Prayers, croissants and orange juice at Emsworth church

By the Rev Andrew Sheard, rector of Warblington-with-Emsworth

Thursday, 21st February 2019, 9:01 am
Updated Thursday, 21st February 2019, 10:04 am
Breakfast church in St James church hall, Bedhampton, in full swing.

Can you imagine having breakfast in church? That’s what we do at St James’s Church in Emsworth.

You probably have visions of marmalade dripping over the pews, or choir members trying to munch croissants while they sing. It’s not quite like that.

We do meet for Breakfast Church on the second Sunday of every month. It’s in the church hall, where we set out tables and chairs like a café. And we offer people bacon butties, real coffee and toast – all free of charge.

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Then, as we finish eating, there is a worship band who lead us in some lively songs. There’s a short talk for adults and children, which leads onto discussion at each table.

For some of the time, there are interactive activities for smaller children in another room.

Like many other churches, we’ve discovered that sharing a meal is often a good way to start conversations and to build up genuine relationships.

And offering people free bacon sandwiches is a good way of being generous with our hospitality.

It’s currently going from strength to strength, as many families enjoy the more relaxed, informal style of meeting together.

And we can worship God together, even if we still have a cup of coffee on the go.

There are about 80 of us, and the age range is from zero to those over 90, so it is genuinely inter-generational.

Some of those who come don’t come to any of our other services, and that’s fine. It’s been going on for quite a few years now, so it is also well-established.

There is, of course, no expectation that if you come to Breakfast Church, you then need to move on to ‘proper’ church services.

For those who come, this is their Sunday worship, in a style that they and their families can get really excited about.

If you’ve never been before, we’d love to see you there. Breakfast Church happens in St James’s church hall on the second Sunday of each month.

So the next one is on Sunday, March 10, at 10am (with bacon sandwiches from 9.45am onwards).

You can find out more on warblingtonwithemsworth.org.

St James’s church is in Church Path, Emsworth.

Go to warblingtonwithemsworth.org