The Church in Warden Hill is a Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP) between St Christopher's (Church of England ) Church, Warden Hill, and the Warden Hill United Reformed Church (URC ). Our two component churches are both modern, situated close to each other in the mainly residential area of Warden Hill in south Cheltenham.
The Church in Warden Hill is a fine example of two traditions coming together to show unity in Christ Jesus. With keen ecumenical leaders, the two churches have spent the last ten years getting to know one another and worshipping together more frequently. We must not lose sight of why we wanted to come together - to show Warden Hill estate that we are Christians first and foremost, with a will to serve our local community. We are blessed with having two buildings that are available for community use and also youth workers to guide us in working alongside young people. Jesus showed by example that we should serve one another. Whether Anglican or Reformed, this is basic to our faith. We are here at the heart of Warden Hill as witnesses to Christ in all we do.
Within the URC, we are part of the United Reformed Church in Cheltenham , together with the other two URC churches of St Andrew's and Prestbury.
Within the Church of England, we are a member of the Diocese of Gloucester . Closer to home, we are part of the South Cheltenham Churches Benefice , working with the churches of St Philip and St James, Leckhampton , St Peter, Leckhampton , Emmanuel and St Stephen .
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Maz is our URC Minister:-
My name is Marilyn but I prefer to be known as Maz. I have been in Cheltenham since January 2007 and I have the privilege of ministering to three congregations.
My passion is for pastoral visiting, but I enjoy leading worship and am keen to incorporate new songs and hymns into worship, when appropriate. I am also an advocate of children receiving holy communion.
I have had a varied career, from animal-nurse, clerical assistant, teacher, dressmaker to Church Related Community Worker for the URC in Huddersfield and Walsall, culminating in ordination in 1997 at Chandler's Ford URC, Hampshire.
I enjoy leading a children's choir, called C4. It has developed into a dramatic group and we have great fun together, performing musicals two or three times per year.
My spiritual home is in Taizé - a retreat centre in France. For many years I led groups to this multi-national gathering. The music is inspiring and the use of silence in worship is welcome.
I am a founder-trustee of two charities connected with Kenya: St. Stephen's Rehabilitation Centre, organizing child-sponsorship for children in a Home for orphaned and at-risk children and young people; and Kenya Projects (UK), taking groups of teenagers and adults every second year, to work at St. Stephen's and fundraise for specific projects, such as a borehole, or playground.
I am quite comfortable for my theology to be called 'middle-of-the-road'. I am not a fundamentalist nor an evangelical. I want people to feel welcome in church and to be encouraged to ask questions about faith. We discover answers together and these may be different for each person, depending on their faith-development. I preach the Trinity of God's love and grace and minister, to the best of my ability in Christ's name.
Revd. Maz Allen
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Gary is Team Vicar in the South Cheltenham Team with responsibility for St. Peter's Leckhampton and The Church in Warden Hill:-
I was born in 1969 in Winchester, Hampshire and later attended St. Mary Redcliffe secondary school in Bristol. I studied for my first degree at Bristol Polytechnic, where I gained a B.A. (Hons) in Systems Analysis.
Following this I worked for BT for 19 years until 2011, working in a variety of roles, initially as an analyst/programmer, but ultimately as the Head of Training Design for BT Retail UK. I trained in Theology at the West of England Ministerial Centre (WEMTC) at Redcliffe College in Gloucester, after which I served my curacy in Cirencester.
My family and I are delighted to be a part of the team here in South Cheltenham and value the ecumenical partnerships we have here. We look forward to joining in with God's mission in this place and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in the communities.
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