United Benefice of Morton and Stonebroom with Shirland




 Benefice News

This page contains all the latest news for our Benefice and is updated at least once a month. If you want to the see news for one of our three churches, then please click on the links on the left-hand side of the page.


Benefice contact details

There will be no baptisms until further notice.

Wedding arrangements are by discussion with each individual church and will be in line with current guidelines. 

Funerals will be limited to 30 people in church. 

St Leonard's Church, Shirland

  • Baptisms - Rosemarie Pepler 01773 5205340
  • Weddings - Jill Wilkinson 01773 521797 / jillw22@sky.com
  • Funerals - Rev John Epton 01773 834153

St Peter's Church, Stonebroom

  • Baptisms - One of the church wardens 07581 683183 or 01773 590622
  • Weddings - Jill Wilkinson 01773 521797 / jillw22@sky.com
  • Funerals - Rev John Epton 01773 834153

Holy Cross Church, Morton

  • Baptisms - Margaret Hawkins 01246 863418
  • Weddings - Margaret Hawkins 01246 863418
  • Funerals - Rev John Epton 01773 834153

Who's Who 

Although we currently do not have a parish priest, we are very fortunate to have a team of retired clergy who take services at our three churches in the Benefice. The team are: 

Associate priests

  • Rev John Epton
  • Rev Chrissie Wood
  • Rev John Wood

Licensed Reader

  •  Margaret Cook. 

Each church also has two churchwardens, who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the church. Our churchwardens are: 

  • Holy Cross Church, Morton - Margaret Hawkins & Christine Clarke
  • St Peter's Church, Stonebroom - Kath Greenwood & Isobel Bawden
  • St Leonard's Church, Shirland - Rosemarie Pepler & David Marston



Letter from Bishop Libby dated 21st July 2020

 Although this Update is distributed in the morning, it is written and collated the day before. So, I’m writing mid-afternoon yesterday. I started the day, early, feeling quite energised. I’m now flagging, and I have another 5 hours of appointments to go. I’m not looking for sympathy, just recognising that, at the moment, no matter how well we start or how productive and constructive a day may be, almost always we run out of steam.

I re-iterate, therefore, my permission - my encouragement - my recommendation, that you pace emergence from lockdown slowly. This is especially true of return to public worship in our buildings. 

It may not be safe to do too much too soon, especially in contexts with more than one building in a parish, team or benefice where moving between buildings increases risk of cross-infection - or where delivery of public services puts pressure of expectation on clergy and Readers - some of whom are fit and healthy, and are willing and able to re-commence public ministry, but some of whom would rather not, yet. 

But even where it is safe, and ministers are available, going back to ‘normal’ will, in fact, be different and demanding, and what continues in the light of coronavirus is asking much of you when you are already very stretched. So, change the timing or regularity of public services in church buildings; try a pattern that is more likely to be sustainable for the next few months; review expectations and need regularly – and it’s OK to try something and then change it. Do less, but do it well. 

And if you get to the end of the day, or the week, all too conscious of what still has not been done and what has not worked well – take heart. We are all feeling like that, at least sometimes. And God is gracious – somehow the Holy Spirit will continue to touch and transform. All shall be well. 

Be assured of my continuing prayers. 

+Libby 









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