Seasonal Opportunities

Finding a 'Rhythm of the Year' for your church

From Luv 'em by Sue Forrest-Redfern

One great strength of the Church is the calendar we have, full of feast days and holidays, helping us as a Christian community to have lots of excuses to come together and celebrate! Coming together to celebrate is one of the greatest community building blocks, and particularly effective when the entire family can be involved.

Your church may well be very good at marking the rhythm of the year using the church’s calendar, and that’s fabulous. My church, like many others in the Church of England, tends to miss many of the smaller church dates and concentrate on the major events such as Christmas and Easter. That’s fine too, but could we all make more of our celebrations so they could involve the whole family, and also invite those outside the church to come and celebrate with us? 

Here are some ideas from the calendar. The Diocesan Annual Report Calendar is anonther useful source of ideas and inspiration when planning your church year.


Outreach event. For example, a Valentine event e.g. renewal of marriage vows service followed by buffet for the families who come.


  • During Lent there are opportunities offered by Say One for Me (Ash Wednesday) and Clergy Shoe Shine (Maundy Thursday)
  • Mothering Sunday Followers for all mums and ladies, and an opportunity to remember Mothers departed. Tea, coffee and cake served by the men and boys.
  • Palm Sunday Why not organize a donkey to come and lead a very simple procession around the block? Children at your school will love this and hopefully bring their family! You will have speak to the police, keep it simple and it’s an easy option!
  • Holy Week How about having the church open at prearranged times and trying Experience Easter and God Friday?
  • Easter Day Have a chocolate Easter egg hunt following the morning service. Advertise it clearly outside the church, and to schools and baptism families. It’s amazing how far someone will travel for chocolate! Then they can hear the true message of Easter too! 


Is the month we have our big Fun Day. About 2000 people come to this from all over East Bolton. It's a big piece of work, but shared between about 100 volunteers from the eight churches.

Father’s Day is a great opportunity to involve dads with a BBQ.


We offer free family-friendly films on Monday evenings throughout the school holidays.


Back to Church Sunday is always the last Sunday of the month.


Alternative Halloween family party on 31 October. Last year we did ‘pirates’ this year beach party!

This month is often Harvest, again a great opportunity.


Remembrance Sunday is a chance to invite uniformed organisations into church.


Advent ideas, Christingle, Carol services, Christmas Services.

Looking at the year as a whole ensures we have just the right amount of activity going on, not too much and not too little, that there is a spread of activity (the rhythm) throughout the year, and it’s not all Christmas, and nothing for the rest of the year!