OUR SUNDAY GATHERINGS
We gather together on Sunday mornings. Normally we meet in the Chapel but on the first Sunday in each month we meet virtually via Zoom enabling a wider group to share with us.
Our Sunday gatherings start at “10:20 for10:30am”. This means we gather quietly in the Chapel from 10:20 so we are ready to begin at 10:30.
These gatherings are led or compered by members of the congregation or friends and can take many varied forms.
- Some weeks it will look like an echo of the traditional non-conformist “hymn-prayer sandwich” with singing, bible and other readings and payers and comment on the readings, but we care a great deal about inclusivity of wording and thoughtfulness of content.
- On other occasions we use a more meditative style with readings, music and reflection providing space for our own thoughts and prayers.
- We also from time to time experiment with more participatory ways of reflection – we have had sketches, discussions
- The 4th Sunday of each month is focused on the members and regular attenders: we share a simple, short communion service, to which all attending are welcome to join in, which begins our our members business meeting forms a large part of our gathering – whilst we don’t exclude observers, we would suggest this is not the Sunday to attend for the first time! Afterwards we share a simple lunch together to continue our discussions, thinking and fellowdhip in an informal manner.
The atmosphere is informal and relaxed and many members of the church actively participate.
Our meeting together is usually focused around a set of biblical passages (we use the Revised Common Lectionary) to which we respond in various ways. Sometimes someone will research the scholarship and give us background and setting. On other occasions we allow ourselves to simply react with what is written and maybe engage in dialogue with the words presented in the light of our own experiences and concerns and the interpretations we have found helpful or unhelpful.
Sharing refreshments is as important as any other part of our time together; we value the opportunity to talk and catch up. It is also a great opportunity to get to know any new faces!
Children of all ages are welcome in the service. They generally leave part way through to follow their own Junior Church classes, but occasionally remain and join in the whole service or re-join us at the end to share what they have been doing.
If you are new to us there is more about what to expect here.
During the Covid lockdowns we moved our gatherings on-line using Zoom. We discovered that this form of Gathering had its own benefits and allowed us to evolve different ways of meeting together – not least it enabled us to connect regularly with a wider group of friends. Therefore, we decided to maintain this form of Gathering on a monthly basis – on the first Sunday of the month we meet on-line and not in the Chapel.
We gather from about 10:20 and usually chat amongst ourselves as we arrive. The official start is at 10:30 when we usually begin by “going round the boxes” for 10 minutes or so, and each say a sentence or two about how we are getting on or what have been doing. We will usually then have a short piece of music to provide space to settle into the worship. The worship is usually structured and led by one of us with readings, prayers, reflections and pictures centred around the bible readings for the day. This lasts 30-45mins. After saying the grace together we may continue with discussion or chat for another few minutes until someone decides it is time to put the kettle on.
We send out an invitation to our eGatherings on the Friday or Saturday before to those who have asked to be invited. Contact us if you wish to be added to that list.