Members of the churches in the Teme Valley South team are planning a new way of ‘doing church’ – by going for a walk! On a Sunday afternoon, starting on 15 March, a group will meet at Hanley Childe church and walk through the countryside of the Teme Valley, stopping for bible reading and prayer along the way.

Walks will vary in length, with the first one on 15 March being around a mile. All are welcome to join the group. It is an opportunity to think about God outdoors as well as engage in conversation, friendship and the wonder of creation. The planning group have taken a quote from environmentalist John Muir as their inspiration:

“I’d rather be in the mountains thinking of God, than in church thinking about the mountains.”

The Revd Julia Curtis, Priest in Charge of Teme Valley South said: “Walking church will be an exciting new way of doing ‘church’ here in the Teme Valley. There is a real sense of God being active in creation in this place, so where better to explore spirituality together outside of our ancient buildings.”

Jen Jones, resident of Eastham and part of the planning group said, “There are many wonderful sights and sounds to enjoy in the natural world. I’m looking forward to celebrating God's amazing creations with blessings and prayers as we walk together across the beautiful landscape of Teme Valley South”

Retired priest also on the planning group, Robert Barlow, said: “Reading the gospels you see that Jesus and His disciples spent much of their time outdoors. The early disciples were called followers of ‘The Way’. We’re introducing something that’s already been tried and tested in other parts of the country. All are welcome and we hope this is helpful who find the other services provided don’t work for them.”

The first Walking Church will be on Sunday 15 March at 2 pm. The group will meet at Hanley Childe Church, WR15 8QY, and the walk will be just under a mile. More information is available from the Facebook group “Teme Valley Walking Church” or by email from temevalleywalkingchurch@protonmail.com