Café Church

Annette Brooke shares what happened during lockdown.

A memorable Café Church took place in the coffee lounge at Broadstone Methodist Church in early March 2020, the subject was ‘Death’, led by the Rev Sue Gowling. Fears about the pandemic were growing which affected numbers attending and precautions were in place. Nevertheless, tea and delicious cakes were enjoyed and Sue guided us through the subject in a thought-provoking way with skill and empathy. Normally, Café Church takes place five times a year on a Sunday afternoon and provides opportunities to chat over tea and to contribute to discussion on a wide range of topics. It is planned that our ‘normal’ Café Church will resume on Sunday 19 September 2021, 4.30pm.

Café Church was definitely missed and with some trepidation Mike and I offered to run Zoom Café Church, the anxiety arose from our limited computer skills! Deacon Gill Judge was there to support us and Zoom Café Church was launched in January 2021. We were concerned that the event couldn’t be fully inclusive and also accepted that participants would have to provide their own tea and cakes! It seemed appropriate to have ‘Life’ as our first topic. Brian Tucknott led the first session and participants were asked to complete the sentence ‘Life is ….’ in advance of the session. We had power point slides, clips from YouTube, prayers and discussion and so much chat between people who were pleased to catch up with one another again. In addition to BMC members, people joined us from Southampton, from across the Circuit, from other denominations and on a later occasion from Poole Hospital. After some consultation it was decided to make this a monthly event.

Our February topic was ‘Our Extraordinary Natural World’. This enabled us to reflect on the beauty of our environment and how our appreciation of this had been enhanced during lockdown. We also touched on the urgency to tackle climate change to protect our wonderful gifts from God.

We had an excellent guest speaker for our March session, Alistair Doxat-Purser, Chief Executive of Faithworks, Wessex. We learned about the many projects in which Faithworks is involved and discussed our priorities for our mission in our community. An important message received was that so much more can be achieved by working in partnership.

In April, we looked at ‘The Role of the Church after Lockdown’ as Churches Together in Broadstone, with contributions from Rev Helen Bailey, Rev Lyndon Webb, Deacon Gill Judge, Rev Karen James and Deacon Nick Johnson – a very inspiring session.

Our final Zoom event was in June, with guest speaker Chris Beale, former head of Poole Voluntary Services and currently Director of PramaLife. This was very informative and helpful in our mission to tackle isolation.

It had been hoped that our June Café Church would have taken place in Broadstone Methodist Church but it wasn’t to be, with so many restrictions still in place. However, we are beginning to think about ordering the cakes for our event in September! We hope that you can join us.

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