Although not able to be at the Mixed Blessings event, Holy Trinity’s Vicar, Revd Dr Paul Monk, sent his thoughts on how this church has tried to provide worship for the families who attend. In addition to Sunday morning worship there is also a 7.00pm short said service of Family Communion on Wednesdays.
He writes: “Personally, I think the overall tone is set by the leader but needs to be reinforced by the congregation at large. So everyone (adults as well as children) is welcomed effusively with lots of smiles and positive body language. I make a real fuss of all the children. I make sure I know their names, and remember their foibles and anecdotes: Ryan sucks his thumb, Mollie has a rabbit called Sookie, and so forth. Even during the service, there is banter. “Do you want one reading or two this week?” And humour is essential. There needs to be a genuine sense of reverence: it’s divine worship and never theatre nor entertainment, though the sermon slot does need to be a little OTT. That again is the leader’s job, but also reinforced by the congregation. I don’t pull my punches. It’s for real. I talk about judgement and about God. I generally talk about issues that I’ve garnered from chance conversations, so I know they are important.”