Lay leadership – rural church shows how it’s done!

Lay leadershipWith the blessing of their vicar, the congregation at All Saint’s Kirby Hill near Boroughbridge have taken on the development and running of a series of innovative services and outreach events over the summer including a holiday club for children and a Songs of Praise service in the local pub.

When the Revd Alison Askew started her sabbatical in July she encouraged lay leaders to be creative and continue to move forward as a church. 

The result has been a highly successful series of summer events, starting with a service on the village green.  "All Saints on The Green" was  a celebration of community life in the  village. It was followed by an  All Age Worship service on the theme of the Parable of the Sower, in church.

A Songs of Praise service focusing on Tourism and Hospitality, followed, held in the  church of Christ the Consoler, in the grounds of Newby Hall.  A Holiday Club for children was held at the local C of E Primary School over three mornings during August, developed and delivered by members of the congregation, and on August 20th the church enjoyed  "All Saints at the pub" -  Songs of Praise service at the Fox & Hounds in Langthorpe, a first for the church and a voted a great success (see pictures).

John Helliwell, a member of All Saints PCC and the all-age worship team, said, “We are told that lay-led worship is a necessary thing of the future as clergy become increasingly scarce over the next decade or so. If that's the case, All Saints, would appear to be a trend-setting church, forging ahead into new liturgical territory.

“Yes, we're missing Alison and looking forward to her return next month. But it's been good practice for a future that may well be quite different from the present, with a much greater dependence on lay leadership.”