Roadshow Report – Leyland Methodist Church, October 2005

by Mike Burn on October 29, 2005

Leyland Roadshow

Check out more pictures from the Roadshow

Situated south of Preston in Lancashire, Leyland is a medium-size town, famous of course for Leyland vehicles. Leyland Methodist Church dates back to the mid 18th century when Wesley’s life and preaching had such a dramatic impact on the church and nation. Rebuilt in the early 80’s, the church is a large facility, with several halls and rooms and a flexible layout. We really appreciated the warm welcome from the church, and the great planning and organisation that had gone into arranging the workshops.

The church had publicised the Saturday workshops widely, and there was a good representation of people and churches, not just from the local Methodist circuit but from other denominations also, which was great. We took a team of 7 to cover a range of subjects for the afternoon workshops – dance, drama, multimedia, prayer, worship leading, music, and teaching. Then an all-age evening celebration brought together a number of the elements from the workshops, with enthusiastic participation from many different people.

Regardless of denomination, style, demographics, and all the other factors that can affect a church, the workshops and discussions reminded me that all churches face similar challenges – how do we continue to be relevant and dynamic in an ever-changing society, and how do we reach and engage the younger generations in a way that will draw them in rather than drive them out. No easy answers, but plenty of desire on behalf of all the participants from the different churches to hear from God and do the best possible thing for their churches and communities, so a really encouraging time.

We then participated in the regular Sunday morning service, which included a lovely baptism, and focussed on the theme of the Lord’s Prayer and “Your kingdom come”. Featuring hymns on the organ, a marvellous church choir, some new songs from the worship band, and contributions from several different ages, the service was a great example of what the US sometimes calls “blended worship”. In other words, something for everyone, and noone left feeling excluded or unable to engage in worship with their God.

The team really enjoyed the visit, and it was great to make some contacts and friendships in a town we’d not been to before. Sue and I, along with Sophie and Josie, spent a day in Blackpool after the Roadshow (well, you have to go at least once in a lifetime!) and then drove across the Pennines and spent a couple of days in the Yorkshire Dales, which was relaxing, enjoyable and inspiring, if somewhat wet at times…

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