01 July 2017
Brownhills Breakfast Church
In our latest blog post, Vickie Heydon-Matterface, Children and Family Worker in the Brownhills and Willenhall Methodist Circuit, tells us about an exciting new development - Breakfast Church! Vickie works closely with Deacon Annie Trembling, who has pastoral oversight of two Churches and also works with youth circuit-wide.
- Tell us how 'Breakfast Church' came about....
This Breakfast Church was the idea of Deacon Annie and began in October 2014 at Brownhills Methodist Church.
The families that we worked with at Messy Church were showing an interest in coming to other services and we felt that the current choice of traditional worship might not be best suited. After conversations with families and Church Council it was decided to schedule one Breakfast Church per month in the morning service slot. This was to be a Local Arrangement, led by Deacon Annie (who is a non-preaching Deacon) and a team of worship leaders from Brownhills Methodist Church. Each team, or pair of people, take it in turns to lead the sessions. I lead one every three months with my husband and son.
The Breakfast Church team include those who help with refreshments and cooking the bacon, and we are lucky to receive sponsorship from Warburtons who provide some of the bread breakfast goods that we use.
- Who comes to 'Breakfast Church' and what happens?
Around 60 people participate, most of the existing congregation as well as new people. These consist of people from other churches, residential homes, Messy Church families, one off visitors, and a group of musicians from another Church.
We all share breakfast together at 10.15am until 10.45am. There is fresh (Fair Trade!) ground coffee in a proper coffee machine! Tea, croissants, fruit bread, brioche and bacon rolls (the smell is amazing) and we open the worship with the passage from the Bible about when Jesus cooked fish on the beach and served it to the disciples.
Musical worship is in a variety of styles -hymns may be traditional, modern and child-friendly. Sometimes musicians play, sometimes we show a video or play a cd and sometimes the organist/pianist plays for us.
The theme is introduced and a Bible passage read. The theme is then explored creatively via: drama, video clip, personal experience talk, poem, story, puppets etc. There is usually some sort of discussion and children are very much involved in the service.
Intercessions are usually creative such as prayer stations, a prayer focus at the front, simple craft or 'symbol' (leaf, heart etc..) which is given in with the offertory. We like to close with a big traditional hymn and a blessing.
- What have been some of the joys and challenges of doing this?
Joys have been the sense of energy and movement within the service. The words on the screen free your body up to become more responsive to the music, and the instruments and video clips add a sense of urgency and momentum. The fellowship at breakfast is lovely and people choose to sit where they want to, and are free to move around and mingle with others. The mix of worship songs is great with the younger generation embracing the new with the more traditional hymns. Also, seeing new faces and younger people returning has been a joy.
The attitude of a few members of the congregation was a challenge to begin with but once it started to become popular, they became more open to the changes. Another challenge was finding team members to lead sessions. We have decided to involve some of the local preachers and to work with them to continue to deliver this style of family and all age worship.
- What would you say to someone considering doing something similar?
Ideally, go and visit one locally to you, speak to the leaders and church members to get a range of views. Ask the congregation and involve them from the start. Explain the aims and provide opportunities for people to take on roles that they may feel called to do.
Pray about it - is this something that you feel God is wanting to explore with your community?