Welcome to the website of the Mid-Trent Churches.
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Bumps, boundaries
God's beautiful creation and wonderful promises.

People who live and work in the countryside have a particular connection with the land. Throughout my life …… in the village where I grew up, in my previous ministry in rural Warwickshire …… and perhaps especially this year, among the beautiful villages and countryside of Mid Trent …… I have always been struck by the beauty of God's creation, as summer begins each year.
Of course, I'm not a farmer, so I have the privilege of enjoying the beauty of the land, without all the hard work of taking care of it!

At some point during May each year, the church marks Rogation. This was traditionally a time when Christians prayed for God's blessing on the crops, land and farming work in their parishes. It was called "Rogation" from the Latin word for "asking", because the Bible reading for the day included the words, "Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give to you."

In the days before maps, Rogation prayers for the parish were often combined with "Beating the Bounds": walking the parish boundaries to remind everyone where they were, and to ask for God's blessing on their land and their work.
Sometimes a boundary stone or tree would be beaten, but traditionally the children of the parish were beaten, or bumped on the boundary stones or markers, to imprint the boundaries firmly on their memories!!!

Whatever else has changed in the world since those days, the Bible says that God's promises never change. Whatever our circumstances, there are times when all of us feel that we cannot continue in our own strength.
One day, when teaching the crowds gathered to hear him, Jesus said: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me …... For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

The rural folk listening to Jesus would have known that a farmer often yoked together a strong, older and more experienced ox with a youngster. The older ox would bear the greatest load and the younger one would learn from him as they worked together.

Today, as we enjoy the glory of God's creation, let's remember that his promises never fail. We too can rely on Jesus to guide us and lighten our loads. We simply need to ask.

Yours in Christ

Our Team Curate's  Message for July.
     Welcome to my first article as your new curate! My name is Vivienne Starkie, and I really am a shiny new curate, having been ordained as a deacon at Lichfield Cathedral on 2nd July!  However, I am no stranger to the Mid-Trent area, having lived and worshiped in Weston since 1985. I never imagined when I moved here at 31 that I would be ordained as a minister when I was 63.  I was then a Prosecuting Solicitor on maternity leave with a baby.  I joined the Crown Prosecution Service after its formation in 1987 and had another daughter in 1988.  I only began teaching Sunday School to avoid the embarrassment of chasing around church after a toddler.
     As the years passed, I increasingly felt I should be doing more.  Out of the blue, I decided to take early retirement.  Still reeling from this unexpected change of direction, I suddenly realised that God was calling me to ministry and that my professional skills in advocacy, my passion for justice, my concerns for victims of hate crime and domestic violence were all just preparation for a vocation in ministry.  I still resisted.  I was just not "holy" enough!  I decided to take a Pathways Course and finally accepted that God was calling me to ministry.  Ever since I embraced my vocation, I've felt a bubble of joy within me.
     I was accepted for training as a minister and in 2014 began training at Queens Foundation, Birmingham.  For the last three years I have been learning how to minister, attending all ten churches in the Benefice.  I have been overwhelmed by the welcome, love and support I have recieved, and I do feel that my success in completing the course greatly reflects that support and help I have recieved.  I have discovered much about each of the ten churches.  All are unique and some are very different from others in style of worship, but all are united in the love, friendship and faith of the congregations.  We are very lucky to be able to attend such a variety of churches.  try a different church, taste the rich depths of our services and decide which sort of spirituality suits you.  We are all different and feel comfortable with different styles, so don't give up if you don't feel comfortable with one style, try another!
     I am looking forward to my new position as curate and feel really blessed to be able to serve such a lively and beautiful Benefice as Mid-Trent.

Rev'd Vivienne Starkie