When a month contains 5 Sundays, the Vicar is cancelling all Sunday services apart from the 8am service. This means that worship will take place on that Sunday but the 9.30am, 11am and 6pm congregations will not meet as usual. This new pattern is designed to help in two areas.
Firstly, our PCC (elected leadership) do not really overlap in church life and it is not always easy to create midweek meetings. Hence on the 5th Sunday of the month the PCC will meet for a 10.30am service and time of fellowship – these are invaluable to the creation of a sense of belonging and purpose as we listen to the Lord’s calling. Their families can come to church with them that day too.
The second purpose is for us as a church to give permission and encouragement for our congregations to go and attend another local church for that Sunday and come alongside them in their worship and witness. Without a real sense of understanding and co-operation of other churches, I don’t believe that any congregation can reach the potential that God is giving them.
It may be that both these are rather new concepts for us at St Catherine’s and it might well be that after a time we’ll want to reconsider, but for the moment I feel the area of PCC leadership and of ecumenism (working with other local churches) is so important that it needs special care. Naturally, there may be people who turn up to church that week expecting something else, visitors and the like. This unusual pattern will be held a few times in 2013.
We would hope that the change to the usual pattern would have been made clear on the website and to the congregations. Whilst we are certainly here for newcomers seeking to worship and learn more of faith, this does need to be balanced with our own church’s needs and the importance of experiencing what God is doing through other congregations.
I’m happy to hear any comments,