Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

Structure and Community

The community

Over the years Grace has generally had a core of about 10-15 people who get involved in creating services and other events, and another 10-15 people as the direct community. Beyond that we have variable numbers of regular and irregular visitors. Congregational numbers have been as high as 100 and as low as 1, but the long-term average has been 20-40. However, we never know until the service starts who, exactly, will turn up! Many of our members and regulars travel a long way to see us. Our location in London means that we get quite a lot of overseas visitors who are studying new forms of church in Britain. We've made some good friends this way.

Since the main service is only once a month it is quite easy for people to miss several in a row for one reason or another - so we don't gauge community membership by service attendance! We operate as a group of friends, and stay in touch in all the ways that friends do - meals, outings, social media, interest groups etc.

The community doesn't have hard edges or boundaries. Some people have been part of Grace for its entire life, some come for a season and then move on. People get intensely involved for a while, and then step back for a while. Grace is a spare-time activity for everyone involved, so what happens is shaped by the time and energy available alongside dealing with work, family, and other commitments.

Grace has never had any full-time or paid leaders. The ordained people who are involved in Grace are doing it in their spare time, not as an official part of their ministry. They bring the gifts of their ordination, but participate on the same basis as anyone else.

Event curation

Services and other events happen on a 'curation' model - meaning that someone gathers and leads a group of volunteers to create the event. Since it's a different curator and group each time, nobody has to take part all of the time. The curator can also call in specific contributions from people who can't or don't want to be otherwise involved.

The facilitation group

The facilitation group is the functional leadership of Grace. It consists of three people drawn from the Grace community. Each year one person leaves and one is added, so each person serves for three years. We try to ensure that there are both men and women in the group. The group looks after overarching strategy, direction and organisation. It is the 'official' point of contact for non-members, and with the parent church. Members of the facilitation group chair planning meetings. They ensure that curators are assigned to each service, and step in themselves if curators cannot be found or drop out.