What began as ‘church outside’ during the Covid pandemic has now become a regular pattern of Wild Worship for St Andrew’s, Clewer.
Wild Worship takes place on the third Sunday of every month, whatever the weather, and is held in the beautiful churchyard at St Andrew's. It includes churchyard trails throughout the liturgical year, nature trails, tree identification activities, wildflower hunting and nature crafting. The path throughout the churchyard becomes a display board, with chalk drawings for visitors to enjoy and a ‘finds’ table that is always full.
Holding it in the churchyard provides more opportunity for the team to be flexible with activities, and also enhances the families’ experience of the churchyard and the natural environment surrounding their medieval church.
The service follows a pattern of gathering and welcome, a Bible text for exploring that week, followed by an activity, snack time, a revisit of the story and a time of dwelling in the word before everyone shares what they made and found. The service closes in prayer. Up to seven families attend each time, most of them on the fringes of Sunday church, and they will often bring friends with them as well.
The vicar, Revd Rosie Webb, has taken Wild Worship into the local school once a week, and follows the same pattern. She said:
“The experience has been one of the best things we do at St Andrew’s, the families love it, the children connect with it, the children at school have a deeper opportunity to develop their spirituality and then connect with the church with more ease.”
You can hear Rosie share her experiences at the next Greenshoots Network online meeting, on 30 November from 7.30-8.30pm. Email Alison to join.
Resources for running similar services can be found on our Eco Hub – just search for ‘outdoor worship’.