Thursday 30th March
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The wider view

Tim FergussonThree years ago, the church in which I minister stopped meeting all together on one Sunday in each month. It was a 23% cut in our worship provision. It wasn't a cost-saving measure as if austerity had taken over the treasurer, but a mission initiative. Because our church meets in a school which is itself in a suburb that has no centre or gathering point, we found ourselves to be invisible within the community. So we decided to scrap our worship service on the second Sunday of each month and meet instead in a wide range of relational groups that aim to meet the people around us. A couple of groups meet in park pavilions and put on games, crafts and refreshments for families; a couple more lead acts of worship in care homes. Two groups meet in cafes, one on the allotments, one in a social club. Some simply meet in homes and invite immediate neighbours for Brunch. One group prayer walks, one paints fences and picks litter in conjunction with the Council. Each month we engage with perhaps 140 people we wouldn't otherwise meet, and outreach has become part of the DNA of the church, not least because all this happens on a Sunday and so participation among church members is very high.


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