Intercultural Worshipping Community
Back in 2019 we we were pleased to be asked to be part of the work in the Diocese of Leicester, funded by the national Church of England, to create Intercultural Worshipping Communities (IWCs) and in doing so help to improve both the representation and participation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Christians within the life of the Diocese.
The vision of itself is an ambitious one in its attempt to pioneer an alternative type of church. While many churches in the UK boast large multicultural congregations only a few embody a truly intercultural ethos overtly recognising the relationship between faith and culture.The novelty of the intercultural church lies in the belief that Christian unity can be achieved by celebrating ethnic diversity and promoting cross cultural fellowship. As a church already committed to inclusion of every kind and serving a culturally diverse parish, including a University with a large international student body, we felt called and convicted to embrace the challenge of developing as an IWC.
Our journey so far
As with other areas of our inclusive approach to church we have begun this journey recognising our need to listen and to learn. As a white majority congregation but with small numbers of people from all around the world we began by seeking to understand who we are as a church and to try and find ways to celebrate the different cultures that already make up our church community, to learn together and take small steps that create change. So far we have:
- Held a Global Carol service with over 20 different languages being spoken or sung representing the global diaspora of our town
- Prior to the pandemic hosted social events drawing together people from different cultures to share their Christmas traditions
- Run book groups to engage with issues of racsim in the church and society
- Our Church Council (PCC) engaged in anti-racism training
- In 2021 we kept Racial Justice Sunday leading into a Lent series of the same theme using Ghost Ship as a framework for our sermons, small groups and reflections.
- Begun to look at our liturgy and music in seeing how it can better reflect the diversity of our worshipping community
- Continued to work with and build links with the Asian community of our parish by supporting and helping to host the Mela in 2021
- Our preaching team seeks to listen to global majority voices as part of their preparation
- Revd Wendy runs a weekly online conversation about the scriptures that seeks to bring together diverse voices to engage with the bible
As we begin to emerge, we hope, from the restrictions of the last two years we shall be building on these foundations. If you would like to be part of our intentional intercultural work please get in touch.