Curate and rector
Beacon of Light
Church for all
At Saint Stephen’s belonging is very important. God is community, and Jesus lived his life within groups of family, friends and followers. There is a whole range of beliefs within the church, but we all belong to the family of Saint Stephen’s.
When we belong we have a sense of being in the right place, we are rooted well. Roots both nourish the plant and hold the soil together, and that's what belonging means - being included in the heart of the church family. As we gather as a family our friendships deepen, we become more aware of God's love in us and between us, and we grow. We are formed into the people God intends us to be - living life to the full. And this is evident in our showing the fruit of God's Spirit in us: love, joy, peace, kindness, compassion, generosity and hospitality. This is good news for ourselves, our community, and the world.
An inclusive church!
* DISABLED ACCESS * DEMENTIA FRIENDLY * LGBT+ WELCOMED * OPEN CHURCH NETWORK* BEHAVIOUR STATEMENT *
ALL ARE WELCOME! PLEASE MAKE THE RECTOR, CURATE OR A CHURCH WARDEN AWARE OF YOUR NEEDS
Saint Stephen’s is an Inclusive Church, which means that we welcome everyone with open arms as representing the rich tapestry of life in the United Kingdom and the wider world. We believe that we are all made and loved by God in all God’s wonder and creativity - God the author of love.
You do not need to have any church background to join us at church services – all are welcome: regular churchgoers, occasional visitors, people who find something in church that they can’t find anywhere else, or if you just want to find out what it’s like: all are welcome.
Full disabled access is provided on both the Lansdown Road and Richmond Road sides of the church. Disabled toilet facilities and a wheelchair ramp are also available. A hearing aid loop can be accessed on the pulpit side of the church (hearing aid set to the 'T' position).
The church is dementia friendly and is registered with Dementia Friends, an initiative of the Alzheimer's Society. Signage and security notices, both in the church and The Centre, have been voluntarily improved enabling us to be dementia friendly and the PUSH/PULL signs have been welcomed by all.
This warm welcome is fully extended to LGBT+ folk and we are looking forward to the day when LGBT couples can have their relationships celebrated and blessed in church. Meanwhile, all are welcome, all are loved, all good love is embraced with joy. We know that there are a whole range of opinions and attitudes within the Anglican Church. But given that there is such a diversity of thought on issues around sex and identity, and of interpretation of scripture, we feel it’s right to err on the side of inclusion. Jesus spent time with those on the outside, and brought them into the centre of the Kingdom by loving and including. That’s good enough for us.
We also try to keep our language as inclusive as possible. How we refer to God is important, and where possible we try to find gender-neutral expressions.
We are pleased to be one of the first churches to belong to the Open Church Network, an initiative of the Oasis Foundation.
Saint Stephen's Parochial Church Council (PCC) has discussed and adopted a Behaviour Statement of Intent taken from that of the Diocese of Bath and Wells, which states and exemplifies appropriate behaviour for the church in its commitment to inclusion. You can read this statement by clicking on the link below.
"How we love others is how we love God."
St Stephen’s Church is situated on the fork of Lansdown Road and Richmond Road on the northern slopes of Bath. Access to the St Stephen’s Church Centre (under the church) is via Lansdown Road.
Walking: It takes about 15 minutes to walk (good for the legs and lungs) up the main route. There are more scenic meandering routes taking in the Assembly Rooms, and St James’s Square and Lansdown Crescent, allow an extra ten minutes.
Bus: The church is served by the Lansdown Park and Ride, 31 which stops outside the church.
Car: There is usually space in the 4-hour parking bays around the church. There are other roads around which have no restrictions.
Cycling: It’s a good schlep up, and great fun going down. You can often see the Rector grinding his way up the hill. His motto is ‘No Heroics’. Very wise!
people you will meet at st stephen's
revd philip hawthorn rector
Philip has been at Saint Stephen’s for six years. This is his first job as a rector. Before that he was a writer, director and presenter in various media, mostly for BBC Radio and Television. He is, amongst other things, husband to Lizzie, father to Ellie, Billy, Peter, Annie and Ted, cyclist, breadmaker, grower, scribbler and sketcher, henkeeper and supporter of the best football club in the world. (He was born in Watford.)
revd debbie pow curate
A rare species – curate, farmer’s wife, mother … noted for being vertically challenged but high on agricultural anecdotes. Happiest nurturing things: people, plants, animals – and creating: with food, fabric or a hammer and nails. Smitten with Jesus - and husband Will (a wonderfully long-suffering and patient species) she’s proud mum to their three grown up daughters, Jess, Ceci, and Maddie.
Judy Palmer Churchwarden
Judy is sharing the role of second warden with Mary. She has been a Maths teacher all her life and her last position was at the Royal school. She enjoys singing in the Church choir, a game of bridge and playing the ukulele. She is mother to Debbie (not the curate) and Rebecca, and grandmother to three lovely grandsons.
Mike King Churchwarden
Mary Greenwood Churchwarden
Mary is in her second stint as churchwarden at Saint Stephen's. She is married to John and, together, they are both in many ways the hospitable face of the church. Mary is an expert juggler, warden duties and amazing grandma to her wonderful grandchildren.
buildings and gardens
Our team that oversees building and garden work does a wonderful job in making the church and its grounds a place the community can be proud of. There are regular working parties to clear, tidy, plant and dream. These are on Saturday mornings, and cake is obligatory. Under the leadership of Bob Carlton-Porter, and with the enthusiasm of Christian Duckworth, Mike King, Di Morgan, Ian Willis, Karl and Luke Stringer and Rick Meopham, the team has secured a steady stream of awards in Bath in Bloom and South-West in Bloom.
Help is always welcome!