Network Norwich and Norfolk > Regional News > South Norfolk > Norfolk church offers bite-size services

Norfolk church offers bite-size services

DerekGrimshawCoffeeWeb2006: We have fast food and speed dating - and now a church near Norwich has tried fast services.

Hethersett Methodist Church held its first "bite-size service" on Sunday September 3, 2006, aimed at people with busy lives who want to learn more about Christianity.

Out are going the traditional hymns and sermons and in will come PowerPoint presentations and happy songs in a bid to boost congregations.

The idea was put forward by a member of the regular congregation at the church, which numbers between 70 and 80.

Rev Derek Grimshaw, Methodist minister for Hethersett, said: "It seems such a struggle to get people to church these days and it was a case of trying to think of something a little bit different. Some people have this illusion that church is all about half a dozen hymns and long prayers; we want to try to make it fit more with people's lives."

He added: "The idea is to try to do things like use modern technology in the talk; using something like PowerPoint to try to illustrate the talk rather than just have someone standing at the front."

The topic for the first talk was Can You Believe in God These Days? Other services will cover How Do You Find Abundant Wealth? and Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

If the concept takes off, the church plans to hold more of these services in the future.

Mr Grimshaw said they had sent out leaflets around Hethersett to encourage people to pay them a visit.

"We hope that people will spare half an hour to attend one of the bite-size services," he said.

"They will be under no pressure to come again, but it is an opportunity to see that church really can be enjoyable, whatever your age. And who knows, the bite-size concept might be the start of something big."

Jan McFarlane, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Norwich, said the Church of England was also looking at the way it engaged with people, having launched an initiative called Fresh Expressions of Church. She said: "Our numbers for the whole diocese are pretty stable year on year, but at the same time we are aware of thinking of new ways of bringing people in.

"At St Catherine's at Mile Cross they use PowerPoint at every Sunday morning service and they have a band as well as the organ and their numbers have been increasing. At Ditchingham they started something called a Café Church, where they meet in the school every month and sit around tables as if they were in a café. We are exploring these kinds of things."

Pictured above is Rev Derek Grimshaw.

Article courtesy of

Do you appreciate our service and stories?

The Network Norwich & Norfolk website has been published for over 13 years now and we have an established team of professional journalists covering the activities, organisations and churches which make up the county’s Christian community. Our whole purpose is to support that community by daily providing accurate, unbiased stories and features.

To pay for that service, we rely on our partner organisations, advertisers and readers to, in turn, support us financially. We want to keep the website free for everyone to access and continue to be able to pay for writers to produce the content you can enjoy every day.

We would like to ask you to consider supporting our work and suggest you might want to make a small regular donation of just £1 a week and become one of our 100 Friends, or a larger one-off or annual amount.

Because we are part of a registered charity we can reclaim Gift Aid on your donations if you are a tax-payer.

 Recommended reading 
Not rated. Write the first review or comment
Site Search

 Norfolk services........ 


Twitter-button  facebookbutton


Sign up for our
free e-newsletter

Send us your latest local news and events