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Parish initiatives

Ideas for parish mission and ministry, as featured in the Church Times. Host a memory café or a beer festival, experiment with jazz vespers or kick start children's ministry.


Food and festivals

Community breakfast

“We realised that this would be a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate to the community that our beautiful church building was not just a place of worship, but should be at the heart of our community, and for everyone”


Beer festival

“We had prayed specifically that good conversations would take place, and that there would be a real sense of warmth and welcome and easy talking”


Memory café

“We thought that the café was going to tackle one hurt: dementia. It has, in fact, tackled others as well: isolation, loneliness, and the need for a place where people know your name and care for you”



Space to reflect

Revitalisation of churches: all ideas are good

In a second extract from his new book, Martin Poole suggests that every church can find creative ways of making God known


Meeting God at the movies

Continuing our occasional series on resourcing parishes, Andy Colebrooke suggests a cinematic approach


Breathing Space

“Breathing Space is a simple ministry that offers rest and quiet in a church setting, encouraging us to slow down and seek God in silence”


Baby loss service

“The service is about offering a safe space to remember before God a beloved child; a place where people can sit united in grief, acknowledging that the path can be dark and difficult, and yet gathered in hope”


Service in the churchyard

“Visiting a grave can be a lonely experience, but this service enables people to know that in this special place they do not only connect with those who have died, but that they are part of a living community”




Music reaches the parts other activities don’t

Parish churches can deepen their relationships with their community through singing, says Angus Ritchie


Jazz Vespers

“Many of our worshippers have become regulars, and say that they see this reflective service as a key part of their growing spirituality. It provides space to ‘put themselves back together’, and to prepare for the week ahead”


Come-and-sing evensong

“We invite anybody of any musical ability to come along and join our choir and experience our own ‘Heaven on Earth’ — and it has been both great fun and a great success, attracting a good number of singers from across the area”



With older people

The power of friendship in old age

As people age, loneliness can become a serious problem. Huw Spanner considers church efforts to combat this


The Men in Sheds movement

Andy Walton meets members of the Men in Sheds movement, which is tackling loneliness among older people


How to blunt the claws of dementia

Huw Spanner hears of a multiplicity of projects to lessen the isolation felt



More resources: Older people’s ministry 


With children

Youth church: in support of a takeover

In our occasional series of parish resources, Mark Charmley celebrates a service led by young people


Start at the very beginning

Struggling to attract or keep children and their families? Margaret Pritchard Houston advises on developing a ministry from scratch


The healing ministry of toddler groups

They can play a crucial part in tackling mental illness and food poverty among parents, says Claire Kay


Want children in church? Put them in charge

They ought to be included in every aspect of church life, argues Margaret Pritchard Houston


First it was messy; now it’s wild: children and the environment

Julie McKee hears about the latest C of E venture to help children engage with God’s love of the planet




Ten commandments of successful fundraising

After being involved in large fund-raising ventures during his ministry, Michael Higgins offers ten commandments for fund-raisers


Parish twinning scheme in diocese of Lichfield proves a winner

Wealthier churches help poorer churches with donations, time, and volunteers





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