What do we do?
Following the recent relaxing of lockdown rules, we are now meeting in person! We have enough space that if you wish to socially distance or wear a mask, you may do so. We also disinfect all surfaces and have anti-bacterial gel available for you to keep your hands clean. If you are still nervous about meeting people in person, we prepare and upload content which is available on YouTube and Facebook on Sunday evenings. The uploaded content is by necessity rather more “formal” than you will find if you join us in person, so don’t expect the online formality if you do come along in person.
The meeting formally starts at 11am, but people usually start arriving up to half an hour beforehand to mingle and chat, to catch up over a coffee. Refreshments are free – but at this time, please bring your own cup.
Around 11am Julian will start the meeting with a short prayer and some announcements to remind people of things happening during the week or in other churches and so on. Below is a description of some of the things which we do. They don’t always happen in the same order, but we will generally include these things in our meeting:
More traditional churches use prayers books and will say prayers written down for them. We tend not to do that. We don’t have a set time of prayer in our meeting, instead we try to pause or have instrumental times during the worship and people are encouraged to say prayers to God out loud. That way people pray for the things that are bothering them and they are talking to God “as a man talks to his friend”. Some people find this very intimidating, so if you don’t want to do that, don’t worry, say your prayers silently during the worship. God can hear those just as well!
We do, however say The Lords Prayer together from time to time.
This is essentially singing songs. Many churches would describe this as a time of worship. The songs we sing are a mixture of Hymns (which will be familiar to many who remember school assemblies) and more recent songs which have a much more contemporary feel. The words to the songs are projected onto a screen for everyone to join in with.
Julian gives a talk on a Bible passage. He will try to explain what the passage means, and how it applies to us – today.
From time to time we will invite a visiting speaker to fill this “slot”. They may be a representative of a Christian organisation or a missionary who we’ve asked to tell us about their work, or they may be a fellow minister or Christian we feel has something to say to us. Either way Julian gets a break that week!
Communion is where we use bread and wine to remember Jesus’ death on the cross for us. We don’t follow any set way of doing this, so it will be slightly different every week, but it always means taking a small piece of bread which reminds us of the Body of Jesus which was ”broken” for us and a small sip of wine which reminds us of the Blood of Jesus which was shed for us on the cross. This is something that you should only join in with if you are a Christian. If you’re not, no one is taking notes or watching you and you can easily opt out without embarrassment.
Set up and Clear up
As we rent the hall, those who are willing pitch in and help set up the hall before we start and clear up when we’re done, this means setting up and packing down all the equipment and loading it into the car, putting out chairs and stacking them away, and sweeping the hall and generally leaving everything ship shape and Bristol fashion for the next users.