The Journey so far
Sarah was appointed as a Lay Pioneer in Downham Market by the Church of England and she and Ben moved to Downham Market. A Lay Pioneer is someone who isn't ordained and who is there to explore new forms of church.
A group of people began meeting over dinners to imagine and explore what a new church might look like.
The new community was called Table and it launched Dice and Decks.
The community became a Bishop's Mission Order which cemented its identity as a new church.
Table began its Sunday gatherings in person.
We spent a long time considering what to call ourselves but we settled on Table because we felt the table is central to what we're about.
The three proposed activities of Table are our Sunday space, Dice & Decks, and engaging in the relief of local food poverty.
In our Sunday space we eat a meal together, at Dice & Decks we play table-top games, and we're still working on how we might engage in food poverty but we suspect a table of some sort might be involved!
By the end of 2020
Our gathered space seeks to be participative and accessible. Therefore, we design our services so that everyone can be involved and contribute if they want to, and young people and those who are often excluded are given a voice.
We seek to embody an attitude of play in all aspects, as play allows us to be creative and enables us to ‘have a go’ without fear of embarrassment or failure.
We seek to be comfortable with mess; this means being relaxed when things don’t go to plan and embracing that not everything will be polished.
We share a meal together when we gather.
As part of our commitment to being accessible, we seek to design our services so that everyone can engage without having pre-existing knowledge. This means that when we meet everyone can explore the topic, not just those who know lots of Bible verses! This does not mean it is superficial but instead that it does not rely on specialist ‘Christian’ knowledge.
We seek to open up a space where those who are interested to engage more with the Christian faith can do so at their own pace and without pressure.
Dice & Decks
We also have Dice & Decks, a Board Game Café, which is a community-building project.
Dice & Decks seeks to engage younger generations who live in Downham Market but who are often absent from other town events and clubs. It also seeks to offer evening entertainment outside of the pub environment which can exclude families.
It exists as a community building and engaging activity; it does not seek to convert people therefore is not evangelical in the traditional sense. Instead, it seeks to serve the community of Downham Market.
By the end of 2021
We plan to help alleviate food poverty in Downham Market. This may be helping an existing project or creating something new because there is a need that is not being met.
We are aware of the growing ‘hidden’ poverty figure in Downham Market and believe it is core to our Christian faith to be engaged in relieving poverty. As we are a community who eats together when we meet engaging in food poverty flows from our identity as a community.
We would also like to start running our Going Deeper group. This will be a space for people who want to explore things at more length than is possible in our services. This space may function similarly to a homegroup and will still be a space where everyone gets to play.
By the end of 2022
We would like to take on an allotment. This is to provide a space where people can work together, where we can learn to grow our own produce together, and to help provide fresh fruit and vegetables to those who may not currently have access to them.