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Liturgy, creativity and inclusion
February 8, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Hosted by St George Church, Tuffley, in Gloucester, this event explores how to make the most of the flexibility within Common Worship to include everyone in our churches. This event covers both general principles and specific needs, with an overall focus on how to create worship which includes all members of our communities. We expect this event to be of particular interest to any, ordained or lay, who are preparing and leading worship.
We will spend the morning with the Revd Mark Earey, liturgy tutor at Queen’s College, considering general principles of creative worship. This will be in a workshop style, with a mixture of input from Mark and groupwork. Mark is well placed to lead this event for us: he is Director of Anglican Formation and Tutor in Liturgy at The Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham. He is a member of the Liturgical Commission, and chairs the Group for Renewal of Worship (the group behind Grove booklets in the Worship series). He is author of several books about liturgy, and Common Worship in particular, including Finding Your Way Around Common Worship: A Simple Guide (CHP, 2011)
In the afternoon there will be workshop choices in order to go into more depth on particular issues around inclusion. Participants will be able to choose two workshops to attend, and will have information in a delegates pack from all workshops so will take away information concerning all eight.
Full workshop details:
Set 1 1.45-2.30pm
A: Making Worship inclusive for people who have some level of learning disability.
Workshop description: Looking through the lens of learning disability we will explore the needs and the gifts that people can bring to worship. Unpacking how to make worship more accessible and interactive within the framework of the Anglican liturgy and then looking at ways people can be discipled further in their faith journey.
Workshop leaders: Miriam Goldby with Revd Sarah Bick.
Miriam has worked with and walked alongside people with additional needs for over 40 years in both care, social and church based settings. She was part of the management team of a small Christian community care setting for people with some level of learning disability, before coming to Gloucester to study for an Applied Theology degree at Redcliffe College. Since leaving Redcliffe, she founded Access Ministries and oversees and develops the ministry of the Shalom Groups. These ministries are currently based within the Forest of Dean area.
Sarah is currently vicar of The Mid-Wyedean Churches in Coleford and surrounding villages, coming to ordained ministry from a background in education. Before ordained ministry, Sarah was an active church musician and so has a particular interest in music and liturgy, and how liturgy can be pastoral, missional and inclusive.
B: Inter-generational creative worship
Workshop description: The workshop will include a virtual worship tour of some of the creative ways Celebrate!, a Fresh Expression of Church in Tewkesbury, enable worship and inclusivity amongst its diverse community. Space is guaranteed for participation, thinking, sharing and just to bounce some ideas around. Our aim is that you are inspired for your own contexts.
Workshop leaders: Revd Wendy Ruffle with Revd Joanne Wetherall
Wendy is a Pioneer Minister and lead of Celebrate!, Tewkesbury Abbey’s Fresh Expression of Church in Priors Park. Celebrate! are a Church plant meeting in a home and enjoy creative worship together with wonderful ‘free-range’ children and adults of all ages present at all times. We include and accommodate many amongst our church community who suffer from mental health issues or have additional needs.
Jo is the Children and Families Officer in Gloucester Diocese. Jo was a parish priest for several villages in rural Hertfordshire where intergenerational worship was ‘service as usual’ on a Sunday morning, providing an opportunity for everyone present to connect with God.
C: Including those with no church background or little experience of worship
Workshop description: This workshop will explore some of the things that can help or hinder people with no regular experience of worship to fully participate, looking at church services, occasional offices, and church events. We will explore both what engages those who are not used church to as well as what is likely to put them off! Our hope is that the discussion will enable us all to understand how it feels to engage with faith as a total newcomer and how churches can respond appropriately.
Workshop leaders: Revd Sonya Newton with Revd Cate Williams
Sonya Newton is a Pioneer Curate in Coney Hill Gloucester. She has a passion for those outside of inherited church and often finds herself in the position of translator for those with little or no traditional church experience. As the leader of several expressions of church prior to ordination (and prior to knowing what one was!), she has become accustomed to discerning a person’s perspective when helping them along their faith journey, and creating opportunities for them to come closer to God in a way that is accessible for them.
Cate Williams is Mission and Evangelism officer for Gloucester Diocese. She is convinced that it is possible to live and express good news without using jargon and in ways that connect deeply with the concerns of those in our communities.
D: Dementia Inclusive Worship
Workshop description: An opportunity to explore some tried techniques for including those living with dementia and their carers in worship that is meaningful and relevant. Ideas will be relevant to worship in both church and nursing home settings. There will also be some short scenarios to explore as we identify what best practice might look like.
