Who we are

We are an energetic, outward and forward-looking Church of England congregation.  We use a modern Catholic liturgy based on an inclusive, liberal theology.  The parish is the largest in the Malvern deanery in terms of population, if not of surface area, and continues to grow steadily.

The community we serve

The churches of Malvern Link with Cowleigh have, since their establishment, embraced Catholic styles and traditions of teaching and worship.  Our involvement in the community has never stopped at the church door, and we seek ways to provide pastoral as well as spiritual support to the community at large.

There are currently five schools in the parish and we support them all, either corporately or as individuals, in a variety of ways ranging from school services and assemblies, membership in their governing bodies and voluntary support to extracurricular clubs and activities.

Belonging, not just inclusion

Here at Malvern Link with Cowleigh (MLWC) we’re members of Inclusive Church. In fact, I’d go as far to say that we’re proud members of Inclusive Church. However, we see inclusion not as a destination, but as a continual journey.

One of the joys of being one of the many churches in Malvern (of which the most famous is probably Malvern Priory) is that we are all diverse and there is a lot of on offer for people of different persuasions. However, as far as we know, we’re the only ones who are registered members of Inclusive Church. Now, this isn’t to say that the other Malvern churches aren’t inclusive – it’s just that for us, it is a key part of our identity. We’d probably put ourselves in the Liberal Modern Catholic part of the Church of England (meaning that we think that the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion are key parts of our Christian life together) and we would, as a church, remain committed on making the church a place for all.

I’d like to go one stage further though and argue that we need to move beyond inclusion, to belonging. Feeling included is great, but it’s not quite as a good as belonging. Belonging means that you’re home. Our aim at the moment is to find ways of being church during this current Covid-19 crisis – and more and more people in Malvern are watching our church services online. Yet our priority needs to be finding ways of not just connecting with those people, but helping them feel that they belong.

Maybe you’d like to join us on this journey?

Meet the team

Photo of Malvern Link with Cowleigh, St Matthias Church, Reverend Phillip Johnson

The Reverend Phillip Johnson

Ordained minister in the Church of England, formerly an actor, theatre director, teacher and movement analyst. Specialising in teamwork development and the organisation of space to foster creativity and idea generation. In church work I focus on communication issues and church growth strategies.

Sue Maxfield-Phillips

Anne Hancox

David Sims

Mark Cook

Richard Tandy

Eileen Tomlin

Mike Hancox

Sue Tandy

Debs Cook

Debs grew up locally and went to the Chase High School before going to London to train to be a speech and language therapist. She has since lived and worked, as either a therapist or a teacher, in Blackburn, Bristol and later Birmingham where she met her husband Mark.  They…

Peter Johnson

Barbara Johnson