Monday, May 3, 2010

Accessibility of Anglican worship

In my experience of Anglican worship I find most of it accessible: I am familiar with it, I understand it, and I can engage with it. But then I have the extraordinary privilege of a varied background in Anglican worship. Perhaps you do too! Like me you have been an Anglican all your life, you have worshipped in a variety of parishes, and perhaps even in your local parish you have a range of worship styles.

Today we need to ask how accessible our worship services are to folk not currently worshipping at them.

If speaking in tongues predominates, is that accessible to those who do not speak in tongues? If parts of the service are set to music which some like, but others do not (whether it is punk rock or highbrow classical), what does that mean for accessibility to Anglican worship in our patch?

To ask this question may be challenging! A large suburban parish may be able to offer three, four, even five different style services on a Sunday, but a country parish may, in an outlying centre, only be able to offer one service once a month.

What to do?

Here are three questions which may (or may not!) assist our thinking about our answer or answers to such a question.

What enables us to maintain Anglican worship for Anglicans in our parish?

What would we need to do for our worship service(s) to draw in Anglicans who currently do not participate in worship services with us?

What worship services would be appropriate for those we would like to see join our church who are not Anglican in background?

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