Monday, November 06, 2006

pyrotechnic worship

Just a thought about yesterday - anyone ever heard of firework worship? I'm sure it's been done, but how about next year we actually get fireworks into the service. I haven't thought any further than that, but it is a whole year away now...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Polish community

Just a thought - the corner shops of Islington all have little signs (Polski Produkti!) for the benefit of the not inconsiderable Polish community, so how about the corner church? We have quite a cross cultural opportunity there. Migrant workers from Eastern Europe are a misunderstood social phenomenon, and aren't particularly welcome, so that ought to be a chance for us to be different as Christians. If we open our doors, and if we found even one Polish Christian, who knows who we might find, and what we might learn? We could have a housegroup in Polish before you know it.

I'm not aware of any Polish speakers in the church, but there is a Polish church in Angel who could help. I'm also in daily contact with our product developers at the Polish branch at work, so we could get a welcome notice translated.

Monday, September 04, 2006


St Luke's made good use of music yesterday in their Soul Space service, last stop on the COTC summer tour. I can't say I recognised anything, but songs were well chosen, either for atmosphere or lyrics.
I'm a big fan of mainstream music in services. (and not just because a lot of Christian music is naff!) A familiar song can put a whole new perspective on what you're doing, and it changes the song too. Next time you hear it on the radio, it has a whole new set of connotations. Coldplay's 'Fix You' worked well at Christmas last year, and Mark has put Doves and Aqualung to good use recently too.
I'm sure we can think of loads, but for inspiration, have a look at the alternative hymnal. It's not updated as much as it used to be, but there's still a useful little index by artist or theme.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Prayer for peace

I was just thinking about prayer for Israel and Lebanon. While we're out of the building, how about a public prayer meeting? We could do this on upper street on a summer evening, in a cafe or pub, or if we had to, I guess we could borrow St Mary's. It's a subject that everyone knows about and could pray about. We could invite other churches, but also just put sandwich boards out in the street and see who pops in. It would have to be either led from the front with a bit of a programme, or as a prayer room format, with space to write or draw on the walls, etc. If we went for a programme approach, we could try and find relevant musicians or speakers, and maybe take a collection for peace maker teams or someone like that. We'd have to be careful that we weren't political in any way, but I think it would be a powerful statement and a way of engaging with something that everyone is talking about and feeling powerless about.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Urban Wilderness

It is in the wilderness that the dizzying noise of life fades, and where the soul is exposed to God. For sure the mountains can be wilderness to us, but can we find wilderness in the city?
Wilderness is not obviously a place of beauty, rather it is the lost place, barren and unloved. Neither is it a safe place, it is enhabited by people who are outcast or recluse. The wilderness is the hard place, the quiet place. Where can we find it?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A to Z prayer

Urban Saints: Join the community...
Was just doing some research on the Crusaders organisation, recently renamed (wisely, I think) to Urban Saints... Thought this was a neat idea - take two A-Zs, chop them all up and tape them down on the ground, and then walk all over them and pray.

That would make an amazing set-up for a 'pray for london' week. Take your, shoes off and walk all over london. You could have a route marked out to follow, and have prayer points pinned in various locations, and you could carry a marker with you and just write a prayer anywhere on the map.
Imagine what church on the corner would look like with all the furniture gone and a huge map of london pasted to the floor...

PS, trying out Mark's Flock recommendation. Looks magic to me.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Passing trade

There are probably quite a few lessons to be learned from sunday night... Wouldn't want to explore them all here, but one thing that caught my attention was that a fair number of people up and wandered in off the street. St Mary's have a prime location, but I still reckon that's pretty unusual for them. I was just wondering what it was that made them want to come in, and what made them feel comfortable doing so.
At church on a sunday evening you can sit there and watch people crossing the road, going past, looking in. I'm sure many of them would pop in if they thought they could. We provoke a lot of curiosity there on our corner.
So what can we do to make it okay to stick your head round the door? Anyone up for running a few experiments? Here's one I think we could try: now that the odd corner fire exit thing is gone, how about we try putting the musicians on that side, shifting the angle of the seats, and then opening those double doors for the summer? If we put a couple of cafe tables just outside in that space, a few chairs along that wall by the fireplace, and give people the freedom to wander about in the middle of the service, I reckon people might pause, maybe ask what's going on. I volunteer to sit out there and chat to people, as long as it's sunny. We could even get some parasols...
(Incidentally, months before I moved to London I walked past church on the corner on a sunday morning, thought I might step in for a bit, and couldn't find the door. So it's not just speculation! We're used to the wierd side entrance into the random glass corridor and don't notice it any more, but it's not immediately obvious. Nobody wants to walk back and forth round the building with everybody looking at them, especially if they're not sure they want to stay.)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Book Club

