‘Coffee, cake and Communion’ brings people back from fringes of Church


coffeecakeWhen members of
West Kirby United Reformed Church, Wirral, decided to use their church foyer more intentionally, little did they realise the impact it would have.

‘Coffee, cake and Communion’ – an alternative to the Sunday morning service – was created for older members of the congregation and, according to the Revd Louise Franklin, minister of the church, has brought people back from the fringes.

Members enjoy a simple format of refreshments, cake and conversation, followed by a service as they sit around tables. Ms Franklin believes this reflects ‘breaking bread’, one of the ten holy habits mentioned in Acts 2: 42-47, the focus of Andrew Roberts’ book Holy Habits – a key resource of Walking the Way, the URC’s focus on lifelong Christian discipleship and mission.

‘What has surprised us hugely is the reach and effect of this little service,’ said Revd Franklin. ‘At the moment we meet monthly, and we've found it has brought people on the fringes back to church in a way we were never expecting. There are a couple of folks who have literally not been [to church] for 20 years and one who returned to church after 50 years - but are finding this to be “their service” which is accessible and relevant to them.”

The style of ‘coffee, cake and communion’ is more traditional from West Kirby URC’s other services.

‘We sing-a-long to pre-recorded hymns with either words on a service sheet or the tv screen,’ she continued. ‘Then there are prayers, a bible reading, and sometimes we think about a question in groups around the table, before listening to a short message, which is followed by more singing and then Communion. If everyone came all at once they'd be more than 40 people there! It's friendly, valued, and one lady told me that we'd brought Church back to her.’

Simon Peters, Walking the Way Project Manager, said: ‘These efforts offer an important chance for more people to recognise God’s presence in their lives and see that the call to be a disciple is, truly, for everyone. Every church can do something like this and, in doing so, make a huge difference to the people around them.’

If you, your church, or project is doing something in line with Walking the Way: Living the life of Jesus today, then share your good news and let us know! Email Simon on wtw@urc.org.uk.

Don’t forget to check our Walking the Way social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook to keep updated on news and resources.