go at creative writing to explore ideas relating to God, Father, Son and Spirit. We also had a go at writing our own creeds.

    Last year we used the same technique to explore the story of Jesus calming the storm on Lake Galilee. For this half day we had chocolate dipping, making cargo boxes, creative writing, marbling and collage all based around a junk model boat to represent our journey with God.

    Alison Hunt one of the main organisers explained -

    "This is a multi sensory approach to explore our faith. It is a fusion between a bible study group and Messy Church. Activities are adult focused and deep issues and personal experiences are discussed.

    Adults enjoy trying new things, making, doing as well as listening and talking as much as children do. And there are tangible reminders of the day.

    It appeals across the generations and many of our most enthusiastic advocates have been in their seventies. They enjoy the approach and are excited by the new ideas. An integral part of things, the lunch, and tea and cake are much enjoyed too!".

    Timing can be difficult as the sessions are adult only at present and not suitable for children given the personal discussions.The format would be suitable though for ages 14 plus - the discussion and eating age!

    If you would like more information on adapting materials and looking at a multi sensory approach to exploring faith please contact Alison Hunt at

    Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey - materials are available from

    Alison Hunt

    November 2019

    Comments from participants - Beatitudes

    'This afternoon was a really thought provoking time for me - along with enjoying getting to know friends.'

    'Thanks so much for this afternoon. It was really enjoyable.

    'Delighted to have a souvenir to remember it by.'

    'Enjoyed having my mind stretched.'

    'Creative arts and great conversations.'

    Comments from participants - The Creeds

    'It was most enjoyable.'

    'Good for us all to get together and talk about things that mean a lot'

    'Sometimes we say it without really thinking about it …'

    'I met people I didn't know at all. Very good.'

    'The Trinity is a swiss roll. I like that.'

    'Did we agree? No! The only thing we agreed upon is that we are all different!'

    'When's the next one?'

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  • Advent and Christmas

    24 Nov 2019 • Articles

    A seasonal article by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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  • Looking to do something new in 2020

    27 Oct 2019 • General news

    Are you looking to do something new in 2020?  St Peter's in Alton will be running the Living Faith Course on Wednesday evenings commencing 8th January.

    In a world in which few people have time for church, and lots of people find the Christian message irrelevant, it’s not surprising if many Christians feel a bit unsure of themselves and would like the opportunity to learn more about the Christian faith. Faced with unspoken doubts about … God… … the world … our own experience … the Bible … what we’re here for … where it’s all going, its all too easy to avoid the big questions.

    The Bishop’s Certificate Course: Living Faith helps us to find the confidence to live for God in an indifferent world, by deepening our understanding of the past, present and future of the people called Christians.

    It is an introductory course for all people who want to learn more about the Christian faith and discipleship. It follows the seasons of the Christian year, and looks at some key aspects of Bible study, belief and the work of the Church. It ties in with the worshipping life of the Church as we journey through the Christian year and mark the key seasons and festivals. It is possible to start at the beginning of any of the modules. Each module includes a film night and a group meal. At the group meal, participants are encouraged to talk about some of the things they have been thinking about during the course, and to make connections between these themes and the experiences and circumstance of their own lives. 

    +Epiphany + Lent + Holy Week + Good Friday + The ten weeks of this term focus on the period between Christmas and Easter. The module is particularly concerned with the story of Jesus’ death and the events that lead up to his crucifixion. We explore what the narratives of Jesus’ Passion—his suffering, tell us about who he was and is. We consider why this matters to us today and reflect on some of the layers of meaning of Jesus’ persecution and death. The module begins with the new year, and explores the way in which God constantly offers us new starts.

    + Easter + Ascension + + Pentecost + Trinity + This term begins with the celebration of Easter; the Good News of the resurrection of Jesus Christ which changes the world, and our relationship with God forever. As the term continues, we look in more detail at who Jesus is, and why Christians believe he lives today. We then explore some of the key beliefs of the Christian faith, including the understanding of God as Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The module moves on to explore how these beliefs are made manifest in the Christian life and we examine what it means to be part of the Church and to have Good News about who we are, and who God is, that we want to share with others. 

    + Ordinary + Harvest + Advent + Christmas + The first part of the term explores the Christian understanding of creation, and asks why it is important that we identify God as the creator of the world, and indeed the universe. It goes on to explore some of the implications of this in terms of our responsibilities to the natural world and to one another. These themes are brought into focus by the Christian festival of harvest. The sessions reflect on both our thanksgivings for plentiful harvests, and the way in which we continue to worship when the harvests are poor.
    The second part of this term focuses on Christmas and the importance of Jesus coming into the world as one of us. We explore the period of advent, preparation to encounter God amongst us and ask what difference it makes to believe that God chose to become incarnate, to become human as we are, that we might truly know Him. 

    For more information please visit or contact Rev. Brian Leathers on 01538 702469

    To sign up to the course please contact the Area Co-Ordinator on 01889 562915 or

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  • From the Old to the New

    25 Oct 2019 • Articles

    An article for All Saints-tide by Reverend Ann Tarper, Retired Stipendiary Minister

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