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May 2017

This month’s letter comes from Revd. Hilary Dawson and Revd. John Lees

New from May 2017 – The Breakfast Service

If you fancy the idea of a late breakfast, a chance to gather with friends, and informal worship, you might be excited to hear about something new happening at St Andrews.

We are blessed in our Mission Community because we serve people from all backgrounds and age groups. We already do a great deal with children and young families, for example Messy Church, expertly managed by our children’s worker Kathryn Radley. At Harvest, Christmas and Easter families join us in large numbers. We want to welcome into church more often.

A small focus group gathered earlier this year to think about possibilities. The group helped us understand how some people find it daunting to come into church, and what they hear inside can feel like ‘insider’ language. We talked also about what feels relevant and encouraging to busy families. So it’s no surprise that the first suggestion made was that we should begin with breakfast.

Food and hospitality have always been close to the heart of faith and community. One of the best stories in John’s gospel is where Jesus, returned from the dead, stands on a beach and watches his friends out fishing in their boats. He calls to them. He says ‘come and eat breakfast’. Jesus is restored to life, and what does he do? He cooks a meal for his friends.

So, each third Sunday of the month in Colyton we will gather for The Breakfast Service. We start at 10.00 with breakfast (bacon rolls, with a vegetarian alternative), followed by a short (less than 40 minutes) act of worship at 10.30 – with music, story-telling, and material we hope every age will find stimulating.

Recently we heard both Bishop Robert and Bishop Sarah describe churches in other parts of Devon who are using creative formats to attract newcomers, and we are delighted to follow their encouragement.

Every service is of course open to people of every generation, but all age worship means that the language, music, activities, stories and talks communicate something to every age group from school children to adults. In keeping things short and snappy we are particularly mindful of the needs of families with youngsters, but we plan to ensure that everyone is fed, in all senses of the word.

The warmest welcome considers the needs of guests, so we want to offer hospitality, companionship, interesting words and music, a chance for as many people to participate as possible, and, yes, breakfast too.

This new service will complement the wide range of worship offered throughout our Mission Community. Our five churches provide a full range of choices from lively traditional to creatively modern. The new Breakfast Service adds to this rich and much-valued mix. It’s sometimes said that the Church of England is one of the few organisations which serves non-members. That’s important. We serve all of our community, and we want to continue to find ways of making you all welcome.

So, do join us in St Andrew’s, Colyton at 10.00 on Sunday 21 May, and every third Sunday of the month – come and have breakfast.

If you fancy helping, we need the whole A to Z-: baristas, baby bouncers, bread roll slicers, collection takers, croissant wranglers, doorkeepers, ketchup monitors, organisers, publicists, pamphleteers, puppeteers, singers, storytellers, tea pourers, waiters, warm-up comics, washer-uppers, and welcomers. And probably several other jobs we haven’t thought of yet – just get in touch.

But if you’d rather just turn up, that would be good too.

Hilary and John

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