PEOPLE sometimes find it confusing that I’m a church minister because I don’t wear a dog collar, and I’m not called ‘the Rev’. That’s because I’m a new type of minister.
I recently started as a pioneer minister, with a brief to think about new ways to link the church and the community in Cosham and Wymering – especially on the Highbury estate.
The traditional model of expecting people to come to Sunday services is off-putting or inconvenient for many. We are here to pioneer new ways for people to worship, pray and serve their community.
The first thing we did, last weekend, was to host a community fun day to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday and the Big Lunch.
We had a bouncy castle, face-painting, stalls, singing groups, a DJ playing music from previous decades and an exhibition of the history of the area.
Many people of all ages came and it was fantastic to bring the whole community together – and to show that St Philip’s is their church, whether or not they believe in God – and we want to become the heart and hub of the Highbury community.
We’re planning three new activities starting from September – a weekly after-school Lego Club at Highbury Primary School, a monthly Café Church at St Philip’s Church and a monthly pop-up cinema project showing family films in church during Saturday afternoons and thought-provoking films for adults later in the evenings.
And one way we’re trying to foster community spirit is through social media which helps people know what’s happening.
We’re calling ourselves Highbury Hub on social media and we’ve also renamed the church’s magazine with the same name and transforming it into a magazine produced by the community, for the community.
It’s exciting and I’m enjoying getting to know the people and the area. Do get in touch if you have an idea for a community project or wish to find out how to get involved with what we’re doing.
n firstname.lastname@example.org or 07946 808833; stphilipscosham.org.uk or search Facebook/Twitter for Highbury Hub.