Q and A church service Hoylake

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undefinedA new church service at which the congregation gets a say (instead of merely listening to the vicar's sermon) was launched at St Hildeburgh's, Hoylake, on Sunday, October 11. "It's my turn to listen," said the Vicar, the Revd Paul Rossiter (PICTURED). "I am glad I did. The topic at the first service was the refugee crisis and what we as a church and individuals can do about it...

“Plenty of opinions were expressed and we had a lively discussion. It attracted several dozen people – a good mix of our church regulars and quite a few new people.”

The service, called Open Worship, replaces the traditional evensong at 6pm on the second Sunday of each month with the next one due on 8 November. To add to the informality, the service is held in the church hall and tea and coffee are served.

Vicar Paul added: “To be an active church in the 21st century we must look to appeal to new people and explore different ways of worshipping – not by ‘throwing out the baby with the bathwater’ but by keeping what is good while developing new ideas.

“I am really looking forward to hearing some seriously clued-up contributions from people at each of these services.”

The event is the latest in a dozen initiatives introduced since Paul Rossiter became Vicar of Hoylake three years ago. Large numbers attend Messy Church – a programme of games, crafts, worship songs and a story for children and their families, concluding with a hot meal for all. Other events aimed at forging stronger community links include: the annual Christmas tree festival; a weekly bacon butty brunch for anyone who cares to come; monthly soup and sandwich sessions for those in care and carers; Christianity courses and a series of charity concerts.

Church services are not only held on Sunday but throughout the week with extra services for care home residents and a monthly Healing Eucharist.

Bonds with Hoylake’s Church of England school and Hoylake Lifeboat have been strengthened and the vicarage has become open house for many functions.