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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

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

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

 

More resources: Older people’s ministry 

 

With children

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

 

More resources: Children’s ministry

 

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