We see ourselves as a large household-family and thus reflecting the model of the Early Church in New Testament times. We share a common belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. We share food together most of the time, what we call 'Bring & Share', just as we would in any family home, and thereby share love, loyalty, and commitment to each other.
We are a community of believers. For many in our parish, unfortunately, their lives are too busy to be deeply shared. Families are broken, far-flung and fluid. Here at St. Katharine with St. Bartholomew Church we endeavour to replicate what it means to be a family. Most of the children call the adults ‘uncles’ and ‘aunties’, even though they don’t share blood relationships.
We are mindful that many families in the parish/community have busy lives; which include a hectic working week and preparing children to come to church could be pretty daunting. So we start our Sunday worship services at 10.30 am and give room for late comers and so we often do a pre-service from 10.30 to 10.45 am. The pre-service may sometimes include a brief rehearsal by the singers, notices/ announcements made and worshippers given time to have morning coffee & tea. They do like their morning beverage and chat time. The children and young people will often have their own special Sunday service in St. Bartholomew chapel, which is attached to the church.
We sing both contemporary and traditional hymns and the lay people lead most of the worship service and this includes the ante communion (the various worship items before we have Holy Communion) and the readings. The children and young people will also do readings in church and so we build their self-confidence. After church, we spend hours chatting (over a cup of coffee/tea and biscuits and sometimes cooked food) on different subjects e.g. football, politics, etc.