This is your church
The parish of St Paul's goes along the Coggeshall Road, down the A120 to Fowlers Farm roundabout, along the railway line just past Freeport, then up Mill Hill to Railway Street.
Every person who lives within the parish is a parishioner. Your parishioner status is unaffected by whether or not you come to church, or what religion you follow, if any. Being a parishioner means you have a legal relationship with the church, and we have a legal responsibility for you too.
The ancient term for this responsibility is 'the cure of souls', which is where you get the word 'curate' from. 'Cure' means the same as 'care', and 'soul' just means person. At the last census count in 2011, there were 9000 souls in the parish of St Paul's.
Having the cure of souls for the parish means we have a duty to
- pray - for individuals where needs are known, and for the parish as a whole
- help you mark important rites of passage in your life, in christenings, weddings, and funerals
- provide public worship, principally on Sunday, but throughout the week too
- visit you if you request it. If anyone is feeling isolated at home or in hospital, we'd like to know!
- work for the spiritual, mental, emotional and social well-being of the community in whatever way we can
From the 2011 census, we know the following facts about the parish:
- 28% of the houses with children in the parish have a lone parent in them. To support them, we run a parents and toddlers group, and have plenty of child-friendly events and activities.
- 30% of households are one person. This is why we have community-building events, like coffee morning, Soup and Something and Messy Church.
- There is a higher than average score on the Deprivation Index, which is used to measure poverty nationally. This is why we don't do fundraising, and why all our events are either free, or have only a nominal charge.
Further information about the parish is available here, in the 'parish spotlight'.
So do please make use of us in whatever way works for you. We are here to serve you!