After a series of discussions with the Staff Team, the PCC and others, we’re introducing some changes to our services – both to the monthly service pattern, and to some elements within the services themselves. As it happens, November and December both include a number of unusual seasonal services, so the new pattern won’t really begin to settle down until the new year, but one or two changes will emerge before then.
As far the new monthly service pattern goes, the main changes are these:
- Firstly, the 4.00pm Evensong and Communion will become a 6.30pm
Choral Evensong again. The reasons for this include the following:
- Standard Anglican liturgical practice is to keep them as separate services, rather than combine them, and I think there are good reasons for that. We hope to make Choral Evensong a real feature of our monthly worship.
- I think it’s helpful for the church and the wider community if we regularise our service times (to 8.30am, 10.15am and 6.30pm)
- having five services on one day (including baptisms) can create certain practical difficulties.
- Choral Evensong will normally be on the 1st Sunday evening of the month, with Communion on the 2nd Sunday evening. This will help to provide a balance between Communion and non-Communion services, since our All-age Service is on the 2nd Sunday.
- The 3rd and 4th Sundays will remain largely the same, although the regular evening service on the 4th Sunday will be Holy Communion and Healing, which many people are increasingly discovering to be of real benefit.
We’re also hoping to develop the 10.15am services in some specific ways, in order to enhance a sense of church family togetherness, to make it easier for newcomers to engage with worship, and to develop further our excellent music provision, traditional and contemporary:
- as a rule, the children will be with us in church for the start of our main morning service, before going to their own groups in the rooms behind, and then rejoining us at the end.
- as well as organ and choir, we’ll use the piano (and sometimes music group) for some newer songs that we sing (which by their very nature are written to be played on the piano, and sometimes other instruments). We hope to continue to build on the lovely blend of traditional and contemporary music that we have here.
- we’re intending also to re-do some of our service sheets, including providing a new series of Communion services for the different seasons of the Church calendar, as envisaged in Common Worship, the Church of England’s current liturgical provision.
- we will try to include baptisms in some morning services (All-age Worship and Morning Prayer) more often. It’s lovely for the church to be present when new members are welcomed in.
We hope very much that these things will continue to build up our worship, and give us an ever deeper sense of togetherness as we worship and serve God as his family here. We hope too that it will help our church to grow, as we draw in new people. Inevitably, it’s impossible to meet all our tastes and needs all the time, but I do very much hope that we’ll all find lots to stimulate our hearts and minds, to help us on our spiritual journey, and to make new discoveries and new pathways to God.
You’ll find details of the services, as ever, elsewhere in these pages. If you have any specific queries or comments, do please have a chat with me at any time.
Thank you – Richard