Portsmouth couple's alternative Advent worship
Husband and wife Kevin and Nicky Pybus are launching a series of installations at St Cuthbert's Church, Copnor, entitled 'Or?' during Advent.
A different image will be placed within a gazebo in the church every day from December 1 until Christmas Eve. The images will link an aspect of the traditional Christmas story to something from today's culture, and it is hoped that they will inspire non-regular churchgoers to reflect on and explore the Christian faith.
The couple will post each image unveiled in the church on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Following on from these installations, the couple plan to launch a regular series of 'Or?' worship events that will take place once a month at St Cuthbert's in the new year. These will be aimed at attracting those in their 20s and 30s in particular, and will use creative and interactive multi-media worship stations.
The intent is for the event for be 'church for the unchurched', and attract those on the fringes by offering a space to worship God in a completely new and different way, and to encounter God at their own pace.
The name 'Or' suggests an alternative to traditional worship to help meet people's spiritual needs, but it will also challenge those involved to make lifestyle changes that promote social justice.
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"It will be different every time, but we hope it will be a place where people can be creative, express their worship in a new way, share their experiences and learn from others," says Nicky.
"There are people who are interested in God, but traditional Sunday services are not their thing. St Cuthbert's wanted to be engaging more with those in their 20s and 30s ... and this might be more helpful for that age group," says Kevin.
"When we are doing this regularly, we will be emphasising that this is church - it's not a stepping stone to a mainstream Sunday service," he continues, before noting that he hopes for a new community to be built that enables individuals to "deepen their faith" through being connected to the wider church.
St Cuthbert's will be open every day during Advent, and all are welcome to drop in and see the Advent stations.