The UP dimension of church: The Bridge

Monday, 1 June, 2009

This story illustrates the principles of The UP dimension of church in the Guide.

The Bridge, a community church of 65 adults and children in Leicestershire, began as the initiative of a Methodist minister in 1995. In 2002, the care of The Bridge was handed over to lay leader, Tim Lea, who works part-time.

The presentation of the Christian gospel has always been a central part of The Bridge's Sunday teatime gatherings, held in a school. Until recently, communion was held just once a year on Easter Day. Now it happens four times a year. On occasions it has been an extended communion, meaning that beforehand the bread and wine are blessed elsewhere by an authorised minister.

The communion services are conducted in a variety of ways, some along all-age lines which, says Tim Lea,

the kids love,

others with an all-adult congregation. Four stations are offered around the venue (The Bridge meets in a school hall), and worshippers have the option to serve themselves or to receive from another person.

At Easter 2006,

we created a picnic atmosphere and re-enacted the feeding of the 5,000, including communion as part of it,

Tim says.

We had fresh cooked bread, Ribena and Schloer. You should have seen the twelve baskets left over!

The practice of communion is an ongoing discussion. We are still working out how it happens, who does it and what it looks like, but that is the beauty of being part of a creative, dynamic community.

This is a learning point from: