Frequently Asked Questions?
The interest in the work of New Song is growing across the Methodist Connexion and with our ecumenical friends. Please see some of the frequently asked questions shown below:
New Song Network brings together a growing variety of activities which allow people to interact together. Enabling these activities is a growing core of individuals that believe in offering diverse, good quality and effective events to communicate the love of God. The growing network recognises the busyness of people and offers activities at different times of days to accomodate the lives of those around. Not all are involved with every aspect of New Song Network and that is its strength. Some people attend all activities, some a few, others only Café but a community has developed that cares for each other and loves God. New Song Network exists to enable people to come to living faith in Jesus Christ. We are committed to sharing our Christian faith through words and actions.
1. What is New Song Network all about?
2. Is it a Church?
The answer to this is deeply theological and perhaps a difficult one to answer. New Song has developed an ecclesial community which is not centred on any one building but rather focuses on the fellowship of believers and enquirers who gather together - so this then is church. Our belief in the one holy, apostolic church and faith in Jesus Christ unites us as we operate within the Methodist movement. Some may cheer at the delight of having no building. We are deeply grateful to Bold Street Mission and Latchford Methodist Church for allowing us to use their premises and we believe our partnership with them is another strength. This "mixed economy" of inherited/traditional and emerging church is a delight as both support one another and benefit from each other's presence. As we have developed we have shared Holy Communion, share the gospel with family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and strangers - "to the ends of the earth".
3. Is it just for Methodists?
New Song Network is a church in the Methodist Connexion and operates within the Sankey Valley Methodist Circuit and Liverpool District. Many of our services and events take place outside of other church times enabling New Song to be a resource and encouragement to the many who lovingly serve their own church communities. However, New Song Network is truly ecumenical and embraces a richness and variety of denominations as we meet together for worship.
4. Can I start a New Song Café?
Yes absolutely and we would love to help you. As the Revd Jackie Bellfield has moved on from Warrington she will take with her the experience of setting up this church and she aims to develop an umbrella organisation for those churches who wish to start a New Song . Until this is formed please make contact here when either your query will be answered from Warrington or it will be forwarded to Jackie.
Our music comes from a variety of sources from Iona, Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, Keith & Kristyn Getty amongst others. Drawing from a number of publications such as Song of Fellowship and the Methodist Hymn Book Singing the Faith we use websites such as Kingsway to source material. We also encourage local writers and have sung a number of songs from local composer Andrew Rudd.
Videos also come from a number of sources and in particular Worship House Media - a great source of mini movies, background files and images.
It is of course important that you have the relevant copyright licences for all displays of music and video.
5. Where do you find your music and videos?
6. What about the leadership of New Song?
The idea and concept of New Song was developed by The Rev Jackie Bellfield in 2009 as part of her role as the circuit fresh expression missioner. Whilst actively involved the strength of New Song Network is the strength and commitment of the whole team. Growing an effective lay leadership team has been a focus of the network over the last year and continues to be. Each area of new song has a lay leader and developing an effective strategy for evaluating and growing the work of the whole team and not just one person is a priority. United by our love for God and love for people we seek to serve together. Having presbyteral oversight (a Rev) certainly has enabled the sacramental aspects of our community - baptism and holy communion - this sense of incarnational ministry of being within and amongst has enabled the sense of community to develop.
7. Who comes to New Song?
Not a direct answer initially but everyone is invited. There are a variety of people who attend the new song activities events. The youngest being 2 weeks old and the oldest – well over 90. There is a mixture of gender and denominational background. Whilst based in Warrington people travel from Bolton, Manchester, Chester, Liverpool and many places in between. There are committed church attendees, seekers and those who have previously left the church for a number of reasons all who attend for a number of different reasons and each with a story to tell.
8. So is this Pioneering Ministry?
Perhaps a definition of pioneer could be "someone who does something new in unchartered territory". Cafe worship is not new and there are many examples of this happening across our churches. Perhaps the initial concept of New Song Café as a source of teaching new songs maybe a new idea - but it was simplistic in nature - literally meeting together to teach new songs with coffee and cake. Jackie suggests that a pioneer minister is someone who treads new footprints in the ground and tries something out. This was the initial hope of new song cafe - no one expected the idea to develop in such the way that it has - it was a simple idea. Responding to God and the prompting of the Holy Spirit has meant many people have turned up at new song cafe and for some this has become their church. The needs of all are important and the idea of having a network of activities allowing for people to be part of new song developed. There has been a confidence developing in individuals inviting others to come along to New Song Network events and we are journeying together. The network facilitates a combination of varied events to involve people along knowing that involved are a group are people committed to God and to the New Song Community and developing loving, caring and credible relationships.
Having a fresh blueprint for a new and developing church community has brought great freedom. Responding entirely to the context around us shaping us as we grow in faith is exciting.