Life and Lives Lived – a fresh expression of All Saints and Souls?

All Saints Church, Minstead, lit to welcome those celebrating ‘Life and Lives Lived’ 3rd November 2012

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of sharing in ‘A Service Celebrating Life and Lives Lived’ at All Saints, Minstead in the New Forest. The village church was filled with light and colour as people from all over the area met together at the conclusion of two community events designed to dovetail together.

Minstead Study Centre held a light of heart ‘Days of the Dead’, reflective celebration of death, dying, grief and bereavement, building on the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ celebration of dead ancestors.

All Saints Church in Minstead celebrated ‘Life and Lives Lived’ at the same time, with felt angel making, a prayer tree, time to think and talk about the Christian view of life and death over cake and tea, and a vivid illustration of how a school had engaged with patients at a local hospice to explore ideas surrounding death and dying.

The sarcophagus and display material showing the work of pupils from Pennington Junior School with the residents of Oakhaven Hospice, 2012

The service that concluded both the events was led by Revd Kate Wilson, who as well as being vicar of a neighbouring parish is part-time chaplain at Oakhaven Hospice, where, nearly 17 years ago, my mother died. Kate had worked with volunteers at the hospice, Pennington Junior School, a student at Brockenhurst College, and the residents at the hospice to create a wonderful Egyptian sarcophagus which was on display along with many photo’s of all the other activities involved in their project day. Reading and seeing the details of young children working with people who were dying to create things of beauty like Egyptian bookmarks, whilst also talking about the fears of all about the idea of dying, was actually very moving.

Cross and candles in the south window of the nave at All Saints, Minstead for the celebration of ‘Life and Lives Lived’, 3rd November 2012

The service itself was also very moving, as it drew together people of all faiths and none, with the Gospel message being drawn out through non-scriptural readings. With Revd Wilson’s permission I am outlining below roughly what material was used and the order this very informal service took; what she described as “probably what they call a ‘fresh expression’ of church.

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About ramtopsrac

Church of England Priest, child of God, daughter of the New Forest, wife and mother.
This entry was posted in life, ministry, worship and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Life and Lives Lived – a fresh expression of All Saints and Souls?

  1. Pingback: Life and Lives Lived – a fresh expression of All Saints and Souls – Blog | Nail It To The Cross

  2. Pingback: The Sepulchre Experience – The women’s tale | Because God Calls

  3. Pingback: A Pagan-Christian dialogue about Halloween and All Souls | Because God Calls

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