Portsmouth Diocese E-News

Welcome to Worship in Avon Stour



20th December 2017


Richard Martin writes...

In Avon Stour Pastoral Area, our ‘Welcome to Worship’ evenings are one key element in our ‘making disciples’ mission – giving people an opportunity to explore their own spirituality and encounter Jesus in a non-threatening, non-judgemental, unpressured environment, and increasing the senses of welcome and belonging to a community.


Welcome to Worship consists of contemporary music and singing (including both ‘upbeat’ and very reflective songs), a scripture reading, a short talk/reflection on that reading, then an opportunity to respond in a number of optional ways by visiting a choice of ‘prayer stations’ in different parts of the church, all in silence – some involving reading, some thinking, some doing, some moving, some just sitting. The only ‘non-silent’ one is the option for receiving personal prayer (using our developing ‘parish prayer ministry’ teams). Then finally gathering together again for communal prayer and more uplifting singing to finish, before gathering socially for refreshments afterwards.


Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us for these! Our next one will be just after Christmas (Wednesday 10th January) in Southbourne, near Bournemouth. Click here for a poster.


Some comments from people who came to previous ‘Welcome to Worship’ evenings:


  • “I feel like I’ve had a mini retreat”
  • “thank you for the wonderful prayer and worship evening”
  • “I could not believe I was only there one and a half hours. I gained from the evening as much as a whole weekend in the past”
  • “prayerful and uplifting”
  • “I felt spoken to”
  • “wonderful… truly a renewing spiritual experience not to be missed”
  • “excellent…The quiet prayer part was very powerful”
  • “such an enjoyable and worthwhile experience”
  • “uplifting”
  • “I liked the ‘no pressure’ side to the evening, where you could partake in as much or little as you wanted”
  • “lovely to have a quiet evening of contemplation”

Contact Richard Martin for more information: 






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