Serving our Community

For further information about any of these activities please contact us

Members of our congregations and clergy are involved in serving the  community in a wide variety of ways, whether volunteering with church projects or in partnership with  organisations and schools serving our area.

All volunteers for activities including children or vulnerable adults have appropriate DBS certification and have completed the Diocesan training  for Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults.


Nursing Homes

The pastoral and spiritual care of those who are resident in local care homes is valuable and important ministry.  We take seasonal services in many of the care homes of South West Ipswich, and provide visits and communion on an “as requested” basis, delivered by both clergy and by volunteer members of the pastoral teams of the three churches.

Schools Ministry

We have 5 primary schools, 2 secondary  schools, a sixth form school  and 2 special needs schools within the parish.  Members of clergy and congregational volunteers are involved in school life in various ways – through governance, reading support, assemblies and seasonal services,  activities in the churches as part of the RE curriculum, and  after-school clubs.

Tots & Toast

A breakfast club for new mums and a safe play space for infants and toddlers. A place to share experiences, make friends, and enjoy toast and tea (toast and juice or water for the children too).

  • Tuesday 9.00-11.00am in St Peters Church
  • Wednesdays 9.00-10.30am in St Francis Church hall

Hawthorn Seniors & St Francis Lunch Club

St Francis Lunch Club gathers each Thursday (not during August) and provides social space, companionship and activities for up to 25 pensioners, including a home cooked lunch.  We occasionally enjoy lunch in the pub, or a day trip out for a change of scenery.  10.30am-3.30pm, Lunch 12.30-1.30pm

ActivLives Active Hub at St Mary’s

Working in partnership, St Mary’s and ActivLives offer activities on a Tuesday in St Marys Church hall. Chair based exercise from 10.30am, 2 course lunch around 12.00pm and gentle exercise & social activities in the afternoon, finishing around 2.30pm.

For further information please contact Lindsay Bennett, ActivAgeing Manager on Ipswich 345350 or Church Co-ordinator Anita Bimpson via the parish office 

Ipswich Winter Night Shelter

St Mary at Stoke has been one of the  7 host churches for Ipswich Winter Night Shelter since its beginning.  Volunteers for the Night Shelter come from across the team, and from churches around Ipswich and together we provide hospitality, support  and friendship for up to 12 homeless people each night for the coldest 3 months of the year.

Refugee Support

Bishop Martin visits to bless the first convoy to Dunkirk

In October and November 2015 and in May 2016, a team of volunteers from the across the parish churches have taken much needed supplies to some of our world’s most vulnerable residents in the refugee camps around Dunkirk.  The initial collection throughout August and September turned into one of the largest humanitarian responses in the county to the crisis unfolding on our news screens, supported by churches of all denominations and non-religious organisations and schools throughout the Diocese. Whilst we are no longer collecting goods and not planning another trip at the moment, we continue to support the organisations working in and around the refugee camps of Northern Europe, and to support the refugees and asylum seekers within our local community.

FIND (Families IN Need)

Families IN Need helps those living in Ipswich and surrounding areas that are deprived of a minimum standard of living, be they single, families, lone parents, children, elderly, sick, disabled or homeless.  FIND’s focus is on providing emergency aid – regardless of age, gender or creed. Our Christian stance is – “everyone is family”. (from the FIND website)

Drop-off points for donations to FIND foodbank are located in all three churches, and we have regular larger scale collections of both goods and money to support the work undertaken.

Other Community Organisations

Members of our congregations regularly support the work of other Ipswich organisations meeting the needs of the vulnerable within our town and parish – West Villa Homeless Families Unit, Iceni Ipswich,  Al-Anon, & the Soup Kitchen  to name a few.  We pray regularly for Hope into Action (providing housing for the homeless) and for the Town Pastors.