Celebrating new ways of bringing the light of Jesus to Suffolk
Monday 10th June 2019
Bishop Martin and Mike travelled across the county to schools, cafés, youth groups, shows, and churches to celebrate new ways of living faith in Suffolk that are inspiring people to join the Church.
Lightwave, a countywide Christian community, is meeting in small groups in homes, pubs, offices, schools and other places, complementing traditional worship in church buildings.
On Sunday 9 June Bishop Martin visited some of the places where new initiates are flourishing, meeting people in their communities at Red Lodge, Euston, Thorndon near Eye, Rattlesden near Stowmarket, and Hessett near Bury St Edmunds.
On the same day the Bishop Mike was at Thorpeness for an outdoor service and breakfast, in Beccles for a relaxed style of worship known as messy church, at IIketshall St Lawrence Primary School for an outside school church club, and at St Felix Church, Rendlesham to join a youth group with pizza and pancake making, games and a quiz.
Both bishops then met at the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds for an inspiring service called "Catching the Fire", before enjoying a picnic with worshippers afterwards.
The Lightwave initiative is the result of an inspiring partnership between the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and Rural Ministries and championed by the Archdeacon for Rural Mission the Ven Sally Gaze.
Archdeacon Sally said: “From home-based hospitality to encountering God in the great outdoors, from community singing to community gardening, the Church is making a difference in our county and Lightwave is increasing even further the wonderful variety of ways in which people discover that God is there for them.”
Bishop Martin said: “Lightwave are small groups of people coming together to support each other and to put faith to work in practical care for friends and neighbours and those in need in our villages. Each group exists to show and share God’s love wherever they are.”
Bishop Mike said: “Our aim is that people who find Sunday worship too formal or structured for them, especially younger generations and those unused to traditional forms of church, will find Lightwave to be somewhere where they can find friends to explore the journey of faith. Some people would not be part of a church at all if it were not for Lightwave. Lightwave enables those who cannot get to a Sunday service to be fully included in a community based on Christian faith.”