Solace - update Dec09

Tuesday, 1 December, 2009

Wendy Sanderson, Church Army Evangelist, discusses Solace - a fresh expression in a bar in central Cardiff.

Duration: 3:48   | Download Download mp3

Transcript

Introducer: Solace is a fresh expression of church based in a Cardiff pub It meets weekly where over a pint of beer you can come along to discuss some of the really big issues of life. Launched in April 2007, Solace is going from strength to strength. So we sent Alicia Baker to find out more.

Wendy Sanderson: I'm Sister Wendy Sanderson, I'm a Church Army officer, I came to Cardiff about seven years ago now and Solace came about through a meeting with a young Baptist minister, Revd James Karran, and we ended up having a conversation in a coffee shop one afternoon and decided that we were both into clubbing, we were obviously both into God, both into people and decided to take a chance and merge the two in a new form of fresh expression, and it actually came about through a lot of prayer to be honest, because we didn't have a clue how to do it. We started meeting from about 8 o'clock in the evening and then it just goes on. We have guest speakers, we have a live band every second Sunday on entertainment night, we have on a third night is debate night where people are free to express their own views and on the fourth night is what we call agape, which is where we remember what Christ did and we share the bread and wine and also a free buffet, everybody loves free food, and we look at how we can pray and reflect on things that we've been discussing that month and the theme of the month through different ways of meditating and prayer without just the traditional eyes closed hands together.

Female voice 1: I've been coming to Solace for two and a half years, since it started in April two years ago, it's a relaxed environment so it's just easy to be here.

Interviewer: Clearly Solace is very relational in the way it works. Do you think church today generally needs to be more relational in the way it reaches out?

Wendy Sanderson: Yes. I am an Anglican, I have a heart for traditional church and there are many many churches out there that are well established over the years that have got fantastic outreach going on. I do think there are also churches that haven't. I also think there are fresh expression that don't carry out outreach as well that I know about, so I think it's a combination really in that I think that every Christian community, whether it be fresh expression or a traditional form of church, needs to have mission and outreach as part of what it does on a regular basis. And if it's doing it in the right way then that's what we should all be doing really, yeah.

Female voice 1: I find it really easy to invite friends here actually, because it's so relaxed, and it is in a bar so it's not as scary as coming along to a church with pews and things like that. It is just easy to invite people.

Interviewer: So everything seems to be going very well, have there been any difficult issues or have there been any sticking points in the whole project?

Wendy Sanderson: Quite a number and I love this question. We need to be honest about our difficulties, about our strengths and weaknesses. Early days we were using different venues, members that were coming to Solace started saying can you stick to one venue and we were actually finding it difficult to get one venue, so we kind of had this tug of war going on really, trying to keep people there, trying to make it known where we were when we were being double-booked, when we can't find venues. I think that we think that if it doesn't go right first time then obviously that's not what God's called us to and I do think there's a time and a place where maybe you have to move on to something else, but I think also there's nothing wrong with having to go back to the drawing board, it's not failure, it's actually tools in your belt and I think that's something that God's taught me, definitely.

Introducer: Wendy Sanderson, one of the leaders of Solace, a pub church in Cardiff.

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