St. Stephen's Church, Tonbridge
with St. Eanswythe's Mission
Powered by the presence of God, shaped for the purposes of God

Pastoral Care

Introduction
Care for one another
Connect Groups
Pastoral Assistants (P.A.s)
Pastoral Team

The Clergy
Prayer Ministry
Prayer Chain
Christian Counselling
Youth and Children


Introduction

Jesus taught us to love and care for one another and that our love should be real and practical. At St Stephen's we want to follow that teaching but recognise that in such a large church it is possible for needs to go unnoticed or for people to feel uncared for.

We are acutely aware that there will always be pastoral needs within the lives of church members and so have put in place a number of ways to meet those needs.

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Care for one another

At some periods in our lives we will be able to give care and at other times we will need it. At St Stephen's we firmly believe that care for one another is the responsibility and duty of each and every member of the church and we would encourage each member to be aware of both church members and visitors.

Of course, people will sometimes need more experienced help or support and St Stephen's has several ways of providing that care.

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Connect Groups

Connect groups usually count between 8-16 members who meet weekly at various times and venues and we strongly encourage every church member to join these groups.

Connect Group members share their Christian lives and journeys together by:

  • Caring for one another
  • Encouraging one another
  • Serving one another
  • Growing with one another
  • Having fun together
  • Deepening relationships

Connect Group leaders have received some pastoral training as Connect Groups are often the place where needs are first shared or noticed but you may prefer to seek help elsewhere and this is perfectly acceptable.

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Pastoral Assistants (P.A.s)

The role of the Pastoral Assistants is to support the clergy in the pastoral care of congregation and parish. P.A.s have undertaken significant training and are authorised by the Church of England who recognise their particular gifts in caring for others, listening to and praying with those who need comfort and support.

P.A.s are not counsellors but are happy to spend time with you, sometimes by visiting or meeting with you outside of church service time. They may also be able to suggest where further help can be found if needed.

Please feel free to speak to any of the P.A.s directly or contact them through the
church office on (01732) 771977

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Pastoral Team

The P.A.s are supported by a Pastoral Team who have undergone training, are also CRB checked and are actively aware of the need for appropriate confidentiality.

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The Clergy

In a church the size of St Stephen's it is impossible for the clergy to personally meet the pastoral needs of every member of the parish and church family. However, we do realise that in some situations you may wish to speak to a clergy person. Our clergy are always willing to find time for those who need it.

If you need to contact them please call:

 

  • Mark Barker on 01732 379901 or 01732 353079
  • John Perkins on 01732 379904 or 01892 863239
  • Sheila Perkins on 01732 379903 or 01892 863239
  • Miriam Barker on 07846 912043
  • Eric Hornbuckle on 01732 379902

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Prayer Ministry

There are members of the Prayer Ministry Team willing to pray with people after the 10.30am and 6.30pm services about any issues.

All Prayer Ministry Team members have undergone training. If you would find this helpful simply ask someone in the side chapel or ask at the Welcome Desk

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Prayer Chain

In a crisis or short term situation it might help you to know that you, or specific needs, are being prayed for. The Prayer Chain is an effective way of getting prayer underway quickly.

There are two committed groups of intercessors, one day time and one evening, who will relay your prayer request to one another. Confidentiality is assured and only a minimal amount of information need be shared.

For more information please contact the
church office on (01732) 771977 or (out of office hours) one of the clergy (see above).

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Christian Counselling

If you feel you need to see a trained Christian counsellor we can provide information on Accredited Christian Counsellors, for more information ask a member of the clergy, a P.A. or at the church office on (01732) 771977

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Youth and Children

Our young people and children are an important part of our church and we value their pastoral care too. We want them to receive the best and most appropriate care possible and so we have special provision for their particular needs.

For all Youth and Children's Pastoral Care contact our Youth and Children's Pastors on (01732) 379902 or email: youth@ststephenstonbridge.org

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