Somewhere Else is the name of the church that is not afraid to engage with people who struggle with the idea of church yet still have an inner sense that God is up to something.
The story of the bread church in Liverpool City Centre is a sign of hope that the church can be different. This account of the life of Somewhere Else is a story of encouragement that challenges unconventional people of faith to risk living out of their own experience and be wonderfully surprised by encountering God on the edge.
Barbara Glasson is a Methodist minister in Liverpool City Centre, working with an emerging church community that bakes bread.
Barbara moved to the centre of Liverpool six years ago and was stationed with no church building and no congregation. The large Methodist Central Hall had been closed down six years before she arrived.
There had been death, therefore, but could there be resurrection? discovering where God is at work How would you begin in that situation? Barbara started by walking the streets and trying to listen to the people in the centre of the city for a year or more. She attended to the very poorest people, those on the margins and the edge. In her own words, she looked for where God was at work.
As Barbara listened, the idea was born to begin to gather people not for a church service or a discipleship course or to listen to a sermon but to bake bread. People came together to mix and to knead and to bake, to eat together and to learn new skills. In the simple act of baking and breaking bread, stories were told, friendships grew and a community was born.
As the community formed, so there were opportunities for catching and learning about faith in very natural ways. The time for making bread was given a name: Somewhere Else. The group meets in a flat above a bookshop. Eventually, the faith found expression in worship at first midweek and now, occasionally on Sundays. The Methodist Church in the centre of Liverpool is now seeing resurrection.
Barbara has written the story of the 'bread church' in her books "Mixed Up Blessing" and "Somewhere Else"