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40 Minutes service - what is it?

A few years ago a small group of interested people met to explore the possibility of doing something different with the family service at St Mary’s.  Out of that meeting came a plan to create a different type of worship and learning space that was truly “All Age”.  An act of worship that all could experience and participate in.  The “40 Minutes” service was born.

So what is “40 Minutes”?  It is many things … prayer, scripture reading, drama, discussion. music, paint, clay, parachute games, and fun.  We hope that all who walk in through the door will find a warm welcome, a place where they will find food for thought and a space to explore God whatever their age, background or church experience.  We hope that all who walk in through the door, whether they are on their own or are battling to keep 3 toddlers happy, will find that they are part of the “Family of God”.  We hope that all who walk out through the door 40 minutes later will leave having learnt something new, understood something differently, and experienced the love of God and the love of the church community.

Each month we explore a theme such as God the Creator, the story of Elijah, the healing of Naaman, Advent or Easter. We have found that breaking the time down into bite-sized chunks with several different activities works well for our younger worshippers and those of us who can’t concentrate for more than 5 minutes!



Our September theme was “God the Creator”. We explored Psalm 139 and the idea that we are created and known by God, then the story of the potter in Jeremiah 18 and then we learned a new song: 

Jesus, You are changing me, by Your Spirit You’re making me like You.
Jesus, You’re transforming me, that your loveliness may be seen in all I do.
You are the potter and I am the clay.
Help me to be willing to let You have Your way.
Jesus, you are changing me, as I let you reign supreme within my heart.

After that we had some fun making impressive creations from lumps of clay (which we all got to take home), a time of reflective prayer, another song (complete with actions) and then our Blessing.

It is wonderful to see all sections of the wider church sitting side-by-side, worshipping together, helping each other with the children, asking questions, and discussing their thoughts. 

The music varies from traditional to contemporary, the style of leadership is informal, and the congregation varies from devout church-goers to mildly interested parties. 

Do come and join us on the first Sunday of most month at 11.15am.  You don’t have to be old or young, married with a family or single, a teenager with a searching question or a person with little knowledge of Christianity, a person of unshakeable faith or an agnostic.  You just have to come and be welcomed!

Details of forthcoming services can be found here

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