Sunday, 23 September 2012

Some New Ideas in Creative Worship

People are always saying there isn't enough alternative worship material out there - things that really push the liturgical envelope, as it were. It sometimes feels like it falls to the more traditional fellowships like ourselves, to pull the leading edge back to the correct position to stay aloft.

And so, for those who are looking for a more traditional form of alt.lit, I'm happy to offer up to you these few Husborne Crawley favourites.

"The Chinese Lanterns of Praise" - Get everyone to write a prayer of praise and adoration on a treasury tag, tie each tag to a Chinese Lantern, and then let them off just as dusk is falling. You will get that lovely gooey feeling that you're sending your prayers straight up almost to heaven. And when the farming community to the east have put out the barn or the vet carries out the post-mortem on the cow, and reads the praises attached to the charred and blackened metal, they're gonna be so blessed.

"Icon-painting by numbers" - Everybody loves icons. They're so gold, and shiny, and kind of sad-looking with their big eyes. What could make somebody happier than painting their own icons? And conveniently we have a load of "Ikon by numbers" boards and some pots of gold paint in the Beaker Bazaar. It's more of a workshop than an item in a service - but whoever sweeps the floors, as for thy laws and all that.
After a trip to Husborne Crawley, one of our Spanish pilgrims announced she was so inspired, she'd be going home to continue to develop her skills. We're really pleased with the results.

"Prayer Dumplings" - a large pot of stew is kept simmering at the back of the Moot House. Each time -somebody wants to offer a physical demonstration of prayer, they put a dumpling into the stew-pot. At the end of the service, the leader offers up a prayer over the dumplings, and then takes the stew home for Sunday dinner.

"The Sinful Tea Set" - the Community brings along all its chipped cups, cracked dishes and such like from the crockery cupboard. A large dustbin is provided. Wearing appropriate safety equipment (goggles, crash helmets, protective gloves) the Beaker Folk may sling their broken earthenware and china - representing their sins (or, for less judgemental fellowships, just general failings) into the dustbin. Hint - it is a good idea to shut the dustbin lid quid after chucking the crockery in. Otherwise some bone china splinters can be awful sharp. At the end, the Archdruid takes a crow-bar and smashes all the broken cutlery into tiny pieces. This has no symbolic value, but tends to reduce the stress levels on everyone else for the rest of the day.

"Spin the Liturgical Bottle" - the Community sits round in a circle, and the first person spins a bottle round. The person it points to has to come up with a wise saying, snippet of poetry or liturgy, or searing theological insight. This continues until everybody has run out of inspiration, or somebody quotes "Footprints".

"Biblical Mornington Crescent"
 - Everyone shouts out the name of a place in the Bible lands in turn. When someone says "Morning Crescent", they are the winner. Based on these two rules, this game can go on a bit.

Bagpipes in the Music Group - Will improve the general sound of at least 50% of all music groups.

"Radical confession"  - With the onset of the "confessional" style of TV and increasing airing of dirty linen in public - make the prayers of confession "open" like you've been unsuccessfully trying with the prayers of intercession all these years. With any luck, the incentive of featuring on YouTube will ensure you get some really juicy stuff.


  1. May I suggest 'Theological Cluedo'? Finding out it's Verger Plum in the Chancel with the Candlestick may not be spiritually instructive, but it would be very satisfying.

    love Mags B x

  2. Did you write some of our children's theological educational material?

  3. Modern wheelie bins make suitable visual aids when preaching about sin - quite large children will fit into them.

  4. I've seen it done, in years gone by. Makes one think all kinds of thoughts

  5. I think they washed them out first.

  6. Oh, and I had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. OK? I would like to make that entirely clear.


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