Mothering Sunday Cafe Church March 2018
Today in a packed Cafe Church, especially for Mothering Sunday, we looked at women of strength through history. There was a challenge to list the top attributes of some of the best known ladies and many of the most famous were quoted, with their advice to women and girls around the world. Biblical characters like Ruth, Esther and Hannah were looked at, but the main section was delivered by our own Dr. Jo Smith of Manchester University. She talked of the strength and determination of Emmaline Pankhurst and the suffragette movement in securing votes for women. Our prayers reminded us that it is a fundamental Christian principle that women should not be exploited and Jesus gave us clear guidance on this. The service finished with the children, who had been making Mothering Sunday cards for their own Mums, distributing bunches of daffodils to all present. To all you mothers, have a happy day.
[Click] the above picture to enlarge it
The subject today was change and how we treat it. John told us about where we were up to with the proposed changes in the church interior, and there were poems by Lynn and Tim on embracing change. Everyone used the interval to talk of changes in their own lives, some of which was shared afterwards. The reading from 2 Corinthians talked of how belief in Jesus changes us and the children drew pictures of caterpillars and the butterflies they change into. We were particularly happy with one change, when Hannah brought her new baby Sophie Grace to join us for the first time.
Cafe Church – January 2018
The first service of the year discussed The Trinity and it was bursting at the seams, with visitors also joining us from Runcorn, who were very welcome.
There were readings and hymns as usual, but there was a film called The Trinity in Three Minutes, that explained the subject in a nutshell. A small play enacted how the relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit worked, concentrating on the Spirit and his role. Judy gave us a testimony and Lynn led prayers while the children made splendid doves and pictures. The coffee and cake went well and our thanks go to all those who contributed.
Added after the event, our visitors from Runcorn later wrote;
On behalf of the four of us who visited Cafe Church last Sunday,
thank you so much for the warm welcome you gave us and for sharing your
experiences and ideas with us – we talked of little else on our journey
home! What we saw and heard on Sunday will be so helpful as we begin our
‘Adventure’ and we are looking forward to sharing our experience with the
rest of our planning group at our next meeting.
Love and prayers,
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.