Worship on a Wednesday - Cafe Church hailed a success

A week night Café Church initiative in South Lanarkshire has been hailed a great success.

Kirkton Church in Carluke said the meetings in the town’s Bakehouse Café were proving very popular, particularly with people unable to attend worship on Sundays.

Around 35 people of all ages gather there once a month on Wednesdays for an evening of music, singing, film clips, discussion and a host of other fun activities.

Kirkton Church
Kirkton Church's Cafe Church is held once a month on a Wednesday evening in a local coffee house.

Lesley Ewing, congregational youth worker at Kirkton Church, said: “We wanted to look at a different way to worship, an alternative to a Sunday morning for those who might not be able to come along.

“A fresh expression of worship and that is what we’ve found at Cafe Church.

“We have the time to chat with each other prior to the evening starting and also during.

“It has helped new members in our congregation get to know other people and friendships have grown.”

Iain Cunningham
Kirkton Church minister, Rev Iain Cunningham, plays the guitar at Cafe Church.

The project was started by Mrs Ewing and former Kirkton Church probationer minister, Rev Lorna MacDougall, in October 2016.

Each meeting revolves around a different theme.

They have included cake baking, Remembrance, Poetry in the Bible, Conversations in Worship, spirituality and the importance of music.


The Bakehouse Café does not charge for use of its premises as the owner is a member of the congregation, which is led by Rev Iain Cunningham.

Mrs Ewing said: “I would really recommend to other congregations that they should consider running Café Church if they have access to suitable locations and people to run it.

“It really is a fantastic way to take church into the wider community.

“People from other churches are more than welcome to come along if they would like to see what happens and learn more.”

Cafe Church
Cafe Church suits many people who are unable to attend traditional Sunday services.

The Church of Scotland's Mission and Discipleship Council runs a Church Without Walls initiative to help congregations to engage meaningfully with their communities.

Members are empowered to share the Christian story with confidence, and respond creatively to shifting cultural trends.

The Kirk is a partner in the Fresh Expression movement.