Visions - update Nov09

Sunday, 1 November, 2009

Sue Wallace discusses Visions, a fresh expression of church in York.

Duration: 3:23   | Download Download mp3


Introducer: Every month in the crypt of York Minster there's an alternative worship gathering led by members of the city's Visions community. This fresh expression of church was founded back in 1991 and describes itself as church for people who don't like church. During the week the community often gathers in each other's homes, as leader Sue Wallace explained.

Sue Wallace: [Jesus said, trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you. There are many rooms in God's house…]

We have quite a lot of midweek meetings and they all pretty much involve food, because we've found over time that eating together is such an easy way to build community. That it's very easy to draw new people in over food and say oh come round for a meal and, you know, you don't have to be a special person or in the 'in crowd', just come and join us for food. So we'll eat together, we'll do a little bit of praying together, and we'll do some sort of creative Bible stuff together as well.


The worship is really important, but the worship is more than a worship service, it's about what happens before a worship service, it's what happens after a worship service. I think somebody once described it as a liturgy after the liturgy, and that's life. And it's also the planning and the feedback. We actually look at the Bible stuff that's coming up in the lectionary and quite often we'll do this in a local pub, and we'll split into different tables and we'll wrestle over the Bible readings and come up with loads of crazy ideas. But when we come to the worship we'll come the worship already having absorbed that stuff and having shared our feelings about it and bounced around loads of different ideas, half of which don't actually end up in it, but we're richer as a result, we've been on a journey towards that service.

[Indistinct conversation.]

So many people have said to me over time that Visions is a place where they can be themselves, even people who are quite hurting and in a difficult place. Sometimes they feel in other churches that they have to be, I suppose happy or smiley, and they've been able to share their problems and cry if they want to and be upset, and it's ok. They've felt really accepted. And so I think that's a very important thing we wanted to continue to have really, that welcoming and acceptance of people where they are at.

I think new things are often scary, and new things looking back have always been scary, and yet looking at the church in the past, looking at people like St Ignatius, the Jesuits, St Francis, the Franciscans, we can just see the amazing fruit that's been born as a result. And to me I think what's happening now with fresh expressions is just another of those new initiatives. It's not something totally from scratch, it's carrying on, it's singing the next verse of a song that's been sung for 2,000 years.

[We break the bread of life, and that life is the light of the world.]

Introducer: Sue Wallace, one of the leaders of the Visions community in York. And you can find out more about Visions and six other fresh expressions of church if you buy our latest DVD, called Sanctus. It costs just £12 and is available in our online shop, that's

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