Frequently Asked Questions:
Are Church Leaders (vicars, priests or ministers) involved?
Yes, and no. Some of the local church leaders are on the planning group, but not all, and some attend the gatherings regularly, others occasionally (when they lead a session), but none are under pressure to come.
Who leads Faith in the Village?
On Thursday mornings the person nominated to lead the session, leads the whole thing – there is no need for introductions from a ‘leader’. There is a planning group, which involves some of the residents, (who also attend different local churches), and a couple of the ordained church leaders.
Who does the organising?
We have a treasurer, Marg K who is also a resident; Maureen organises the song sheets each week, Mick prepares the fliers and Marg H organises the planning meetings and other people contribute when there are social events.
Do you have members?
No, there is no membership for FIV.
Do the churches compete for FIV people to come to their own church on Sundays?
We agreed at the outset that we wouldn’t promote one church over another – we do publicise special events at the different churches though. We have found that through FIV some church members now attend other churches occasionally, as well as their own, because of the friendships that have developed.
How did you get permission from your Church organisation?
We didn’t – FIV was organised informally without any reference to any hierarchical, or formal church structures.
How did you get permission from the Housing Association?
One of the local minsters was already known to the Housing Association and some of the residents were involved in asking for the room space, which helped greatly.
Do you share Communion?
No, we do not share Holy Communion/Eucharist/Bread and Wine together at Faith in the Village.
Do people disagree on doctrine or on how to do things?
We have not had disagreements or disputes in the sessions; we are understanding of different ways of practising faith and shades of understanding. We have found that the Lent group has provided a space for us to understand each others particular beliefs and ask questions we wouldn’t normally be able to ask those who are from other church traditions.
Do you actively evangelise, and encourage people into Christian faith?
At the outset we agreed that this would not be our approach – FIV is an open invitation to come along and share with us as we share in our faith.
Do you have an offering or ask for donations?
No, but we now ask people to cover the cost of their coffee and biscuit at £1.
Supported by Churches Together in Stoke