Hanging out

27 04 2009

Last night was the second week of hanging out in the Fleet on a Sunday evening. Last week, I met with one friend. I later heard that two others had looked for me, but hadn’t been in the right pub. I invited people to come via Facebook, email and face to face invitations. This week there were eleven people who joined me for beer and conversation. It was an interesting group. There was another anglican priest from Gosport; a baptist church planter from Leigh Park and his sister; a Friday Fridger who mainly attends one of the new churches in Southsea; a chap I’ve been having some informal conversations with about life and faith and a group from the St Jude’s evening service. (St Jude’s is where I served as curate between 2005 and 2008.)

The conversation was wide-ranging, relaxed and informal. I had wondered about suggesting a topic for conversation, but I thought this week, I’d just see what happened. The conversation was largely about mission, but it also took in questions about the range of styles of church (my colleague from Gosport is Anglo-Catholic). I can’t determine who will come and be part of the conversation (I wouldn’t want to) or where this might be headed, but I do have a sense that if there is to be a mission with the pub culture in the city centre, there needs to be a group of people who are making sense of faith in that setting. I don’t just want to draw in Christians I know, but to connect with some of the people already in the pub, but this might be a way to make a start – to begin a conversation that others could be drawn into.

So really I am just trying to hang out here, week after week, invite people to share in conversation and see what happens. Maybe nothing. Maybe something new will emerge. And maybe that something new might be the heart of some more adventurous mission in the city centre. Only time will tell.

Please do join me on a Sunday night if you’d like to share the journey with me. I think this Sunday, I’ll see what happens if I invite people to share in a conversation around ‘heaven and hell’. Why? Why not…

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