May 30th, 2010 saw the first of an experimental series of 'fifth
Sunday' special services in the United Benefice.
The congregations of St Mary's and St Faith's came together at 10.30 am
on that day in St Mary's Hall to celebrate the Parish Eucharist in a
new and distinctive way.
We gathered in the Church Hall, seated at attractively laid and
decorated tables, with lectern and altar at one end and the choir on
the stage behind banners at the other.
Fr Neil introduced and led the liturgy, and Archdeacon of Liverpool
Ricky Panter led us in studying the gospel text and feeding back our
The liturgy was simple, but moving and effective, culminating in scenes
of dignified chaos as the big congregation (there were barely enough
seats to go round)
manoeuvred round the chicanes to take communion and find their way back
to their tables. At the end of the extended service the liturgy
flowed seamlessly into the lunch, as we moved to various serving points
for soup, buffet food and various drinks.
After appropriate digestion and rumination, we made for home at around
1.00 pm, reflecting on the very real success of a distinctive
The fact that what seemed to be the full complement of both regular
congregations were there, together with a number of newcomers,
bodes well for the future of Liturgy and Lunch sessions in the United
Our thanks to Fr Neil, Archdeadon Ricky, and the many folk who made it
all happen so seemingly effortlessly.
Joy Roderick's photos show the
empty hall, followed by the overflowing fellowship and the sacramental
centre of the event.
Pictures: Joy Roderick. Words: Chris Price
Go to St Mary's home page
Go to St Faith's home page