BBC Radio Wales carried an interesting discussion about forms of church and asked the question of what the church is offering those people who are being invited back. You can download it here (right click, save as). Note there's a preceding piece about jazz vespers.
A comment was made that there are many thousands of people who would like to be involved in a church but are simply too afraid to come near. People feel the need to dress up – to be sinless, on good behavior. The subject of dressing up to church is sometimes a contentious subject as far as my parents generation is concerned, but the discussion suggests that it's OK to turn up in jeans and work boots, indeed the slogan for Back to Church Sunday is, "come as you are"
This evening we are holding the first meeting in Ilkley to discuss the formation of an alternative worship community. Individuals representing most of the nine churches will be supporting the move. "come as you are" I hope will mean something deeper that what we wear but be a complete opening up of our talents and vulnerabilities; a true welcoming.
I miss my involvement in grace and am looking forward to getting something off the ground here. I agree with the comment in the RWales discussion that church should be formed where people are and in a way that can inspire them to participate. I hope we've picked the right time to start something up.