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Thriving Kingdom Arts in Worcester attracts attendees from Birmingham

Published: 19th September 2023

At one activity table participants bend wire with pliers into the shape of anchors, while chatting together

Kingdom Arts is a new worshipping community that has been running eight years now and meets on the second Tuesday of the month at St Georges’ Church, Worcester. Described by some as “Like Messy Church but for adults”, the group has always been popular but has grown over the years so that it now has 40 regular attendees, with some travelling from Redditch and Birmingham to attend.

Co-founder and leader Alex New was previously involved in a Messy Church in Worcester and felt adults would also enjoy a similar form of church offering fellowship, food, worship and creativity, in a relaxed and informal environment. She found Sue Ashby was of the same mind, so Kingdom Arts was born. The group's strapline is 'exploring faith through creativity' and the pair lead the group together, with support from a team of helpers. 

St George’s Barbourne is the perfect venue as there are no pews and the chairs can be set out facing each other, making for a very inclusive environment.

Each month the doors open from 9.30am for coffee, followed by a short time of worship, singing together a mix of modern worship songs and more traditional hymns. The month’s theme is then introduced, as well as the relating activities that are available at each table. The group are given an hour and a half to create using a range of media with easy and more challenging versions of the activities available while they sit together and chat. Everyone then re-gathers, placing what they have made on the floor in the middle if they wish and are invited to feedback on what they felt moved to make and discuss what God might be saying to them through this. They then finish with a prayer and a sung blessing. Finally, the group enjoy a light lunch together with homemade soup, bread, cheese and cakes.  On one of the activity tables, participants bend wire with pliers into the shape of an anchor, whilst chatting to each other

There is no charge to take part in Kingdom Arts, just a request for donations for materials. The group have never had to worry about money, in fact some years they have had a surplus allowing them to purchase additional items for the church, benefitting all.

Regular attenders speak very highly of Kingdom Arts and the difference it makes to them. Clive, who built a Lego lighthouse during September’s session, said of the group:

“It’s a very friendly and relaxed environment and there’s never any pressure to do anything. Originally I wasn’t sure if it’d be my cup of tea but I thought I’d give it a go and I’ve been coming 5 years now; I’ve never missed one yet!”

Sam who made an anchor by bending wire with pliers, comes along to the group after dropping off her children at primary school. She said:

“Me and my family have recently started coming to the Cafe Church here at St George’s, as it’s great for children. That’s how I heard about this group too. It’s nice to do something creative with my hands. This is my treat, my time away.”

Jan said: "We come for the fellowship and the friendships that have built up over the years. It's a safe space that allows us to chat, catch-up and make sure everyone's doing ok." 

Pauline said:

“Being disabled I can join in here. I feel accepted and seen as a person rather than just disabled and that means a lot.”

Speaking to participants of Kingdom Arts highlights the inspiration it provides. Creating items that can be displayed leaves everyone feeling uplifted and the displays in turn inspire others and build up faith. 

Hessian Square depicting the theme, a boat on stormy waters

Sue leads on creative direction and this season the group is looking at Songs of Faith. September’s hymn was “It Is Well with My Soul” which was written by Horatio Spafford after losing most of his financial investments in The Great Fire of Chicago and then his 4 daughters when the ship they were on with his wife Anna sank during a transatlantic crossing. Despite such personal loss, he and his wife set about caring for the needy, poor, sick and homeless in Jerusalem where they relocated to, after Anna felt she had ‘been saved for a reason’.  In the discussion about the hymn, the group shared their own interpretations of this song. Alison suggested it is a challenge to us to; “not just be a fair-weather friend to God, but seek out one’s purpose and ensure we are on track.” Another attendee explained how the hymn had caused him to contemplate on how “the wind moves and flexes us, like it does an anchor.”  

Kingdom Arts would love to have even more people join them. All abilities are catered for and everyone is welcome. Check out their website for more information: Kingdom Arts - or just turn up, on the second Tuesday of the month, 9.30am, at St George's Barbourne, St George's Square, WR1 1HX.

Page last updated: Thursday 21st September 2023 1:43 PM

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