Workshop leader : Adam Biddlestone with Revd Nina Summerfield and Lena Maller
Adam is the Communication and Engagement Officer for the Bristol and South Gloucestershire Methodist Circuit. He is a Local Preacher, Dementia Champion, leads worship in a Dementia Care Home and represents the Methodist Church on the Churches Together in Greater Bristol Dementia Friendly Churches Steering Group.
With him in the workshop will be Lena Maller, Community Engagement Officer / Older People’s Lead for Forest of Dean District Council, and Revd Nina Summerfield, SSM Associate Priest at St Mary’s Lydney and until recently a Dementia Friendly Community Enabler with Forest of Dean District Council.
Set 2 2.40-3.25pm
E: Liturgy for Everybody
Workshop description: The focus of this workshop is creating liturgy that allows and encourages people with differing physical abilities to fully participate (and lead if desired). We will look at how small changes can make a big difference to how people feel and participate in our liturgy.
Workshop leaders: Sarah Dilworth and Laine Lewis
Laine and Sarah both attend St Andrew’s Churchdown. Sarah is a full time wheelchair user and Laine’s son also uses one when he is not shuffling round on his bottom!! They are both passionate about worshipping God and encouraging others to do the same no matter what challenges they may face. Sarah is a major crafter in her spare time and Laine spends a lot of time on sidelines whether that be wheelchair football with her youngest or rugby and football pitches with her eldest.
F: Multicultural Inclusive Liturgy – the warm welcome culture
Workshop description: This will be a unique opportunity to share our experience of journey within the church and how our liturgy/worship can affect the first steps needed for an ethnic minority person to feel welcomed within our communion. It will answer questions from a Nigerian Anglican perspective on such issues as: ‘How can we get more BAME into leading activities in church?’ and ‘How can we develop a gathering of people with similar culture in a worship community?’
Workshop leader: Revd S Osunsanmi
I am a self-supporting priest from the Church of Nigeria, Anglican communion, with a primary interest of supporting church growth and development through the inclusion and provision of support for members of the wider communion. My wife (Ade) and I are the current Diocesan link persons for the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns in the diocese.
I am currently an associate priest with St James’ Church, Gloucester, and at other times work in the NHS as a child psychiatrist with special interest in learning disability and difficulty. Over the years, I and my family have been involved in the setting up of several Christian gatherings such as the monthly prayer group in Worcester, the African Students Fellowship in UoG and the Bishop Mission Order-supported worship community of Africans in Birmingham.
G: Mental Health in Christian worship
Workshop description: When people become mentally unwell they often feel that excludes them from worship, particularly when there is a large gap between how they are feeling and the focus on joy and positivity. It can feel that God isn’t there or has abandoned them. This workshop explores the biblical resources that open up a wider emotional response to how we relate to God.
Workshop leaders: David Hughes and Ollie Bennett
Ollie has been the Pastor at Kingfisher Church Tredworth since 2014. This followed a long programme of training which started at London City Mission in 1987, qualifying as a registered mental health nurse, working in a variety of mental health settings, completing a BSc degree in substance misuse before specialising in drug/alcohol treatment and managing the Gloucester team, under the NHS and then with Turning Point.
David is the Spiritual Care Lead at Gloucestershire Health & Care NHS Foundation Trust and an experienced Baptist minister. Prior to his current healthcare chaplaincy post and his time in local church ministry, David worked in a variety of learning disability services and was, at one point, Lecturer in the Applied Psychology of Learning Disability at the University of Kent. He now specialises in providing spiritual support and care to people who are experiencing mental ill health.
H: Embracing the gifts of neurodiversity (Autistic/ADHD/dyslexic/dyspraxic etc)
Workshop description: This workshop will explore some of the things that can help or hinder neurodiverse people to fully participate in acts of worship. We will explore some of the gifts that neurodiverse people may bring to their approach to worship, and consider some of the barriers to full participation that may be encountered within our churches, reflecting on theology, language, structures and communication.
Workshop leader: Revd Rachel Noel
Rachel is the Priest-in-Charge of St Mark’s Church, Pennington, in Winchester Diocese, and is affectionately known by the local press as the Pink Vicar. Rachel had a particularly formational journey through curacy, during which she was diagnosed with ADHD, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder and Bipolar. She lives and works openly with these conditions, her gifts and symptoms include high energy, enthusiasm, creativity and love of colour (especially pink!), she loves exploring her faith and spirituality through creativity, stitch, paint and contemplation, and is a member of the Community of Hopeweavers.