Newport United Reformed Church ………

…….. is the smaller partner in the pastorate of Saffron Walden, Abbey Lane and Newport. Small in number maybe but there was nothing small about the welcome, nor about the sense of God’s presence, nor about the vision for this church’s contribution to the pastorate and the community.

There was nothing small about the lunch we shared


I had been invited to lead morning worship as part of my focus on small churches. The congregation of ten people sat in a circle and we shared together in the worship. Possibly all of that sounds fairly routine and in one sense that is true but like all the churches I visit this one had a unique story to tell.

The current church building is one half of a bungalow. Some years ago they sold their large traditional church building and purchased the current building, converting half into the church and letting the other half as a residential property. The ‘church’ part of the premises provides a lovely bright flexible space for worship, for social events and the hope is that it can be developed as a centre for day retreats. It is already used by the whole pastorate for events such as Elders Days.

A recent initiative has been the development of a garden at the rear but open as a quiet space for anyone to use – a prayer leaflet has been written and there are plans to write a leaflet for a Prayer Walk around the village. What an inspiration it is to find faithful Christians creatively using the resources which God has given them to draw others to him.

Mosaics illustrate a prayer in one corner of the garden

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