Barbecues, bring and share suppers and picnics are just some of the activities held for church congregations and their wider communities this summer.
The events have been an opportunity for people to meet in the summer months to enjoy food and to spend time together.
Rev Iain Macritchie, of Pairc Free Church of Scotland, in Gravir on the Isle of Lewis, said: “What is an easy way to get your congregation together for an enjoyable, relaxed evening? Host a Bring and Share Supper evening! That’s exactly what we did here at Pairc Free Church on Friday 14th July. The idea was that everyone brought along some food – a starter, a main course or a dessert – or even just a bottle of juice. A buffet meal was then set up and food and fellowship enjoyed.
“As well as our own congregation, we were blessed to have friends from the wider community come along. Building bridges between church and community is a crucial part of the life of any congregation. To be able to chat informally over a meal with those who wouldn’t necessarily come to church services, really was a blessing.
“Our inspiration for such an event? The Lord Jesus Himself. He often broke bread with others as a way of breaking down barriers and building relationships – an example worth following.
“All in all, a wonderful evening that we hope to repeat over the winter months.”
At the London City Presbyterian Church, a summer get-together was held.
Rev Andy Longwe said: “We have had lots of things happening this summer. We’ve had a day out and one summer barbecue – another one is coming up soon. The annual barbecue at the Campbells was a great day of food, fun and fellowship. It’s a way of getting to know people and for new people to come along.”
While a summer barbecue was recently organised by St Andrews Free Church of Scotland.
Rev Paul Clarke said: “We do it every summer in our back garden and invite everyone who is around to come along. I think we had 40 or 50 this time – people sign up to bring something with them and it’s just a wonderful time for the Church family to spend time with each other in a relaxed environment and especially to get to know people that they don’t know very well yet.”
During the summer, many churches have also been holding holiday clubs for youngsters as well as prizegiving for Sunday clubs.
As youngsters prepare to head back to school, churches are gearing up to resume their usual meetings and groups during the term times.