Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rolling Worship

No, not a fresh expression in response to the rising number of overweight people. My old chum Andy Griffiths is launching a novel approach at his church in Chelmsford. The pattern for a Sunday morning has become a series of segments:

■ 9.30am-10am liturgical, usually choir-based worship, usually without a sermon.
■ 10am-10.30am. Coffee
■ 10.30am-11am will be the core. Here there will usually be teaching by sermon, video or a choice of different modules of teaching to allow for different learning styles, from a lecture
or a discussion to “messy church” opportunities to make things. The core will always be accessible for new and non-regular worshippers, who may feel unfamiliar with traditional worship. Once a month Communion will be celebrated in the core. Andy says: “The core is our
chance to get together as one church family.”
■ More coffee from 11am-11.30am leads to:
■ Band-based worship from 11.30am-12 noon. Andy adds: “The feel will be contemporary, the liturgy will be minimal, the welcome will be warm.”
■ Children will be catered for in a variety of ways right through a Sunday morning.

Full details here (click on the June 2010 issue - at time of writing the current one - and go to page 3). People can come when they want and go when they like. Looks like its the result of a serious consultation with the whole church, and is an interesting way of trying to be 'all together in one place' whilst catering for a variety of musical tastes, learning styles, and stages of faith.

I like the church tagline 'to live ordinary lives, gloriously'. I also like the quantities of coffee! Following some of the discussion about men in church a few days ago, I also note that you can be in this church for a 1 1/2 hr block on Sunday and not have to sing.


  1. Link for "full details" appears to be broken?

  2. Hi Dave, thanks for picking this up! One week in, everyone seems pretty positive about it - as you say, it came out of a quite massive (and very encouraging) consultation process. It's really not too unlike the way Orthodox churches work in eastern Europe - 3 hour services, but if you're a member you might come for your favourite bit near the beginning, go out and do some shopping (or have a cigarette, or chat to your mates in the town square), then come back for your favourite bit near the end. The only people who stay for the whole service are British tourists.

    Just when we didn't need it, our website got hacked about so it's not up and running, though the diocese of Chelmsford site is plugging the story well. And we have problems with mains drainage from potential portacabins you really don't want to picture...

    Best wishes from Galleywood,