‘Lego Church’ Starts Up to Engage with Children and Families in Okehampton
All Saints, Okehampton, has started a monthly “Lego Church” service.
The church had been thinking for some time how to offer something more accessible to families with children than the current Sunday fare.
“Messy Church” was the obvious answer, and they explored the idea extensively before reluctantly deciding it wasn’t for them: they didn’t have enough creative talent among them to sustain it month after month.
Then the idea of “Lego Church” came onto the radar. It is an idea pioneered in the United States of America which has only found its way across here fairly recently.
Team Rector Stephen Cook describes how his ears pricked up when he heard someone mention it. “I knew almost straight away this was what we had been looking for” he said.
“The whole thing is so much easier to put together than a conventional Messy Church, largely because all the creative work is done by the people who come and not by the team beforehand!
“The need to work with young families had been identified as a priority by the PCC and two consultation meetings were held before the project was finally launched at the end of September.
“We wanted as far as possible to get everyone on side,” Stephen said, “although I think there are still a few who think it is a pretty mad idea.”
Lego Church happens late on a Saturday afternoon once a month. Plenty of Lego is on hand and when families first arrive they just sit with the team members and make whatever they like.
Within each session is a Bible story and an invitation to imagine what it would have been like to be there when it happened.
Then they return to their tables with the challenge of trying to build something to represent what the story says to them.
After a short “show and tell” session there are some prayers and photos are taken of people and their creations before the service ends with a blessing.
All the while drinks and snacks are available: Lego Church specialises in homemade popcorn.
“We decided not to go for the Messy Church meal because we felt we didn’t have the resources but we are certainly thinking that every so often we will have a celebration that includes feeding people properly.
“We have been delighted with the response: we have not been overwhelmed, as we feared might happen, but there has been a lovely engagement with families who would never come to conventional church and we have had two happy and special services in which people have thought, prayed and learned together across the generations.”
Lego church does not feel able to accommodate “observers” at this stage but if anyone would like to know more with a view to doing something similar Stephen and the team would be happy to talk to them.
He can be contacted on 01837 659297 and you can search Facebook for Okehampton Lego Church.