A year after opening a community group is offering Matlock people an alternative way to worship God.
Reverend Dave Battison launched The Bridge at All Saints Junior School,in Hurds Hollow, Matlock, in July last year.
Since then the twice monthly sessions have grown in popularity and Rev Battison now has a congregation of around 40 people.
“It’s primarily for people who are not members of a church so it aims for new ways of doing or being a church for this contemporary culture,” he said.
The father–of–three, who lives in the Morledge Estate, Matlock, is known as a ‘pioneer minister’ for the Church of England and is part of the Diocese of Derby.
“It’s relaxed and informal deliberately so people feel welcome,” he added.
The group starts out with a cafe and people are given the opportunity to do crafts.
Rev Battison said: “After about 20 or so minutes we get together and we might have a short reading from the bible.”
He will then use visual examples such as videos, audio or power point presentations in order to interact with the congregation, before giving them time to reflect on it.
The group has social events, during which members are encouraged to take part in activities such as quizzes and picnics.
“We are faithful to the Gospel – that’s what we believe in – but the way we teach it is more culturally relevant,” Rev Battison said.
As an ordained member of the clergy, Rev Battison can carry out Christenings and weddings.