Twilight @ Costa

Wednesday, 1 July, 2009

Methodist minister Jeff Reynolds reflects on starting Twilight, a fresh expression of church in Costa Coffee in Stafford.

This is a salutary story that if, as a minister/leader of church communities, you give people the chance to use their initiative – don't be surprised if they do.

In Stafford, we have been looking for opportunities to express church 'outside' of our church buildings. One of my members approached me and said 'what about doing Church in Costa Coffee in the centre of Stafford?' I was immediately intrigued and excited about what that might mean. What I didn't realise was that my words of challenge to my churches in previous months had been heeded and this member had done an enormous amount of groundwork to help establish a 'new' church in the centre of Stafford.

The vision came out of the challenge and in January 09, 'Twilight@Costa' was born. It is a monthly gathering on the last Thursday of the month at Costa Coffee in the centre of Stafford. It is a relaxed evening with no discernible elements of more traditional church services but an opportunity for people to come and share together in an excellent atmosphere that has a Christian ethos at its very core.

The more we have sought to establish Fresh Expressions of Church in the Stafford area, the more we have realised that you can have the best church services that are relevant, humourous and non-threatening and where the welcome is the best it can be, but there are still many who find physically entering a church building an impossibility. So our vision has been to create a church where people are, rather than where they are never going to be.

We have been running for six months and it is going really well. Each evening is about 90 minutes long and involves coffee (obviously) and a myriad of other excellent drinks and food, music, chat, quizzes and fun. The evenings are theme-based and so far we have tackled fair trade issues, people-trafficking, debt problems and also held a jazz evening. As always with any fresh expression of church we realise that it is an organic animal and that we will change things and tinker with our ways of operating to make it the best that it can be.

We hope and pray that we will continue to develop and establish this expression of church and that people for whom more traditional forms of church are a turn-off, will continue to feel that Twilight is 'their' church. Please feel free to join us on the last Thursday of each month at Costa in the centre of Stafford.

Updates to, and learning points from, this story

Wednesday, 1 July, 2009 On Demand clip

Jeff Reynolds reflects on starting Twilight@Costa, a fresh expression of church in Costa Coffee in Stafford.