We are thrilled with the response to a new Café style service Church in the Lighthouse. It replaces the usual Sunday morning service and has been attracting 60-80 people of all ages including several new families.
The new format has now been run twice. Breakfast (coffee, tea, pastries, toast and fruit) is available from 10am. There is soft matting with toys at one side for small children. A warm welcome for everyone is seen as a priority.
The September service was on the theme of Creation and each table was asked to write out any questions they had. The service proper started about 10.30, with a lively song led by accordion accompanied by percussion instruments handed out to children. The creation story was shown as a video. Activities were then handed out to each table and music played while origami flowers, undersea collages and playdough animals were created.
After this, the Vicar and Curate, Paul and Phil, were grilled with the questions posed by each table. These ranged from “Why did God make wasps?” to serious and challenging questions (If God said it was good, why is it a mess now?). They were handled sensitively and with some banter (“Why do I get the tough ones?!” “Because I slipped him a tenner!”).
Sue Marshall, who was leading the service, then went through each day of creation. Torches were used for light, blue material raised high for sky, and the artistic creations displayed for the other days. Day 6 seemed a good time to stop for a thanksgiving for three children. Afterwards, restful worship music was played for day 7 before prayers, a final song and an Celtic blessing.
Feedback has been excellent: “I really enjoyed it”; “It had a lovely feel to it”; “A good mix of serous and relaxed”.
The services will continue on the first Sunday of each month until at least Easter, with a review in the new year.