A North Yorkshire village church is to take Sunday services out to the people by holding an innovative ‘pop up’ church in the local village institute once a month.
The small but committed congregation at St Michael’s Church, Markington, between Ripley and Ripon, plans to make services more accessible and easier to get to for the small local population, by moving out of the 19th century church building (right) once a month and offering free breakfasts as well as more informal worship in the modern village institute hall. (pictured left)
Vicar, the Revd Paul Harford said that one reason for ‘Pop Up Church’ was that the church building, has its downsides. “The church building suffers from being very cold in the winter, beset by cluster flies in the spring, and on the outskirts of the village throughout the year!” But he added that there were also positive reasons for the initiative. “It has long been its dream to explore ways of worshipping that can re-engage with the community, encouraging both people to return to church, and to come for the first time.”
The church council or PCC took the lead from the village hall which runs a successful ‘Pop-Up café’ on the first Sunday of the month. “We thought we would borrow their branding!” said Paul. “Pop-Up Church will be every third Sunday of the month, in the village hall, offering a free breakfast from 9.30am, with a simple all-age friendly activities, and an informal act of worship from 10am.
“We are hoping to provide both a village social space, and an opportunity for people to engage with the bigger questions; our dream is to see a community that through meeting with each other, meets with Jesus. We had a trial run for some specially recruited 'mystery worshippers' last Sunday in the church, and go 'live' in the village hall on Sunday 17th May.”
For more information go to the church's own website here