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Creative Communion

Engaging the whole church in a journey of faith

Margaret Withers and Tim Sledge

Currently out of print £7.99 View sample pages


This book has a wealth of practical ideas to explore the elements of the Eucharist.

The first part examines what it means for the congregation to meet as a worshipping community, through six all-age workshops or activity mornings.

The second part comprises a six-session course designed to help young people live out the Eucharist in daily life.

Both sections are based on the pattern of a service of Holy Communion: preparation, penitential rite, ministry of the word, offering, sacrament and departure.


Endorsements for Creative Communion have not yet been added.

Author info

Margaret Withers is formerly the Archbishop's Officer for Evangelism among Children and has also worked as Diocesan Children's Adviser for Rochester and Chelmsford dioceses. She is a trained music teacher, having taught in several Inner London schools.Tim Sledge is the Mission Enabler for the Diocese of Peterborough. Previously, he was vicar of three parishes near Halifax. Tim is co-author of Youth Emmaus 1 & 2 and Mission Shaped Parish.


From The Church Times - December 2008

Creative Communion has a very clear aim - to enable the Eucharist to be as inclusive as possible for all ages, not by dumbing down, but by offering ideas and resources that help churches grow in their understanding of Holy Communion and its elements.

There are three very clear main sections to the book, two of which are practical: one is a set of six all-age workshops exploring the Eucharist; the other is a six-session course for children and young people admitted to communion but not confirmed.

The book begins with a reflection on the shape of the Eucharist. It uses the pattern of a four-course meal to explain how the liturgy is a lived story'. This is not a heavy theological tome: the level of explanation is designed to be elementary, and the first section also covers music, drama, and movement, involving children and evangelism.

Although the Eucharist is described as a four-course meal, the second two sections are based around a six-fold pattern: gathering, penitence, Gospel, offering, Eucharist, and dismissal. The workshops are free-standing, and can be used in a variety of ways, with groups within a church or with the whole congregation. A suggested timetable is provided for two-and-a-half- hour sessions, and it is good to see that there are suggestions connecting what happens in the workshops with a Eucharistic service.

The workshop format is laid out clearly with elements including Bible study, practical activity reflection, and prayer. My one concern is that, if the congregations I know are typical, the children will undertake the activities with enthusiasm, but some heavy persuasion might be needed when it comes to the adults, many of whom are not naturally at ease with the type of activity suggested. With strong leadership this could, I'm sure, be overcome, but in some churches much groundwork may need to be carried out.

The 90-minute sessions for the course for young communicants are based on a meal or snack. There is less material here, but these could be enjoyable and fun sessions, if led well.

The authors have done their job ably. The workshops and course do not need to be led by an expert theologian in order for people to gain from them. There are sensible and helpful reminders that admitting children to communion is about much more than just receiving bread and wine, that liturgy is much more than words, and that this feast of love is much more profound than being just entertainment. No one can argue with the book's chief aim: to help each person present at a Eucharist to have an opportunity to worship and enjoy the presence of the living Christ. I hope those who use this-book will enable their congregations to experience that, and in so doing to come to a deeper understanding of this central act of Christian worship and fellowship.

The Revd Sarah Hillman is Priest-in-Charge of Barkway, Reed and Buckland with Barley.

From The Methodist Recorder - 10 April 2008

Written in response to the need for people to be enabled to understand and share in the Eucharist, Anglicans Margaret Withers and Tim Sledge have written Creative Communion - Engaging the whole church in the journey of faith.

Part One, Living the story, contains chapters discussing the shape of the Eucharist and the place of children and young people in the service; Part Two has six workshops designed to enable all ages to come together and examine the whole Church approach to Communion, with ice-breakers, teaching and activities; Part Three consists of a further six sessions for young communicants where the suggested activities include food to share and celebrate.

The authors stress that none of the material - useful as it is, with suggestions for drama, props, music and songs - is prescriptive: it is there to be adapted to particular situations and groups.

There are three appendices: Eucharist prayer, templates (downloadable from the Barnabas web site) and suggestions for further reading. Lots to consider, use and adapt.

Reviewed by Margaret Daniels

Book details

  • ISBN: 9781841015330
  • Published: 22 February 2008
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176 pages
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