Welcome to The Six Benefice
'Shine as a light in the world to the Glory of God.'
We are a Church of England Benefice in the Diocese of Canterbury. A group of six village parishes in the countryside of North Kent, between Sittingbourne and Rainham with seven diverse congregations.
We seek to be 'The people who bless,' seeking to embody Jesus in our daily lives sharing by our presence, service and words the Lord's transforming love and grace. We see church as a community we belong to, not just a place we go to. Yet we recognise that each village's ancient building speaks of the steadfast, faithful presence of God through the varying times of life down the centuries. They speak of the Lord's promise to us:
'I am with you always.'
Although we live in unprecedented times, we can still worship even if in a different way than we had planned. Do join with our services of worship online. Let us celebrate Jesus, Emmanuel 'God with us.'
Never has it felt so important!
Everyone is welcome to join us at any of our services, which provide different flavours of traditional and contemporary worship. We endeavour also to reflect this in our weekly online service, which you can find on our YouTube channel by clicking here.
Our beautiful church buildings left to right: Hartlip, Iwade, Lower Halstow, Newington, Stockbury, Upchurch.
Click on the Church images to find out more about each Church Community.
We are here for you.
Your local church community is still here to serve and support you, to be available to you and especially for the most vulnerable in our village communities. Our buildings are open for individual private prayer at defined times. So even in this current difficult period, we want you to see our buildings as Places of Hope where you can come to find Breathing Space. Time and space just to 'breathe out' the anxieties and pressures you may be experiencing and to 'breathe in' some peace and hope in their place that comes by just being in the presence of God's love and grace. Time to be still, to come and rest for a while and to pray as you can.
Days when the buildings are available for individual prayer and breathing space are as follows.
St Michael's Hartlip: Saturdays and Wednesdays 10am - 4pm
St Mary's Newington: Wednesdays 10am-12 pm ; Saturdays 2pm - 5pm
St Mary's Upchurch: Wednesdays & Sundays 2pm - 4pm
St Mary Magdalene Stockbury: Sundays times 10am - 5pm
All Saints Iwade: Wednesdays & Saturdays 10am - 4pm
St Margaret's Lower Halstow: Wednesdays TBC
We are committed to ensuring the safety of everyone who enter our buildings. Please wear a face mask, sanitiser provided for hands and Test & Trace contact details required thank you.
If you are worried and struggling in some way during this period,
Do not struggle alone. Please ask.
There are many who can help in practical ways or by listening.
If you wish for help from our churches, do contact me in the first instance. I can then put you in touch with others in the communities who can and are willing to help.Blessings
Rev. Julian Staniforth
Rector & Priest-in-Charge of The Six Benefice
Safeguarding is an essential part of our churches being safe for everyone. Follow the link here.