Get Involved

What do we do?

As a church community we are involved in so many valuable and worthy functions to support and care for so many people and we want to know how to contribute more. We seek God's Word and Will constantly to ensure we are walking with Him and working with His Blessing. In addition to serving the Christian community with the running of Sunday morning service, here's a flavour of the other things that we do to serve our God.

The Church

- Our church is a welcoming place for visitors to admire and for anyone who enjoys the space, peace and tranquility to spend time with God in prayer or just to be in His presence. The doors are usually open daily from 9am to 5pm, or until dusk in winter.

- Every Tuesday at 11am a small dedicated group meet up to pray together for the community of Needham Market, the Church, people we know who are ill or suffering on some way or other, and particularly for those whose names are put on our prayer board in the entrance to the church. We are encouraged by the amount of faith shown in people we don't know who ask us to pray for their loved ones.

- The church has a display of the Stations of the Cross in modern art painted by local artist Francis Hoyland. They can be used in a meditative way in prayer or peace.

- Tuesday Tots is aimed to meet the needs of very young children and their parents / carers - lots of fun to be had!

- We enjoy a small choir of singers to support the worship, and also a music group at the All Age Service the first Sunday of every month.

Pastoral Group

- After our Sunday Communion Service our pastoral team will go out with the blessed bread and wine and take communion to those members who are unable to come to church - this is well appreciated by those who miss being able to share worship and communion with their fellow Christians on a Sunday morning. This also gives the pastoral team the opportunity to see how these people are getting on and coping in their situations, so that, if necessary they can intervene and seek help and further support.

- Much of the pastoral work goes on quietly behind the scenes because of its confidential nature. People who are lonely, sick, housebound, or in any need will be visited by members of the pastoral group or other church members. If you know anyone who would benefit from this work please let one of the clergy know about them.

Children's Work

- For the children we have a Sunday Club which runs alongside the service and is specifically focused at giving the children their own attention, teaching them about Jesus, and including some songs, dance and other activities to show them what Jesus was and is about. They are also involved in dramas, prayers and monthly family services, and will often make things to show and give out to the congregation. We feel strongly that we should be growing this group as part of God's vision for St John's and if you would like your children, or yourself to be involved then please do come along and experience Sunday Club for yourself.

- Tuesday Tots runs every Tuesday during term time and is a group for preschool children and their parents. For more information see Mid-Week Groups.

Needham Market Mothers' Union

As a Christian mission charity, we seek to support families of all kinds. Wherever we work in the world the need to support families is greater than ever. In over 80 countries, 4 million members worldwide share a vision to bring a world where God's love is shown through loving, respectful and flourishing relationships. Throughout all our work, local and worldwide, prayer sustains and strengthens.

Needham Market members meet at 12 noon for lunch on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, we begin with prayer, joining with members wherever they may be, praying for the work of the Mothers' Union around the world and fellow members. This 'Wave of Prayer' goes around the world every day at midday. Members in this diocese are linked with MU members in Lake Malawi in Malawi, Byumba in Rwanda, Jalingo in Nigeria and Lucknow in India.

Members have supported families across the diocese in many ways, toiletries, underwear and small household goods have been donated to the Lighthouse Women's Refuge which supports victims of domestic abuse. We also gave funds to help buy Christmas gift vouchers and toys for those who were at the refuge at Christmas. Items have also been donated to a homeless centre in Ipswich. Members also help to fund the Away From It All (AFIA) Mothers' Union holiday scheme; which aims to help people who are experiencing stress in their family life. In 2017 St Edmundsbury & Ipswich Mothers' Union sent 5 families on much needed holidays.

We provided Mothering Sunday poises and Father's Day buttonhole, baptismal anniversary cards are send out on behalf of the church to all baptisms in St Johns. Couples getting married in church are send a card to wish them well as 'Mr & Mrs'.

During Advent we have several Travelling Cribs that two local schools share with their children and the church family.

Visitors and new members are always welcome.

Please contact Val Jeffreys for further details, tel 01449 721346 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The ARK

We have the asset and use of a modern refurbished church hall which we call The ARK.

The ARK has all mod cons which include modern central heating, up to date kitchen and toilet facilities. It also has a wooden floor which I'm told is great for dancing!

The ARK consists of a small meeting room in addition to the large hall, and together they can comfortably hold up to 80 people depending on the nature of the event. The layout was designed specifically so that both rooms have access to the kitchen, toilets and entrance so that you don't need to enter the other room if it's being used for another purpose. Having said that, usually the hall is hired for one purpose as logically you can't have a quiet meeting if there is a group of dancers or singers practising! The ARK is also suitable for people with disabilities.

Anyone can hire The ARK, and here are examples of some of the events being held here:

- Birthday Parties
- Wedding Reception
- Charity Meetings
- Music and Choral Groups
- Concerts / Musicals and Drama Events
- Anniversaries and Celebrations
- Dance Groups or Classes

The hire charge is £30 per session. The sessions are, Morning 9-1, Afternoon 2-6, Evening 7-11

For more information, availability or to hire The ARK, please call Paul & Sharon Barnard on 01449 721672

The Church Yard

- St Johns does not have a traditional church yard due to the location of the Parish Church - there isn't room on the High Street! The church burial ground is located a short distance away in Barretts Lane. Whilst this is in the jurisdiction of the Church and PCC it is seen by most residents as the town's burial ground, as there are no other burial facilities within the town. Financial assistance is kindly provided by the Town Council towards the maintenance and upkeep.

- Who to contact - Rev. Canon Diane Williams

Vision for the Church

- The congregation met to consider how our church could be more effective. We enjoyed several lively and passionate group discussions and we decided firstly that:

- When asked "What is the Church and what is it for", it is a community of people committed to faith in Jesus Christ. It exists to provide worship, witness, prayer, support and care for those in need, a place of refuge and peace. It is also an organisation which exists for the benefit of non-members.

- To become more focused on our mission, we would need to:

      ¤ Proclaim & teach the Good News of the Kingdom
      ¤ Teach, baptise and nurture mature Christians
      ¤ Respond to human need by loving service
      ¤ Seek to transform the unjust structures of society
      ¤ Strive to safeguard the integrity of creation & sustain & renew the life of the earth.

- In order to become a mission-oriented church we would need:

- 1. Prayer    2. Presence    3. Proclamation    4. Persuasion

- We would need to include these four aspects of mission into everything we do as a church.

- Re-ordering the Church
To help us in ministering to the town, we are planning to re-order the church to help make it a more suitable environment for worship and to enable a greater variety of functions to take place in the church. We are investigating ways to make the church physically more accessible by making the floor all one level, and we have upgraded the heating system to one that is more efficient to run and makes the church a comfortable temperature in the winter months! With these basics covered we are looking at how the layout of the church can be improved to make the space more flexible and to provide a more private area for prayer which everyone can use, as we have no chapel. The roof has now been repaired in 2018, and we will continue to raise funds and explore how the re-ordering can take shape.

Update 2018:

  1. Heating - done
  2. Roof repair - completed in 2018
  3. Leveling the floor - in discussion