The United Parish of Reculver

Tel: 01227 369941
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United Benefice Pastoral Work

Caring for the members of the Body of Christ is one of our priorities; we try to keep an eye on all those who are members of our congregations and rely on a good ‘parish grapevine’ to let us know if anyone is ill or in any kind of special need.

The ministry team meets regularly, and an item for discussion is always ‘people’. We aim to visit those in hospital each week, those in nursing and rest homes each month, and frail or less mobile members of the church as often as is necessary.

The clergy, and lay members of the Chaplaincy Team, all visit elderly and housebound members of the congregations (our ‘indoor members’) on a regular basis, to take them Holy Communion, to pray with them, to offer them Healing Ministry, and simply to befriend them.

The majority of the rest homes within the Benefice are visited each month and the Heron Ward at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital is visited once a week. 

The Pastoral Team meets regularly to keep in touch with one another and with our people, to pray together, and to take part in some of the training courses devised and provided by the Diocese.

Pastoral Care of the Bereaved is an important ministry within the Benefice and will include as much help and support as is required in the planning of a funeral service, and after care.

Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals


There are a growing number of baptisms at all three churches. The policy regarding baptisms is very simple; we see this as a Ministry of Welcome, in which we celebrate the birth of a baby, or the development of an older child, and say to that individual and that family “You belong here. This is your church”.

The Common Worship Rite is followed, with its splendid imagery of anointing, journey, washing, and commissioning. The whole family are involved in various actions throughout the service, which is as informal as the needs of small children necessitate, but as dignified and solemn as entry into the Christian Church demands.

After the service, for several years, on the anniversary of Baptism, a card is sent from the church, together with occasional invitations to various services and events.

To enquire about a Baptism please contact the Benefice Office who will be able to assist you with your enquiry.


Once again this is a Ministry of Welcome and Affirmation which we can offer to couples taking a very significant step in their lives and making awesome promises.

Each couple will meet with the Priest usually at least three times before the service, as well as being in regular contact via phone or email. There is the chance to simply get to know one another a little better, and to ask why the couple want to get married - they are enabled to say how much they love each other. (Aaah!). Then there will be a careful reading through of the service itself, and a discussion of what those words and promises might really mean to the couple. Finally, there will be a rehearsal in the church, often on the evening before the service, so that the couple and their family can feel as relaxed as possible on the day itself. We do all in our power to help this family celebration be as wonderful and as Christ-filled as possible.

The Church of England has recently relaxed its rules about the remarriage of people who have been divorced; each case is assessed on its merits, and the Priest will explain to those who have been married before what steps must be taken should they wish to remarry in church.


The Priest-in-Charge and other Ordained and Lay ministers take a considerable number of funerals each year. These may be in church, at Herne Bay Cemetery, or at one of the three Crematoria.

At St Mary’s, there is an open churchyard for burials - we have recently extended the churchyard and car park area thanks to the generosity of a local landowner.

There is a Garden of Remembrance for the burial of cremated remains at all three churches - popular and much-loved places within the churchyards. Those who have close contact with the church, or who are resident within the Benefice at the time of death, are eligible to be buried here. Please look out for special Bereavement Services during which the names of loved ones are specially commemorated. Those who have been bereaved recently will be individually invited to these events, but others are warmly welcomed too.

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