Sunday Morning Worship at 10.30am
This lasts for about an hour and is followed by refreshments. Communion is usually celebrated on the first Sunday of each month. Whilst the tone is usually calm and ordered, ample opportunity is provided for full congregational involvement and participation.
The theme of the service is always made clear at the beginning: it will often be based on one or other of the lectionary readings, or arise out of a particular series of themed services.
Quality of teaching is important: many of the congregation have high expectations, and some take away a copy of the sermon or talk at the end of the service.
Equally, the role of music is taken seriously: congregational singing is vigorous – the books in most regular use are the Methodist 'Singing the Faith', the URC ‘Rejoice and Sing’, and ‘Common Ground’ – and the music is enhanced variously by the choir and the singing group. Whilst this service is recognisably traditional in format, great care is taken to ensure that it is accessible to visitors and that all feel welcomed and valued.
Other than on the fourth Sunday in each month (which is all-age worship), groups for children and young people run in parallel with adult teaching during the service.
Children's Church meets on the second Sunday of each month.
This 'KIDZ ALOUD' activity has developed as a joint initiative with several other churches in the city centre. Details of the current programme can be found on the Birmingham Methodist Circuit website's Regular Events page.
Many city centre congregations have few children sharing regularly in morning worship and struggle to provide continuity of leadership. This service is intended to serve as a ‘gathered church’ for these children and their leaders, providing an encouraging, relevant and affirming act of Christian worship.
It is aimed primarily at those under 11 years of age. Refreshments, activity sheets, Christian music and conversation prepare the ground for worship itself.
At present, worship follows the pattern of ‘godly play’, with the careful telling of Christian stories at its heart: children and adults alike are then able to respond to the story through participation in a range of activities, often craft-based.
After this, there is a time of sharing and feasting, modelled on communion, but presented in such a way that even the smallest child will feel involved. Appropriate pastoral care is taken seriously; a welcoming physical environment is matched by full compliance on all matters relating to child safety.
Held on the last Sunday of every month, this takes place in the comfort of ‘Lounge’ and is not easily characterised by ‘tag line’ or other brief description! Again, we share with the Methodists and others in providing worship which we hope will stimulate personal Christian growth and help people reflect on the link between faith and action.
Speakers are drawn from a wide variety of agencies and groups, in a consistent attempt to help this congregation develop a radical, Social Gospel agenda for the 21st century. Film is used frequently to stimulate discussion. Sometimes, worship takes place within the reasonably conventional setting of word, music and silence – sometimes it does not!
For more information on the dates and themes of Radical Worship, please see the Birmingham Methodist Circuit website's Regular Events page.
© Carrs Lane Church Centre 2013 | Reg. Charity 249617 | Carrs Lane Church is a member of the United Reformed Church