Today’s theme was Building Community and a good crowd braved the snowy conditions to hear about what the church and other village groups were doing to maintain the high standards we had set ourselves. Now was no time to take for granted the two Community Spirit Awards the village had won and Dr Jo Smith talked about the work of the Parish Council to include everyone in village activities. After a quiz on village facts many spoke warmly of their welcome to the village and things that had happened to make them appreciate the warmth of friends and feel a sense of community. The coffee and cake flowed and the children drew pictures of village houses that were strung together to make a street scene. Then many went outside to play in the snow and after a raucous snowball fight some of the children built a snowman in the churchyard.
The Cafe Church Team were very touched by gifts of chocolates and a personalised comments book that were given to them to say ‘thank you’. A card filled with messages was also given to the team and they thank everyone for the wonderful comments they wrote in it.
On Saturday 4th November we held a Cafe Church course in St Bart’s from 10.30am to 1.30pm. Due to the success of our Cafe Church, we wanted to share what we do with other churches in the Diocese who maybe struggling with decreasing congregations or looking at “Fresh Expressions of Worship”. Every church in the Diocese was invited and we were pleased to welcome 17 delegates representing 10 churches from as far away as Meols on the Wirral and Macclesfield, plus more closer to home from Crewe and Sandbach. We also had the Diocesan Mission officer in attendance. It was the first use of our new projector which worked brilliantly!
The course program included:
- What is Cafe Church
- What we do in St Bart’s, why and how we started and where we going in the future
- We actual held a full Cafe Church Service base on ‘God Welcomes Allsorts’
- Hint and tips
- Closing prayer
Oh! and lots of our delicious Cake and Coffees plus a Hot Pot lunch followed by Apple crumble and custard. So thanks to the 4 ladies from the congregation who helped with this.
One lady wrote back to us as follows:-
Dear Tim and Team
Thank you for the time yesterday at Café Church.
It was inspirational and good to see it in practice.
It is definitely something we at All Saints’ Crewe will be praying about and considering how to go forward.
Cafe Church November 2017
Today we discussed the colour of prayer and how colours can inspire prayer. There was a really difficult quiz on tghe meaning of each colour as stated in the bible. We finished with prayers for the World today, with all the disquiet and anguish that is currently familiar. The children made good use of all the colours available on their table, to colour crosswords, treasure boxes and pictures, which they took home with them afterwards.
On the ‘Good News’ side we were especially pleased to have Jes and Tom with us, who are getting married at St Bart’s on New Year’s Eve. We prayed for them to successfully prepare for their wedding and to have a blessed marriage to follow.
Cafe Church 8th October 2017
Cafe Church 2nd Anniversary, Foundations.
Today our subject was ‘foundations’, what they are, where we get them from and how we use them. We had our largest congregation of children and they used straws and sellotape to build the largest structures they could and these were finally all put together to make a tower. In our prayers we remembered all those suffering in the West Indies from the hurricanes, the earthquake victims of Mexico and the people of the Korean Peninsula. As the photograph shows, we finished with ‘Stand by Me’, accompanied by tambourines, by Ben E King.
Cafe Church 13th August 2017
Our Patronal Festival was moved to the 13th August to coincide with the Armenian church’s celebration of the saints life, Armenia being where he was martyred. After a short quiz on what we know of this disciple, there was a summary of his life that provided all the answers. We went on to say his prayer of blessing and all the cakes and desserts provided were Armenian delicacies, which included Tahini cakes, figs and dates with a maple honey drizzle, Susam Anoush, Marlenka and Mhallabiet. We went on to talk of ‘blessings’ and some contributed to our discussion by naming the blessings they experienced. Our readings and hymns were all joyful and we hope the saint would have approved of this unusual tribute to his life and work. We were especially delighted to be joined actors Sylvester McCoy and Robert Picardo well know for their roles in Dr who, Lord of the Rings and Startrek respectively.
Cafe Church July 9th 2017
Our July Cafe Church theme was on the subject of childhood and youth. A full congregation was very forthcoming with the differences between the childhood of years past and that of today and there was a video on the ‘Millennials’ who are all those born after 1984. We all agreed there were many differences and challenges for today’s younger people and they all need our love and support. We had new helpers today and are very thankful to them for their input. The children were also busy, making colourful plates with their thoughts on them and they too suggested their own challenges, including doing handstands in the swimming pool.
The Big Celebration at Cafe Church.
The largest congregation ever turned up for The Big Celebration today. It wasn’t a problem, we just got more chairs out from storage and everyone squeezed in.
We remembered Jo Cox, murdered last year, but also turned to remembering the victims of the Manchester and London atrocities.
We sang songs, lit candles for those who had died, gave thanks for those who had helped and prayed for all who were suffering.
Our readings were about love and how it conquers hate and we pledged ourselves to stand with everyone, rejecting the message and actions of hate and following Jesus’ message of love for all.
There were tears shed as Josh Groban sang ‘You Raise Me Up, while the children made pictures of Manchester bees and woollen cross pictures.
A successful service for all, so thanks to everyone who attended.
The subject today was the forthcoming week of prayer called ‘Thy Kingdom Come‘ so we had an introduction from Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, on how it is being organised. St Bart’s has registered and will hold a special low key service at 7.30pm on Thursday 25th May.
We were pleased to greet Heather, curate of Guilden Sutton and Plemstall to our service and more new faces. It is always great to meet and chat over coffee and cake, but we also got another unexpected guest in the middle of a race. He was clearly in need of food and water, so it was duly produced and after taking his fill he flew on his way.
If St Francis could preach to the animals and birds, who are we to argue.
Today was Palm Sunday, so Cafe Church was in reflective mood, with much of the service dedicated to what happened in that first Holy Week and how Jesus would have felt about it. Judy brought in a ram’s horn instrument from Israel and we started by listening to the type of song sung by the crowd as Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. With the sun outside and the door wide open it was easier to imagine what the atmosphere would have been like that day.
Jean Jones read our prayers for the first time and we remembered all those suffering today, both locally and throughout the world.
Happy Easter from the Cafe Church Team.