I was nervous. Would anybody be there? We’d planned for months – would it work? If people did come, would they enjoy it?
Would they like it enough to come back a second time? I’m talking about Sundays@11, a new service we started in late November last year, at St Faith’s in Lee-on-the-Solent.
We spent months thinking about and planning Sundays@11, trying to find a way of helping all ages connect with God in a church service.
And so on one Sunday at the end of November, I was worried but I needn’t have been!
That first day, 70 adults and 24 children came along.
It did work, and they did enjoy it. And many of them keep coming back.
Sundays@11 lasts for around an hour. Right at the front we have mats and toys for very young children and their parents, so they can be at the heart of what we’re doing. And if they make noise, we don’t mind!
We spend the first 20 minutes of Sundays@11 all together. We sing, we pray, and we introduce the Bible reading for the day, using pictures or drama or voices.
There’s usually an opportunity for the people gathered, children and adults, to talk together.
And then we go to groups – children go to age-related activities in one of our halls, and adults go to groups as well.
One group for adults is always an interactive talk on the theme of the day, the other could be a discussion, or a meditation, or something else.
One week we looked through newspapers and discussed what messages they were trying to give us, for example.
In the final part of the service we get back together and we pray. We do that creatively – we might write prayers ourselves, use physical objects such as stones, or light candles.
Afterwards, people stay around and chat.
I’m so pleased with the first few weeks of Sundays@11!
It couldn’t have started better. For me, the best thing is seeing children and adults enjoying being together in church, and exploring Christian faith. I love it!
And if you’d like to come to Sundays@11 one week, you’d be really welcome too.
n ST FAITH’S CHURCH, Victoria Square, Lee-on-Solent, PO13 9NF
Main Sunday services: 9.30am: Eucharist, 11am: Sundays@11
Contact: parish office (023 9255 6445)