Creative Church Building

This page has information for activity leaders and organisers.

(Subject to confirmation – please use comments or e-mail to suggest changes)

9.30am – registration and coffee

            Sign up sheets for activities. Limit group size to roughly 1/3 of whole (approx. 21) in each area. Encourage participants to select the options they are most interested in.

Name badges?

10am – welcome and opening prayers – themed around Pentecost 

10.15am – session 1 – growing the church

  • Small group discussions – what makes a community into a church? 

  • Take feedback from small groups.
  • Short presentation – four things you would expect to see in a church (each will be illustrated by an example of a new worshiping community – this will both illustrate the points, and share examples of different types of new expressions of church)
    • Gather to worship God – not necessarily the only time they gather, but a part of the overall life of the community
    • Connected to the wider church
      • Connected through traditions of scripture and prayer
      • Connected through denominational and ecumenical links
      • Connected through partnership with a traditional congregation
    • Nurturing faith in its members
    • Witnessing to God’s love 

  • Discussion in large group (if time)

10.45am Activity 1 (see descriptions below)

Session 1St Johns supplies
Forest ChurchAndy BrookeWalkingReference books, preparation support
Creative SpiritualityAlison Fair-BixlerSanctuarypreparation support, Screen Tech support person, Display of visual arts
StorytellingSimon LidwellHallUse café space

11.30 coffee break

11.45pm Activity 2 (see descriptions below)

Session 2 
Muddy/Messy ChurchLesli LawrieRectory GardenRectory Garden
Modern Pilgrimage(Maggie McTernan)SanctuaryScreen, projector, reference books?
Café/WellbeingSimon LidwellHallUse café space

12.30pm – come back together into small groups for short discussion:

  • What has struck you from today’s session? What has encouraged or surprised you?
  • What will you take from this session?  Something to reflect on, a conversation to continue, an action to take?
  • Participants encouraged to note their thoughts to take away, and also a copy to leave as feedback

12.45pm – final feedback and closing prayer

1pm – close

Activity descriptions

(These are just suggestions until those leading the area confirm – please do so and I’ll update the information and have it ready for participants to choose from activities

The general guidelines for the activities is to provide an experience of the activity and some space for discussion of it.

A lot of the time the creative approach it to simply try something, and then reflect on what happened afterwards. These questions are suggestions to help activity area leaders reflect on the praxis in preparation for the day.

What were the aims in running this type of activity?

In what ways did it contribute (or not) to “Church Building” or add a church building aspect to general community building work?

Were there any surprises?

What would you change if you did it again, hope for or plan to have in place?

Forest ChurchWorshiping with creation (rather than simply taking a congregation outdoors).   Link to the St Johns Quartz example: Spirituality walk to the river and back. Peace, Prayers, Activity to encourage new perspectives, Way to document experience, time for discussion, Taize song– Andy and Gloria Brooke
Creative SpiritualityUsing the arts (especially visual arts) to experience, explore and express spirituality.  A presentation of work carried out in St Johns with physical examples and a chance to have a go a chance to have a go. Links to find more examples online   Alison Fair-Bixler
StorytellingEveryone tells stories, some stories tell us though. Storytelling can provide an imaginative approach to familiar texts, or create a shared space where complicated issues can be explored by diverse groups.Introduction, examples and the opportunity to have a go   Simon Lidwell,
Muddy/Messy Churchcraft/ prayer activities available  that the kids do at messy/ muddy, for them to engage with at their own paceActivities with time to reflect on the experience of using them in practice   Lesli Lawrie
Modern PilgrimageThe rediscovery of pilgrimageMaggie McTernan
Café/WellbeingHow can meeting in café like spaces and offering refreshments at events build Church? What are the strengths and weaknesses of a café like environment.This is a space where people can talk about their experiences of running café activities, and the group can reflect on the challenges and opportunities. Contributions from Terri and Janice Aiton  lead TBC