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3rd Aug 14

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Reverend Kevin Arkell

Kevin Arkell

Welcome to the Newport Minster website, which is divided into four sections. You will find information relating to the general joint operations on the tabs to the left. For more specific details relating to Newport Minster (Sts Thomas), Minster Friends or St John's click on the appropriate tab at the top left. The pages relating to the Minster Renewal Campaign can be accessed either by the tab to the left or via the Minster Friends tab.

Why does "Newport Parish" have two churches?

Newport Minster and St Johns are neighbouring parishes, sharing a Vicar, in the centre of Newport. This is known as a joint benefice. For most purposes, the two churches operate separately and have their own styles of worship and separate Parochial Church Councils to manage their business. (You can read more about each church within the specific details accessed by the tabs at the top left.)

Click on for fuller details about St John's Church.

An introduction to Newport Minster

What is a "Minster"?

The parish church of Saints Thomas, Newport, was designated a Minster at Easter 2008. This is an honorary title to reflect its important role in Island and civic life, signifying service not status.

Unlike today, the early church in the 7th century had no parishes but key sites where missionaries set up Christian communities as places of prayer, worship and preaching, called "monasterium" in Latin or "mynsters" in Old English. They could be any size and served the much larger region that surrounded the minster and from them other churches were founded. In due course some, like York Minster, became important Christian centres; others disappeared or were absorbed into the later parish system which developed in the 11th century.

Since the mid 1990s it was recognised that there were a number of large cities or urban areas in a distinct area of a diocese, served by a major church some distance from the cathedral. There can be only one cathedral in a diocese yet these churches often had a city-wide "cathedral" ministry, were used for important civic occasions and related to the whole city. The title of Minster was revived to mark this wider ministry and a number of new minster churches have been designated, mainly in the midlands and north of England originally, but gradually being extended to rural areas like the Isle of Wight, which also have a distinct area within a diocese but are separated from the cathedral geographically.

We hope you will be able to obtain any information you require from this site, but if you have problems or would like to know more, please contact us at the emails, telephone numbers or addresses given.

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