All in Together Picture

3rd Sunday Service - 'All in Together'

Since autumn 2014, we have worshipped together on third Sundays as a whole Church family, with children, young people and adults ‘all in together’. People of all ages have participated in the various ‘lay’ aspects of the service, from readings and intercessions to welcoming and serving refreshments. I think it is still very much a learning process, and it is never easy to get the balance right, so that there really is nourishment and good quality worship for everyone.

We follow our usual service books, as we want to encourage our children to become familiar with and to engage with the liturgy. We now have a few copies of the book ‘Sing, Pray, Worship’ which contain the main sections of the service, and which parents can use to help and support younger children. Lively and interactive opening of the Word during the address seems to have gone down well with the majority of the congregation, and it is lovely to see adults and children all being thoughtful and contributing to this. Bringing a small Communion table forward for the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, and encouraging those who would like to do so to use the Chancel pews, has made it possible for all ages to experience the preparation of the Lord’s Table closer at hand.

I am very grateful to all who help with the planning and preparation that goes into these services, and to everyone who has participated. It was a particular delight to have the special service of First Communion at the 9.30 service in November, and people were very moved to see the four children process out carrying their lit baptism candles. Just as we had shared in their services of baptism, so we, their Church family, held them in prayer as they took the next step on their Christian journey. And that is really what this 3rd Sunday service is about: being a Christian family. I think there is still much to learn, and no doubt we will make mistakes along the way, but I have found it very heartening that so many people think it is worth the effort : families always work best when there is give and take, after all!

Chris Walker
Young People's Co-ordinator and Reader