Thursday, April 12, 2012
wanted dead and alive: UK alt.worship communities
As part of my PhD research (what became “A New Way of Being Church”, University of Otago, 2004), I conducted research during March – June, 2001 into mission experimentation in the UK. This was focused on alternative worship communities and included both participant observation and interviews with both leaders and laity.
Some ten years on from that research, I have been reflecting on sustainability. As any parent will know, it’s one thing to birth a child. It’s quite another to do the early mornings and late nights, to piece your way through the ups and downs.
So I have begun a “Sustainability in new mission initiatives” Research Project. This first part has focused on the church that was the major focus of my research, Cityside Baptist. I have returned to participate in worship, to interview key leaders, to re-survey the congregation, and to conduct focus groups in response to reflect upon their data. Currently I’m writing up the results.
The next stage of the project involves wanting to explore the sustainability of the UK alt.worship communities I had researched back in 2001.
Here I need some help. Some initial website research has revealed that of the twelve I researched,
four six continue today ( two three under another name). Two Four appear closed. I remain unsure about six two of the communities. They look to have little web presence and so perhaps are closed.
So I have two requests. First, can any of my UK readers check the table here and provide any further information on the current status of any of these groups. I’m particular after information on
- Late Late Service, Glasgow
- Sanctuary, Bath (Updated: website found)
- Resonance, Bristol (Updated: renamed as Foundation in 2005. Thanks Paul )
- The Bigger Picture, London
- Graceland, Cardiff (Updated: according to a blog comment (thanks heaps), has closed, although relational connections continue.
- Holy Joes, London (Updated: Maggi Dawn thinks this group is currently in recess)
Second, I am interested in trying to interview all these groups, or representatives (whether dead or alive!). We need to learn from all our experiments, no matter their current status. I am working toward a research visit to the UK (December 2012-February 2013). So I would like to locate folk, particularly from those that are closed, or appear to be. So can any of my UK readers provide any followup or contact details?
Thanks, in hope