Something new in our Benefice!
What would a church service need to be like for you to want to come? Quiet and reflective; just as it was when you were growing up; informal and fun; interesting; relevant; formal and structured; choir led; led by a music group; Bible based; great for children; predictable; unpredictable; powerful; Spirit led? A service that contained all the above and left everyone happy would be perfect. Just in case you’re looking for that perfect church remember what the great church minister Charles Spurgeon once said; “The day we find the perfect church, it becomes imperfect the moment we join it.”
Nicky Gumbel, the Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London, and beautiful inspirer of faith reminds us what church is really all about; ”Church is not an organisation you join; it is a family where you belong, a home where you are loved, and a hospital where you find healing." No matter the style of worship, that’s the kind of church I want to be a part of and aspire to lead!
Our churches are not perfect, but I am certain you will find beautiful worship often led by our wonderful Benefice choir, a genuine welcome, the familiarity of the Anglican Service, space to think, relevant Bible teaching, and a real sense of community. We believe what we do is lovely, but we do recognise what we love is of a certain style and not everyone enjoys the same style. With this in mind, our combined churches have committed to developing a ‘younger’ element to our worship in terms of age range and worship experience. We started with Messy Church in Roger de Clare School back in April 2015, and now feel ready for Messy Church to evolve into ‘St. Mary’s at the School.’ This will take place at Roger de Clare School from 4.45-6pm on Sunday’s in the same time slot Messy Church filled, but be aimed at a much broader audience. The worship will be very informal in style; a contemporary music style with up to date christian music; our amazing Messy Church style children’s ministry will be central where our children engage with the Bible theme through many different activities; being joined by and sharing this experience with their parents/family after the adults have had the space, if they wish, to interact with a 15 minute talk aimed at inspiring their faith. Those who come without children will have the opportunity to discuss the talk and encourage one another in the space that follows. Why not come and give it a go? Our first Sunday is 4th September at 4.45pm starting with our usual refreshments and cake. Just come. (Although Sunday afternoon is something new for our churches, it is still part of our one church programme. With this in mind, every fourth Sunday of the month (25th Sept), 'St. Mary’s at the School’ will join the 10.45am service at St. Mary’s Church with NO Sunday afternoon service that day. Messy Church activities will take place as per usual as we bring two parts of our church community together. This is all very exciting as we all move forward together.)
Let me finish by referring back to the Nicky Gumbel quote I started with. Most of us don’t need another organisation to join but a family to belong to. A place that makes a difference, where finding Jesus helps us make sense of the challenges we all face in this life. That’s the church I go to. Come and join us.
Alan Comfort - Rector