28 September 2008
St Luke's Church in Redditch is running a completely different service at the The Memorial Hall on Sunday mornings. It's run at the same time as the traditional communion (in the main church), but is about as different as you can get. This is the second official service (although there was a pilot service some time ago). This is the first time I have been along.
The idea behind the service is to make church more welcoming to those that don't go to traditional services and particularly for families with young children. Although most churches do have an area set aside for children, and are welcoming of families, not many young families do go to church. The Church Cafe is a new idea allowing families to worship together.
The service started at about 10:30. I was surprised by how many had turned up, the hall was almost completely full. Coffee, Tea and Biscuits were served at the start of the service. There was a short introduction to the service and hymns (modern and contemporary songs). Then the young children went off to a smaller room for a story and arts (painting / play-do). The adults stayed in the main hall to watch a DVD showing a different way of thinking about religion and then discussed the DVD in small groups. The DVD was very different to listening to a traditional sermon. I was a little uncertain about the group discussion at first, but it was quite thought provoking.
After some short prayers we were then joined by the children for another hymn. On this occasion it was "Back to Church Sunday" and it was followed by some entertainment (including some magic) and a BBQ. The service lasted for about an hour.
The services are set to continue on each Sunday starting from 10:30am. Well worth attending especially if you've been put off from going to church because of young children. They will probably enjoy the service more than you do! If you don't have a similar service in your area then try a traditional service at your local church, you are sure to have a warm welcome.Church service in the news (St Luke's Cafe Stop).