Food for Thought - update Jul10

Thursday, 1 July, 2010

Klynn Alibocus tells us about setting up a fresh expression of church in an affluent 'commuter' village near Salisbury.

Duration: 3:49   | Download Download mp3


Introducer: Klynn Alibocus has been helping to lead Food for Thought in Winterslow, near Salisbury, for the past three years, and they've just celebrated their third birthday with a ceilidh. This fresh expression of church is slowly becoming part of village life, as Klynn explained to Karen Carter.

Klynn Alibocus: Food for Thought is a complementary service for the All Saints Church here in Winterslow and we try and reach out to those people who are unchurched and dechurched. We're in the village hall which is a good neutral ground which is well used in the village, so we like to meet here once a month on a Sunday throughout the year.

Interviewer: Now we've been going three years, obviously something's going right. Can you tell me why people have really warmed to Food for Thought?

Klynn Alibocus: I would say there's an element of fellowship and it's core to the central being of Food for Thought. And I think this village in particular is a commuter village where a lot of people travel away for work for one reason or another, or travel into London, like myself. Once a month it's a chance where the whole family can come together and meet their friends and just generally have a great – well I like to think a little bit of fun but, you know, they hear the word and we get to worship together. We don't always meet in the village hall, we do quite a lot, you know, we use our surroundings so we may go for walks into the woods or we may go into the city to go on a treasure hunt round the cathedral etc., so we just like to create an element of fun and sharing together.

Interviewer: What were your hopes and dreams for the future for Food for Thought?

Klynn Alibocus: Our hope and vision for Food for Thought in the future is that we can take people a little bit deeper, or signpost them to those places such as Alpha and house groups, so we become a springboard if you like, for people really wanting to search or wanting to know about Christ a little bit more. We can't be everything to everybody and this is that mustard seed if you like that starts in some people.

Interviewer: And obviously you do have other people involved in Food for Thought, would you say it's important when people are looking at setting up a fresh expression of church, in being able to share out that responsibility rather than focussing on one person?

Klynn Alibocus: Yeah, I think it's part of the planning of setting up a fresh expression. Before we'd actually started the first service we spent a good year just talking to people to see what was on their hearts and see whether they were interested, and then asking whether that interest was willing to be some form of commitment, you know, in just helping etc. to start with. And then with the helping then it came ok well do you want to help plan, you know, and then from planning it's ok do you want to help lead, and so that's kind of how it evolves. But to ask people to ask for the commitment straight up front kind of makes people back away, you've got to spoon feed some people towards discipleship, they don't suddenly come out… some people do, and that's great, but some people just need coaching. I think as a good base you need about eight to ten people to start, to helpfully plan and move it forward – and to keep it fresh of course. Different leading keeps it fresh.

Interviewer: Obviously this sort of context, a commuter village, quite an established quite a wealthy area generally, are there particular challenges for a fresh expression?

Klynn Alibocus: Yeah, I mean if we were running this in an inner city or where we came from in Sandwich in Kent where there was housing estates etc., let's just say a little bit more financially challenged. Here it's quite affluent, it's not easy to find those overt needs. But the one thing that's core to everybody, us being human in nature, we all want to get together at some point and we all enjoy the fellowship and the friendship, and that's God-centred. We come here because the church puts it on and church equals God and, you know, Food for Thought equals God, so it can draw those dots together if you like.

Introducer: Klynn Alibocus talking to Karen Carter about the importance of creating community in his Wiltshire village.

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