Launch of the Sunday 09:15 service

Its nine o’clock – open those doors – and new faces start walking through straightaway. ‘Welcome, welcome, would you like a bacon butty?’ Of course they would, plus a coffee or a fruit juice. Janet, Joy, Jean, Sue and Kathryn are all busy keeping those refreshments flowing whilst saying ‘Hello!’ to one and all.

Everyone gets a seat, but only just, when Andrew kicks the service off at 0915. The first song says it all: ‘All are welcome! All are welcome in this place!’

Being Father’s Day, the theme is ‘What makes a perfect Dad?’ To help everyone say something on this question there were different activities set out on different tables and people could join in for as much or as little as they wanted. ‘Superman!’ – or at least a cardboard cut-out Superman – received everyone’s ideas on post-it notes. Other people were designing, colouring and making book-marks, playing Lego, quizzing dads – there was noise and laughter everywhere.

A video illustrated the bible reading. Then the Audio-Visual equipment had a tantrum and refused to work. Despite that Andrew brought us all together at the end with the final hymn.

We got through this initial 0915@St Thomas service. It appeared to go very well. Feedback was very good from the thirty or so new faces who came. Now we have to ponder what worked well and what needs further work, we need to learn lessons and start planning for the next 0915@St Thomas service that will take place on 9th September. The outline theme for this service is ‘New Beginnings’.

Do you want to get involved and support the 0915 services? Perhaps you have a skill or craft that could be made part of a future service? Then come along to the Support Group that meet with the Vicar at 0915 each Sunday morning – it’s fun and the more the merrier!

New Worship Community

Over the past eight months there has been a series of meetings, workshops and sessions to get to grips with the Parish’s aspiration for a new and additional form of worship. The aim is for one that will be attractive to a congregation new to St Thomas and, in particular, works well for young families. These discussions have embraced who we are aiming at, what elements we need to include, for example the welcome we give to each person, and, given we are all different, how do we make sure parts of the new service work for everyone i.e. a mix of different activities. All this discussion is now being moulded by the Vicar into a firm proposal to put before the PCC. The goal for the new worshipping experience is for it to be fun, flexible, and informal.

The proposal to the PCC will also clarify any accompanying changes to the existing Parish Eucharist service so that Sunday morning works well for everyone.

Put the 24th January in your diaries – this is the date of the next PCC meeting where the proposal will be debated and voted on. All are welcome.

If the PCC approves then we will all need to gear up to launch the new Worshipping Community in the next couple of months. Please think if you can help or support in any way. If so please talk to the Vicar or the Churchwardens.

And don’t forget to include this new venture in your prayers – it could be the start of something exciting!