Parish Link - March 2024

Church in a Bag

Church in a Bag

Dear Friends,

You may be surprised to learn that, if I weren’t a vicar, I probably wouldn’t go to church very often. Not on Sunday mornings, anyway. It’s not that I don’t like church, but I think Sunday mornings are Prime Time: This may be the only opportunity in the week for a young family to share a lazy breakfast together. It may be the only time in the week for a lie-in (which seems an entirely appropriate way to start the Sabbath, the day of rest, especially when the clocks change this month!). I won’t even mention the football clubs, swimming lessons, birthday parties, etc. There is so much competition for young families on a Sunday morning!

Some churches have responded to this reality by offering church services at other times of the week. But frankly, it is impossible to find one timeslot that works for everyone. So, Sunday morning it is, for now. At the start of each family service, we say to God: ‘We set this time apart for you’. Coming to church requires a healthy element of commitment. We make the effort to grow, to learn, to serve, to worship, to celebrate together.

And let me assure you, I never feel that my Sunday morning at church is wasted. Quite the opposite: going to church is engaging and energising. I challenge you to come to our Pet Blessing Service on Palm Sunday and not enjoy it. It’s great fun, for young and old, and it is meaningful too.

However, this year we have prepared a new initiative for those who struggle to make it on Sunday mornings: Church-in-a-bag. A bit like a take-away church for busy young families - a paper bag with fun activities and serious reflections for young and old, and of course an invitation to come to Church-in-a-building too. Come and pick up your Easter Church-in-a-bag at St Thomas at any time during the week . You’re most welcome!

Love and prayers

Revd Johannes Nobel