Following on from our letter on 9 April, we are writing to update you on the final decision of the PCC regarding our morning services. As you can imagine, we had a long, at times passionate, but always gracious discussion, seeking to take into account the different views and concerns raised by members of the congregation, and we are grateful to all of those who expressed their opinions via email, letter or face-to-face. As the vicar, I felt proud of the way this conversation was conducted, honouring the weightiness of this issue.
After this discussion, we agreed to move to one 10am morning service from September. This will have a consistent style each week, using as starting point the framework we outlined in the letter distributed to the congregation on 9th April. This was a difficult decision, but we agreed to it overwhelmingly as a PCC and feel it's the best thing for the church moving forward.
Our clergy Andy, John and Pam will explore other possible options for additional services, consulting with members of the congregation in June, so that we are ready to proceed with these in September. There is still space for different expressions of worship in the life of our church family, and the PCC has affirmed this. We are considering the following two options:
- An additional monthly Holy Communion service either at 8:30am or 11:30am (before or after the all age service)
- Developing our evening service, including Holy Communion twice a month, and considering an earlier time during winter months.
We would like to know which of these would be most valued, and again, we would welcome your thoughts.
As we look, more generally, to developing our worship in the future there are some helpful principles that will guide us, these include:
Unity and diversity – one main service which unites us and yet the opportunity outside of Sunday morning to have a variety of other forms of worship
Accessibility and depth – we want to have a contemporary, informal feel that allows people to come in and feel at home and yet we don’t want to sacrifice depth of worship which liturgy and hymns bring us
Intimacy and awe – we want to draw close to God in worship and allow his Spirit to move and yet we want to declare his majesty and greatness
At the core of our gathering will remain a commitment to practical Biblical teaching that equips us to live as Jesus’ disciples today.
The options for additional services outlined above are also a way expressing unity and diversity – we won’t have a weekly alternative but we recognise that for some people this tradition of worship is very important and we will give an expression of this once a month (alongside the 10am service) while also maintaining our flourishing Wednesday morning Communion service.
We are full of hope as we enter this new season for our church, and look forward to seeing how God leads us and forms us even more into a united family.
Yours in Christ, on behalf of the PCC
Andy, Irene, and Pauline