16 April 2018 IN: Parish News
Afternoon Church is a form of Eucharistic worship, enriched by the liturgical traditions of the church, that is available in a meaningful, accessible and attractive way to the local community of Openshaw.
The result of much prayerful discernment, Afternoon Church is held every month in the school hall at St Barnabas Academy.
Revd Katy Cuncliffe explains. ”We begin with a time of food and drink. Table dressings reflect the liturgical colour of the season, the Order of Service is a laminated card that functions as a placemat, and each table has a candle. The candles are carried to the place where the Gospel is read, to the activity zones, and to the altar, at the appropriate times.
“We explore the Gospel through a series of questions for people to reflect on as they visit zones set up around the edge of the room.” Based on the Scripture Union Explore Together material, the zones are: busy, audio, chat, colour, word and quiet.For the Liturgy of the Sacrament, bread and wine are brought up from the tables and people gather informally around the altar.
Katy says, “There are definitely signs that God is at work.There is now a regular worshipping, sacramental presence in the Lower Openshaw part of the parish, with an average congregation of about 30. A number of new and ‘fringe’ families attend regularly and, while not the intention, some of these have also begun attending on Sunday mornings at Resurrection & St Barnabas.
“Collaborative working with the school also means that relationships are being developed with more local families who know that the church is present for them in their community. This has resulted in enquiries about baptism.”