Twilight @ Costa - update Jul09

Wednesday, 1 July, 2009

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

Duration: 3:39   | Download Download mp3


Introducer: When a circuit in Stafford was looking for opportunities to express church outside of their church buildings, a member of the congregation suggested what about doing it in a coffee shop in town. The vision came out of the challenge and in January 2009, Twilight was born. Rachel Matthews went along to find out more.

Interviewer: Well I'm here in Costa Coffee in Stafford and I'm joined by Jeff Reynolds who's the superintendent of the Methodist Circuit in Stafford. Jeff, to begin with, can you tell me a little bit about what's happening in Costa Coffee?

Jeff Reynolds: It's a theme-based evening, and it's aimed at people who don't go to church, it's aimed at people on the fringes of our churches, people – our friends – who would never walk through the door of a church but would come to Costa Coffee. So consequently there's no hymns, there's no prayers, there's no Bible reading – there's lots of things that what we think is church are missing. But it's no less church than the fact that people are meeting together and talking about issues of the day from a Christian perspective, so that for me makes it very valid in that sense. And that's the aim, that's the aim, to get people to come along and to be – not as a stepping stone to church, this isn't a stepping stone to go to church on a Sunday at half past ten, this is a chance to explore spirituality and their faith, however big or small that is, in a different way. In essence I think it's the newest church in Stafford.

Male voice 1: Hi I'm John, it's the first time I've been to Twilight@Costa, and it's really cool, it's a nice relaxed atmosphere, a lovely summer evening, the place is buzzing, good music. I've sort of like gone to church for a lot of my life and sort of like found it fairly inaccessible for the last few years and I've matured I've found that it hasn't really met my needs. And sort of always looked for a way of connecting my faith with real life, and this sort of does it – this is what I would do socially and I think that this whole thing about socialising together, eating together, drinking coffee together is a way of learning how to be in community with each other and be I suppose in fellowship with each other, and I think it just creates an environment where perhaps we're more open to learning.

Interviewer: In terms of the people that are coming, who aren't Christians, how do you hope that their journey towards Christianity might happen? Because it doesn't happen here does it, because if you're not praying and you're not directly talking about God and the Bible, what are you doing to meet those needs?

Jeff Reynolds: I think what you're doing to meet them, it's a recognition that actually people are latently spiritual and I think they need to find a way to express that. And for the last 25, 30, 35 years people have rejected the institution of the church because it's not met their needs. I think places like this and other places, other churches if you like – I hate to use the word church but that's the best description – are beginning to meet needs. And who knows where we go. I think it could create a new kind of church that we've never even seen before and you know it's not about us owning it, it's about us letting it go actually. I can imagine that inside five years – two or three years actually – when they say I'm going to church, what they mean is I'm going to Costa Coffee on a Thursday night.

Introducer: Jeff Reynolds, superintendent of the Stafford Methodist Circuit, ending that report.

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