Style of Worship

Each week we hold a variety of services in what might be called a relaxed formal style: the layout of the building naturally creates a more informal atmosphere than you would find in many churches. Throughout the year our readings come from the authorised cycle of readings (the "Lectionary").

At 8 a.m. every Sunday (and on Christmas morning), there is a quiet Eucharist (Holy Communion), with an address, at the main altar in the Nave, usually attended by around a dozen people. This service uses modern language (with traditional Lord's Prayer), except on the First Sunday of each month (and Christmas and Easter mornings) when traditional language is used in the Book of Common Prayer ("Order 2") form of the service.

At 9.30 a.m. (except on Remembrance Sunday, when a special - non-eucharistic - service begins at 10 a.m.), the main (and by far the best-attended) service on most Sundays is a Sung Eucharist in modern language. The hymns usually come from Ancient & Modern (2013); a sung setting of the Gloria, Sanctus etc is used (often David Thorne's Mass of St Thomas, but we do use others); the President is robed (usually in a coloured vestment, a "chasuble"); and there is also a robed choir, which usually sings an anthem.

In most months, however, the 9.30 a.m. service on the Third Sunday of the month is an informal non-eucharistic Morning Praise, accompanied by our worship band ("Spirit of Harmony"), and using a mixture of traditional hymns and more informal songs and chants. In some recent years this service has had a strong family focus, although at present it tends to be more of an opportunity for adults to explore a theme at greater length. Check the calendar for exact details

Children are very welcome at the 9.30 service every week - we have a comfortable area available for small children, and will happily incorporate slightly older children into taking collections, reading, being part of the music group, when present. Since 2016 we have not, sadly, had the numbers to run a Sunday School (which would go from church over to Stokesley Town Hall during much of the service), but are very happy for parents to come and go (and move around) with their children as they feel appropriate.

The service at Seamer is a small scale celebration of the eucharist with two or three unaccompanied hymns. It takes place on the first, third and fifth Sundays of a month (but has been known to be on different Sundays, especially in the period between Easter and Pentecost - the parish celebrates Ascension Day at Seamer, and sometimes adjusts the other Sundays nearby to make a more even pattern of services) - check the calendar for exact details.

Coffee, tea, and biscuits (and sometimes very delicious cakes) are served at the back of Church after the 9.30 service every Sunday.

At 6 p.m., up to a dozen people gather in the Lady Chapel (the medieval Chancel that is behind the main Nave Altar) for traditional Evensong according to the Book of Common Prayer. Three hymns are sung (usually unaccompanied) as well as the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (to familiar Anglican chants), the evening readings are usually used, and there is a short informal address. The officiant doesn't normally robe, recognising the comparatively informal way in which this service is taken.

The 6 p.m. service very occasionally changes. In 2020, while we await the appointment of a new Rector, it only takes place on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. Just before Christmas, there Is a 6 p.m. Carol Service, and one or two Sundays after Christmas will not have a service. Again - do check the calendar for details.

During the week, there is a Wednesday morning eucharist every week in the Lady Chapel at 9.30 a.m., using modern language (with the traditional Lord's Prayer), and singing a hymn.

Unfortunately, from July 2018 we have not been able to run our Toddler Time Group on Monday mornings in term time. For many years it included a time of songs, stories and prayers as well as other activities for young children, and it was valued by parents, grandparents, and carers from a variety of places within reach of Stokesley. We would love to be able to run this again!

We also have some services that are less frequent, and from time to time we welcome other organisations for special services.