IN MORE DETAIL...
This information will be particularly useful for visiting ministers and local preachers who want to get a better understanding of our congregation.
Our Sunday worship is by tradition Methodist. However we are keen for ministers and local preachers to use the flexibility of worship we can offer at Hope. Although we use Singing the Faith we also use hymns from other sources like, Songs of Fellowship, Hillsong, Mission Praise, Spring Harvest, The Source, and may other publications.
We use Easyworship to structure our services as it allows preachers and worship leaders to go “off piste”. It also allows us to have a greater use of media during our services. We find that projected images, videos and words help to lead people through worship and especially those who struggle to hear or keep track of what’s going on around them.
We do like to be inclusive in our worship so the language we use is important to us, as is the the way we include children in the worship life. We do have a “Messy Church” style involvement with our children on Sundays, however they do spend some time with us during the morning worship so we are very mindful of their presence and inclusion.
We use different models of worship not only to keep it fresh but to allow preachers and worship leaders more flexibility to lead us through our worship.
We have a regular group of musicians that comprise of a flautist, guitar and piano. We regularly use a backing track to enhance the musicians.
We have some great skill resources: two local preachers, worship leader, gospel magician, AV tech etc. Together they make the services flow with ease.
We have a fledgling fellowship that meets outside the church which attracts a good age range, we do try and have a structured program but the organic nature of conversation allows us to discuss new areas and ideas.
Although we encourage visiting ministers and local preachers to do something different at Hope we are more than happy to welcome the more traditional styles of worship.
We have about six mid week services a year aimed at our uniformed organisations which are well attended.
The leadership meet on a regular basis so they can look at future services, maybe set themes and look to introduce new elements into the worship and evaluate past experiences.
Our demographic is broad, although tending towards older congregants. We have always been accepting of change which is massively reflected in our mission project. We spent some time evidencing the needs of the community and the outcome was that we need to be providing space for local community groups. One of the primary aims of our building configuration is to allow two (or more) groups to use the building independently from each other at the same time without having to worry about safeguarding issues. Also it gives us a very flexible, dedicated worship space.
A few of our members are involved with groups outside of our church community. We work with the local Street Pastors, and also provide a room and prayer support for them at weekends.
A few of us are involved with the Greenbelt Festival, some who just volunteer over the festival, a couple of team leaders who are involved in the all-year-round planning.
We have people that volunteers with the homeless,people involved with fair trade, people who support the local food bank, one member is exploring trading as a mental health support trainer.
During the current building work we are worshiping with a local Independent Methodist church and we are looking forward to find new ways of worship and "being church". We believe we can both learn from each other and enhance each other's worship experience.
When we return to our new church we will of course be focusing on user groups and making it work as a centre of mission, but we still feel we need to be worship focused.
WE ARE INVOLVED IN...
We'll be showcasing some of the community events and work that we are involved with outside of our local church here. Some of our leadership team are heavily involved in the Greenbelt Festival.