Why Christian worship isn’t what you think it is - how Lowestoft’s Christian community is trying to break down barriers to religion

The Burn 24-7 event at North Lowestoft United Reformed Church. Left, Charles Wright from St Marks Ch

The Burn 24-7 event at North Lowestoft United Reformed Church. Left, Charles Wright from St Marks Church in Oulton Broad and Andy Read, from London Road Baptist Church. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH - Credit: Archant

Many people think of worship as going to church, discussing theology or getting on your hands and knees to pray.

The Burn 24-7 event at North Lowestoft United Reformed Church. Angela Ashford beginning a new painti

The Burn 24-7 event at North Lowestoft United Reformed Church. Angela Ashford beginning a new painting. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH - Credit: Archant

But a regular event by Christians across one coastal town is aiming to break down barriers to religion - by showing people that they can get also close to God by singing, painting, dancing or lovingly tending to their classic car.

Burn 24-7 gatherings have been held across the world since 2006, with events taking place monthly at different venues - such as churches and community centres - around Lowestoft since 2015.

A number of churches of different denominations across the town have come together for it, because they have a shared interest in trying to change perceptions about what prayer and worship actually means.

Instead the open-door events include a range of activities where people have a chance to sing, paint or even just talk to people - to show the wider community that all of these are acceptable forms of worship.

The Burn 24-7 event at North Lowestoft United Reformed Church. Ash Langer with classic car. Picture:

The Burn 24-7 event at North Lowestoft United Reformed Church. Ash Langer with classic car. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH - Credit: Archant


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Charles Wright, a worship leader at St Marks Church in Oulton Broad, said: 'It's about the heart, not about complicated theological discussion.

'It's a simple response to how we feel about God. It's about putting God first in our worship and bring people together across the church community.

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'We want to impact the community and change the way they feel about worship - a lot of people think it is boring.'

Mr Wright's message is that people can worship in whatever way that suits them. At the most recent event on Saturday at North Lowestoft United Reformed Church, Angela Ashford spent her time painting while a group sang and danced and Ash Langer brought along his classic car.

The Burn 24-7 event at North Lowestoft United Reformed Church. Left, Charles Wright from St Marks Ch

The Burn 24-7 event at North Lowestoft United Reformed Church. Left, Charles Wright from St Marks Church in Oulton Broad and Andy Read, from London Road Baptist Church. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH - Credit: Archant

Andy Read, a worship leader at London Road Baptist Church, said: 'Because we are all different churches and worship in different styles, we are showing people that worship is not about one thing. We want to show people the church is real, normal, alive and relevant.'

Mr Wright added: 'We want to be really alongside people because there are a lot of people suffering or hurting out there.

'This is a safe place for them to come. The church does get a bad press - we want to change that and we want to reach out.'

Burn 24-7 events also take place elsewhere, with a through the night event at Norwich Cathedral from 7pm on Tuesday, October 31.

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