Two of our residents


Here in the Upper Kennet Valley we have a wonderful sense of community and we like to ensure that no one is left out. Whether they are at the end of their life, fallen on hard times or just want to give a little back to our community and its natural and historic setting.

Harbour Project

The Harbour Project exists to provide welcome, support and safety for asylum seekers and refugees in Swindon. Staff and Volunteers, including a number from our Benefice, providing an ever-increasing range of services to meet the needs of the clients. Some of these include: 

Drop-in centre: every weekday welcomes up to 80 visitors, who come for information, advice, support, social contact and English classes. Classes: art, cookery, computer and English language. Trips: The staff and volunteers organise trips to cultural events and destinations, both around Swindon and further afield.  A dedicated office provides support not only to visitors and volunteers, but to a wide range of individuals and organisations from Swindon and beyond, who are looking for information, help or a pointer in the right direction.  Film nights promote social inclusion as well as English language skills. 

The Upper Kennet Benefice welcomes the clients and staff of the project at various events throughout the year.

Please visit YouTube, for a video presentation, or their Website  to find out more about their work.

Marlborough Downs Space for Nature

A number of our farmers are involved in promoting a SPACE FOR NATURE – to find out more read on…

‘As farmers we know that everything we do in our working lives has an impact on the environment. On the Marlborough Downs, we have for many years responded with enthusiasm to the chance to support biodiversity and landscape features on our farms through the various Stewardship Schemes. In spite of this we continued to see our wild plants and mammals, birds and insects dwindle and become more and more restricted to isolated areas.

Then in 2012 a group of Marlborough Downs farmers started to work together, inspired by a Government initiative to improve nature conservation in the countryside on a big scale. Of the 12 pilot Nature Improvement Areas created at the time, ours was the only one led by farmers.’

Inclusive Church

Inclusive Church is a group of Christians uniting together around a statement of belief:

“We believe in inclusive Church – church which does not discriminate, on any level, on grounds of economic power, gender, mental health, physical ability, race or sexuality.  We believe in Church which welcomes and serves all people in the name of Jesus Christ; which is scripturally faithful; which seeks to proclaim the Gospel afresh for each generation; and which, in the power of the Holy Spirit, allows all people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Jesus Christ.”

Avebury PCC and Church has adopted the sign of the Rainbow and the fish as a sign of commitment to this and welcomes all people, all faiths and none. 

Prospect Hospice

Prospect Hospice offers unparalleled end-of-life care services for a community of more than 300,000 people in Swindon, Marlborough and north Wiltshire. Their vision is for excellent, personalised and compassionate care for everyone affected by a life-limiting illness. The Upper Kennet Benefice is very grateful for the provision made for members of the community and actively supports fundraising activities across all of our churches.

Trussell Trust

The Trussell Trust partners with local communities to help stop UK hunger.
The Benefice actively supports this organisation through regular collections including weekly food collections at Avebury and Broad Hinton Church.

Thirteen million people live below the poverty line in the UK, with individuals going hungry every day for a range of reasons, from benefit delays to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income.

The Trussell Trust’s network of over 420 foodbanks operate out of more than 1,200 centres across the UK and  provide a minimum of three days’ emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis. In 2017/18, we gave 1,332,952 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis.

We recognise that stopping hunger is about More Than Food, which is why we’re working with foodbanks to provide a range of new services like money advice and Fuel Banks, helping people to break the cycle of poverty

Winter Crisis Appeal Fund

Some years ago the Upper Kennet Churches launched a Winter Crisis Appeal Fund to help those who were experiencing short term financial problems.

Do you need help?
If you: live in one of the Upper Kennet Parishes;
are worried about where the next meal is coming from; have to choose between heating and eating or are facing a sudden financial emergency…

We might be able to assist with a week’s food supply, or fuel support or to access general advice.

Contact Rev’d Maria Shepherdson on 01672 539643, or a licenced parochial assistant on 01672 861786. Your call will be treated in total

You do not have to be a worshipping member of our congregation.

National Trust

Ancient stone circle, museum and manor house in the heart of the Avebury World Heritage Site. All this and a thriving village as well, as you can imagine living and worshipping in the middle of a stone circle presents some unique challenges. As such we work closely with the National Trust in our day to day activities.

There are plenty of ways for us to be involved with their work and ensure that the unique world heritage site continues to be preserved for ever, for everyone.

UNESCO World Heritage

Stonehenge and Avebury were inscribed together on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 1986. The Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites World Heritage Site was one of the UK’s very first World Heritage Sites.

Stonehenge and Avebury gained their place on the World Heritage Site list for their outstanding prehistoric monuments dating back over 5000 years to the Neolithic and Bronze Age.  Stonehenge is the most famous and sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world.  At Avebury the massive banks and ditches of the henge enclose the largest. Avebury henge is so large that the village nestles comfortably inside the banks and ditches. Both stone circles lie at the heart of  prehistoric landscapes containing numerous impressive and amazingly well-preserved ceremonial monuments.

Both Stonehenge and Avebury have  Steering Committees made up of representatives of the World Heritage Site partners.These Committees meet two or three times a year. In March 2014 the Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Coordination Unit was formed.  This is based at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham.  A number of joint World Heritage Site projects have been completed or are ongoing such as: WHS Condition Survey (2010), WHS Woodland Strategy (2015), Draft WHS Research Framework (2015), Stonehenge and Avebury WHS website (2013), Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Climate Change Risk Assessment (2014) and the Megalithnewsletter.