Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

April 1997: Celtic Communion

Steve Collins visited Grace for the first time, and wrote this for his church magazine in Surrey:

I walk down the long nave of the dusk-dark building between images of Celtic crosses projected onto hanging screens. In front of me, a single huge screen fills the chancel arch to the floor. On it are projected icons, illuminated manuscripts, pictures of the natural world overlaid with the words of songs I don’t yet know. In the pulpit a television screen is filled with psychedelic computer graphics in pulsating motion. In the air, a soothing throb of electronic music. Welcome to church.
The congregation of many ages come forward to sit on the cushions scattered across the sanctuary floor, in the soft pool of light in front of the big screen. The service begins as one of the leaders lights with prayer the three candles which represent the Trinity. Later we will all light our candles from these three, and leave them there on the table as a fiery offering around the small stone cross.
The liturgy tonight is from the Order of St. Hilda and St. Aidan. Someone speaks about the history of the Celtic Church, about its simplicity, its love for the Bible, concern for the poor and its deep sense of God present in all nature. As he speaks the images change to illustrate his words, and when we pray the TV monitors will show children, the street, the Earth, the desert, refugees, broken bread and wine. There is both silence and Grace’s own specially-composed music, relaxed, funky, warm and reflective.

The music was from the first Grace album, to be released in August. The liturgy was similar to April 1998.

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