Exploring Outdoor Worship - Forest Church Taster events

Published: 16th October 2020

A lot of people are thinking about doing outdoor worship. This isn’t just in response to Covid 19, though it does make it easier to comply safely with requirements. For many there is also an increasing desire to connect with God in nature, both as an expression of their spirituality but also with an environmental focus. As part of my role with Lichfield Diocese I want to enable communities of Christians to link how they are church with the environment in a way that is also attractive to those outside the church and deepens our connection with nature and creation care. 

12 years ago, I was part of a group of people who also shared this vision and as a result launched Forest Church, in part inspired by Forest Schools. To help people explore Forest Church as an approach to outdoor worship which is not simply taking church outside, but encourages us to engage with nature, I am planning to run several Forest Church taster events in different parts of the diocese this Autumn/Winter with at least one in each Archdeaconry.  

I have already made contact with some churches already doing something like this and hoping to work with them on running a taster event. But I am also looking for others who would like to give this a try and have somewhere they think might be a really good place to run a Forest Church Taster event. To do this we need to comply with the requirements for outdoor worship, which are basically those for indoor worship but allow us not to have to wear facemasks if we can ensure social distancing. You also need the permission of the owner of the land which can’t be a private garden of a house. Often a large churchyard with lots of open space is a good venue, but it might be local parkland or woodland with an owner or manager happy for it to be used for worship. I will work with you in running the event and have done this in several places around the country already. I also have run several such events under current outdoor worship regulations and so am familiar with how to do that.

So do look for further notice of Forest Church taster events and do get in touch with me at steve.hollinghurst@lichfield.anglican.org if you have somewhere we might use have further questions.

Page last updated: Monday 19th October 2020 8:05 AM
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