Section B. Worship and sacraments
B3. Worship for Everyone
In May 2013, Children’s Officer Emma Pettifer, worked with St. Clement’s Church in Worcester to set up a new type of service.
Worship for Everyone (W4E) takes place at St. Clement’s every Sunday and focusses on all those who come to church, regardless of their age.
I work with a team of eight people from the church congregation and we look at four different learning styles: Visual, Kinaesthetic (touchy feely), Auditory and Logic. We plan our service according to these learning styles and whenever possible make sure that each one of them is represented in some way during the morning.
It’s been a quite hard concept for some people in the team to not just think about the children or just about the adults and we don’t always manage to include all the learning styles, but our aim is that those attending will come away from the service with something (even if they didn’t enjoy everything!).
We also have a repertoire of 10 hymns/worship songs which we always stick to for this service. These are written out on a sheet, which helps those who have never been to church before. Within three months of starting the new service, the congregation knew all of the songs and we are now starting to change some of them. As a result of this strategy, the hymns are always sung with confidence!
W4E starts with breakfast of sausages and bacon sandwiches and the service lasts for just half an hour. It is kept short and fun and everyone is enthusiastic as it isn’t just the children that lose concentration!
Since starting the project, St. Clement’s Church has seen a rise in its congregation and it isn’t just families – there are also more of the older generation and singles coming along. The majority of this congregation isn’t used to church or are parents who came when they were small and they thought they’d come back. The feedback we’ve had has been very positive.
It’s also become a good community service with the school coming in to help with a service every so often and the YMCA providing the breakfast for church.
W4E starts at 10.15am for breakfast with a service at 10.45am for 30mins every Sunday.
If you’d like to know more about the Worship for Everyone concept, please contact Emma Pettifer on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01905 732823.