St Albans 

The Vision

A disciple making hub for the ‘unchurched’ through the activities of sport, creative arts, music, recreation and a community cafe and fun. It is a light and spacious “sanctuary", a safe space with sofas, coffee tables, quiet corners for people to think and ‘be’ and space to engage in buzz and activity and friendship.  It’s a place full of creative sign posts to the Kingdom of God from the food to the art, the people and the activities.   Everything associated with it is culturally engaged, (“in the world”) and also biblically countercultural (“but not of it”) in all it does. It is the best venue in the City for a ‘spiritually inspired’ cup of coffee.

Its DNA is:

  1. Making Friends/Loving Acts of Service (e.g. through listening, serving, open events and evangelism)
  2. Making Disciples, (through doing life together: group work, workshops, activity based learning, community building and worship, inviting people to serve, join in causes, join connect groups)
  3. Evolving Worship (contextual introduction to worship and prayer in groups, activities or a more conventional service)
  4. Deepening Worship (options across all the services and sites)
  5. Sending out the Disciples (serving and sending, equipping and developing leaders).

The Overall Shape:  St Albans will be a second venue for St Thomas.  It will be ‘church but not as you know it’ and it will have a focus on midweek initiatives and a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude to draw people from outside the church into its community. It will be a place and people that encourages risk taking in sharing the good news with people of all ages and stages.  It will have a culture of invitation and hospitality at its heart and it will grow as a worshipping community measured not just by its Sunday attendance but its engagement with the community throughout the week.

How Would It Work With St Thomas?

1 St Albans will be a flexible characterful 'venue' for multiple use.  It will be a landmark venue  and very creative in its use of space and design for multi purpose use, sports, alpha, coffee  art, etc.  It has some parking and so will be convenient as a ‘ready made’ venue.

2. It needs different teams to use it for their different missional ministries. Just like The Hall. It will be under Ian's leadership and St Thomas strategy and integrated in to all that St Thomas do.  It will have a simple sample programme of events in the Autumn Term.

3. It will have a local presence and mission to the immediate area as well as a City focus.

4. It will need a small mission minded 'critical mass' congregation for Sunday at 4.30pm. This can be people who have already been to the 11 or are headed for the 7 via St  Albans: serve at one receive at the other?

What will it look/feel like?

1 ALIVE AND OPEN: Chalk Board Signage on the street everyday.  Use of Pallets to build ‘surfer’ style cafe!

2 EASY ACCESS AND ATTRACTIVE: Striking Cafe/Bar area on entry to the building visible from the road. 'Buy one, give one" coffee and other Kingdom values throughout.

3 FUN AND USEFUL: Soft Play area, Sofas, Colour boards from art workshop, Wifi

4 PRACTICAL AND VERSATILE VENUE: Round tables (easy fold and roll away) - indoor sports - evening events..

5 CONTEMPORARY BUT IN AN ANCIENT SETTING: Imaginative lighting, cohesive design, Kingdom shaped clues and a contemporary edge.

6 GOSPEL TELLING: Prayer space and STOP area. The building will celebrate and advertise other church-wide events & initiatives.  

7 REFLECTIVE SPACE: Book area/reading space/prayer space.

8 CREATIVE WORSHIP SPACE: Worship/band and 2 xTV Screens plus 2x PA (Cube?)

9 CULTURALLY ENGAGING FOR A “TOWN CLOSE” “ART COLLEGE” AND "INNER CITY" CROWD: St Albans logo in the style of St Thomas but with a different set of colours. 

10 WARM: new heating system and friendly well equipped mission hearted helpers.

11 PRAYERFUL AND WORSHIPFUL: in the music, the values and the way we run.

 

ACTIVITY IDEAS:

Midweek - The success of these depends on the demographic and demand.  We would seek to meet the needs of the Community/City.

Ideas For Designated Midweek Trials:

Social Enterprise (SAW - St Albans Woodwork) - working with disaffected young people.

Pilates and Meditation

Toddler time 

After School Club

Indoor Sports

Cafe Time

Music Nights

Alpha

Sunday 4.30pm Worship Service (Family Service 45 mins)

 

If you are interested in being part of the set up team or satellite team do contact dave@stthomasnorwich.org