I caught up with some students from SEITE today as I have agreed to be a mission placement for first years who are going to work with us and our ‘mission’ over the Dickens Christmas Festival in December. I think this will be a good experience for these ordinands and will also be an opportunity for us to learn from their approach to mission as well.
This year we are looking at a theme of pause. As part of our mission we hope to encourage people to pause and consider what Christmas is all about. I am looking for a few people to be characters from the Christmas story who will share their experience of the first Christmas in 5 minute slots throughout the day. Some of these will make the statement ‘this was the son of God!’ while others will ask the question ‘this was the son of God?’ I think this could be a good way of engaging with our visitors throughout the weekend.
We are also going to take the Benedictine tradition of asking ‘what is it that you have come for?’ and seeing how we can respond to that. Many come to light candles and so we are thinking of a book of remembrance, or a pause book, for people to write or draw their thoughts. People also seem to come to be listened to or to ask for prayer. This year we will be able to offer both in the lady chapel and by the High Altar, along with prayer for healing and anointing should people wish to have it.
We are also registered with the Get In the Picture campaign, which I think will be another great way to engage with the thousands of people who visit the cathedral over the weekend.
I’m quite looking forward to the experience again – just need to get on and write those character scripts! oh … and if you’d like to offer to get involved in any way, why not look me up for a chat.