Flocking to new church service

PUBLISHED: 12:58 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 06 May 2010

A NEW service has been launched at a church in an attempt to lure more people through its doors and make worshipping more fun. Sunday at 8, the title of the service, is reaching out to old and new parishioners at St Andrew s Church in Shortmead Street, Bi

A NEW service has been launched at a church in an attempt to lure more people through its doors and make worshipping more fun.

Sunday at 8, the title of the service, is reaching out to old and new parishioners at St Andrew's Church in Shortmead Street, Biggleswade, and it looks as though its popularity is growing.

Last Sunday was the third time the new format service was held at the church and more are planned.

A pilot scheme was run last autumn and the response inspired the church to run them on a more regular basis and now they will be held at six-week intervals.

The services are more informal and non-communion but they still contain essential elements of a Christian service.

The entire service is carried out by lay members of the church with the vicar the Rev William Thackray and his curate taking a back seat.

"With its modern style, Sunday at 8 extends and complements our current range of Sunday and weekday services," said Mr Thackray.

"The evening slot should suit many who find it difficult to get to church at other times because of work and family commitments.

"We would encourage people to come along and try Sunday at 8. Everyone is most welcome."

Mr Thackray added: "Members of the congregation are very much in favour of Sunday at 8.

"The vast majority of people call themselves Christians but have very busy lives so tend not to worship as regularly as they would like to. This new service, hopefully, might attract more people back into our church.

"It is a lot of fun and we like to feel we are traditional adventurers and not frightened to take on new ventures. This new venture is certainly bearing fruit and I have seen new faces here already."

Kevin Goody, one of the leaders of Sunday at 8, said: "There will be joyful worship as well as times of quiet reflection as well as modern songs or praise along with some well-known traditional hymns.

"The format is straightforward and easy to follow, is designed to appeal not just to regular and occasional worshippers but also those who may be new to the church.

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