St John's Church lies in the Anglican diocese of Newcastle and is the parish church for the community of Whorlton and Westerhope, which means we are here to serve God and every member of our local community. The church, and its congregation, has been a centre of worship and of service to the local community since 1866. It is our spiritual home – and we hope it will become yours.
Our Priest in Charge is the Reverend Matthew Hunter who was licensed by the Bishop of Newcastle on Saturday 6th October 2018. We are delighted to have him with us and wish him well.
Use the menu to find out more about what we do. We provide a lot more than just Sunday worship, but it is this worship that sustains us in all our other work. By looking at the other pages on our website you will be able to discover more about our regular activities, forthcoming events and outreach work, and about how to plan YOUR family celebrations and services.
No matter how long it may have been since you last came to Church you will find a welcome with us!
We at St John's strive to provide an environment that is welcoming, respectful and a safe place for all. For further information please click here - on Safeguarding
St John's Church, Whorlton January 2019
A Message from Matthew
I’ve talked a lot in recent months about sustainability; at the start of a new year we might think about this in terms of future-proofing... How can St John’s be ‘fit for purpose’ - to use corporate-cliché - going forward? Despite being Priest-in-Charge, I would maintain that one of the fundamental limitations of the Church of England is its continued adherence to hierarchical models of ministry and outdated assumptions in terms of delineation of responsibility. Let me put that slightly less rashly... At the moment, the CofE and St John’s for that matter is quite top-down - but imagine if we entirely subverted, or even inverted that model and the grassroots, i.e. the laity, were the driving force in terms of direction and ownership? With the priest as a mixture of manager and liturgical leader…
We need to be realistic about cultural trends and clergy deployment. The church of the future will most likely be a slightly more streamlined organization run by the laity. So, how do we get ahead of the curve? I’m hugely conscious of my privilege and responsibilities, but it is possible that leadership in this context is about facilitation and delegation - of a letting go of traditional notions of authority. I do not know best – especially at this early stage; Pam and Ina bring a wealth of encouragement and enthusiasm as Church Wardens; we’re blessed in the gifts that our Readers Simon and Anne contribute – perhaps particularly in preaching and pastoral care. But even beyond these key players, there’s a chance that we just might be able to figure all this out as a broader community. And part of this will be about learning to think differently – both about the Church, and ourselves. One way I think is to be more collaborative and transparent in our decision making. God forbid endless referendums - groan (!) - but if somehow we could consult more widely I think that would be healthy. Two opportunities for this kind of feedback spring to mind:
The creation of a Cosy Corner
The possible introduction of Deputy Church Wardens to broaden out the leadership team and lessen the workload
So watch this space, and let’s learn and grow together… Answers on a postcard!
Bible for the Month
Epiphany [Sunday 6th Jan.] Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3.1-12; Matthew 2.1-12
Second Sunday of Epiphany Isaiah 43.1-7; Acts 8.14-17; Luke 3.15-17,21,22
Third Sunday of Epiphany Isaiah 62.1-5; 1 Corinthians 12.1-11; John 2.1-11
Fourth Sunday of Epiphany Nehemiah 8.1-3,5-6,8-10; 1 Corinthians 12.12-31a; Luke 4.14-21