This was inspired by Sophia's comment in the discussion below. Book clubs are well established - the idea is commonplace, but what a fantastic chance to mix with people and talk about real things. Soph can you tell us some more?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

ideas and day dreams for kick starting a creative church

my thoughts (as random stream of consciousness) are:
-- can we/should we bring back the church on the corner art prize? good way to publicise cotc and also get people to come into the church building in a no pressure way. There are so many artists at cotc that surely we have contacts enough to pull this off? Especially if you open it to students and offer a cash prize incentive.
-- this sort of leads me on to the song writing thing. I think the idea has been mooted before... same sort of idea as the art prize, but as i am no musician i'm not 100% sure how it would work logistically. Could have a 'sing off' fame academy style final and the top 5 or whatever get made into a CD. Both the art prize and the song writing competition would be centered round a verse or psalm that would hopefully inspire people to get creative and think about interpretations and images. The idea being to encourage people to engage with the real meaning of these words, sort of circling the familiar and approaching it from a new perspective.
-- um, next up is the idea of having something visual that corresponds to each service/talk/sermon that everyone who comes to church takes away with them. Do you remember the heart/stone thing? We could have a whole series of objects/visuals that are linked to a series of sermons, like a kind of visual prompt that would remind you of what you learnt that Sunday.
-- words on the windows - what has happened to quotes on the windows? I thought it was an idea that worked really well - we have huge spaces that hundreds of people drive/walk by every week... just think of what that kind of space would cost in advertising terms. The quotes/song lyrics we've written on the windows in the past really drew people in - you saw people walking past slow down to read them properly. A really good way to communicate with the wider community without ever having to knock on someone's door (i know some people enjoy that kind of thing, but i just can't do it).
-- and finally. Can we/should we do something in response to the Da Vinci code? The film is out at the beginning of May. A lot of people who didn't read the book (er, like me) will go and see the film. I don't know how helpful it would be to simply stand up and renounce Dan Brown, but again i think we should engage with the fact that when ideas are presented in a novel or on film, they are widely perceived to be truths. I suppose people are looking for a reason to discount Christianity, and Dan Brown fits.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Creative Consultants email

You can now email the Creative team for ideas or advice using the email cotccreatives[at]
Obviously replace the [at] with the correct symbol!
“When 900 years you reach, look as good, you will not.”

Telling stories

I have been meaning to get this started for 18 months, but never got round to it.
I love the idea of testimonies, but not the usual contrived and formulaic ones that you often hear in church. Real stories of what peoples walk with God has been like in the last year - the good, the bad and the ugly; what you have learned, what mistakes you have made, etc.

I think it would build the idea of real world spirituality, of the God who is part of the everyday, who loves us through our brokeness and our beauty...

Just need someone to take it on.

Friday, April 14, 2006

the world in our hands

Ok, then. First entry into the world of blog.

yeah well, i have been thinking of hands lately. Our hands are involved in everything we do. I guess the original idea came up for easter, sort of a numebr of shots of hands doing different things...shaking hands, waving hands, offering things,working hands, consoling hands, receiving things, searching for things, protecting things, attacking things, holding things, releasing things, as many day to day shots of hands doing different things as you could think from our daily lives....things people identify with mostly

..and then intersperse them with the story of Easter told (sounds a bit finger puppets) through the use of hands.

So perhaps the palm sunday. hands holding branches, hands offering the bread and wine, hands shielding whisper, hands washing feet, hand receiving silver, hands pointing, hand being bound, hands being washed, hand carrying, hand being nailed, hand lifeless ending with hand showing holes in. That's a lot of hands. Maybe a bit late for Easter story to be told as it is now good friday.

i think i like the idea of interspersing the easter story in amongst day to day shots of using hands, as it is a reminder that Jesus used his life to save us - he offered his body that our lives might be redeemed.. interspersing this, may be confusing, but is a thought of how do we use our bodies, our lives for God...present your bodies as living sacrifices Romans 12. Bringing to incarnational nature of ministery...there's a word.

Then through it all perhaps, or maybe this is a separate film altogether, you could have a film of a fist tightly clenched gradually being unclenched and turning into an open palm as if to release, as if to receive. This might be a helpful meditation of accepting God's love- initially hard hearted but then allowing Him into our lives and offering ourselves to Him.. Again this would be interspersed..

there you go, Joe.

what are people's thoughts on this?

Welcome to COTC Creatives

Chatting to some of you who were just finishing their term on the service leading team and asking 'what next', we came up with this.

COTC Creatives is a forum for sharing and discussing ideas about creative stuff for the services and events at Church on the Corner. This is where we record our crazy middle of the night ideas, or where we work on creative solutions to issues, or post questions for others to think about.

It is open to anyone to contribute, but moderated by a group of experienced creatives from withing Church. The first post will be by skinny with a fantastic idea for a video of hands...