Services in 2021 and beyond 

pivotMany of us have found ourselves ‘pivoting’ – quickly changing the way we do things because of a new challenge –since March 2020. Our first ‘pivot’ as a church was on Mothering Sunday 2020, when we did our first ever online service – hastily put together when the original national lockdown was announced and it became clear that our familiar church services would be needing to stop for some time. Since then those online services have continued and developed, and been supplemented with other online and limited ‘in person’ services as Covid restrictions have allowed. The last year and a bit has been an interesting time of innovation and experimentation!

As we anticipated the eagerly-awaited easing of restrictions, our church leadership teams have been considering how to re-establish a regular pattern of services across the benefice. The year-long ‘pause’ imposed by the pandemic has created an opportunity both to build on what was good before the pandemic and during it, and to try new things.

After careful prayer and discussion, we have agreed a pattern of a range of services types that will start in September. Some of what is planned is similar to what we were doing before, but there are also some significant differences. As we try out different things, we will be seeking feedback from those who attend, and we are planning formal reviews, so that we can modify the pattern and style of services as needed.

We want to work as a benefice – Harwell and Chilton together – and make the most of our two beautiful but different church buildings, as well as other suitable venues for services, and benefit from the pooling of resources. We would love to encourage people to try out the different services in both villages, whichever village they live in, and will be able to help out with transport. And alongside our ‘in person’ services, we want to continue with some form of online service, at least in the short-term, and possibly longer-term.

The pattern of weekly Sunday services from September will be as follows:

  • 9.30am All Saints’ Chilton –
    Services of Morning Worship (2nd, 4th, and 5th Sundays) and
    Holy Communion (1st and 3rd Sundays)
  • 10.00am St Matthew’s Harwell –
    Informal ‘interactive’ worship services (every Sunday)
  • 11.30am St Matthew’s Harwell –
    Services of Morning Worship (1st, 3rd, and 4th Sundays) and
    Holy Communion (2nd and 5th Sundays)
  • 6.00pm St Matthew’s Harwell –
    Services of Evening Worship (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th Sundays) and
    Holy Communion (4th Sundays)

In addition there will be monthly services as follows:

  • 2nd Sunday of the month, 10.30am Chilton Village Hall –
    Informal ‘interactive’ worship services
  • Thursday 11am All Saints’ Chilton
    Service of Holy Communion
  • Thursday 11am St Matthew’s Harwell
    Service of Holy Communion

There will also be services on ‘festivals’ and other special occasions.

Details of which service is happening where can be found here:

We have put together a series a questions and answers that we think people might be asking. These can be found here.

We are excited to be planning to meet together again and hope that the range of services will appeal to a wide range of tastes and needs. Do please come to the services – even ones you might not normally consider attending – and let us know what you think! You can share your thoughts with us at any time (, 01235 834256 or via the website ‘contact us’ form).

Jonathan Mobey
August 2021