Creative Ideas for All-Age Church

12 through-the-year programmes for informal church services and special one-off events

Karen Morrison

Currently out of print £7.99


The twelve themes in this book contain a wealth of creative worship ideas, all designed to encourage the church family to listen to each other's stories. Through listening and worshipping together in a less formal setting, the material promotes creative thinking and enables people of all ages to learn together in worship and grow in faith as part of God's family.

Each theme includes introductory reflections on the season of the year; a biblical context; ideas for a visual display; age-specific activities; suggestions for sharing a meal; suggestions for reflections, prayers and sung worship and, finally, ideas for taking the theme further.

The themes can be used to plan stand-alone worship programmes or to follow the pattern of the Christian Year, giving an ideal opportunity for once-a-month exploration of colour, creativity and individuality of each season. Some themes are based on Bible stories or issues relevant to the church family, while others use abstract ideas designed to promote lateral thinking.

The material offers a wide range of practical ideas and fun (or reflective) activities designed to give choice to those planning the worship. A pick-and-mix approach provides flexibility for the length and setting of worship.

Themes include:

  • Gifts, skills and talents (Epiphany)
  • Lent
  • Unity (Holy Week)
  • Celebrating life (Easter)
  • Sharing our story (Ascension)
  • Prayer (Pentecost)
  • Summer outings
  • Quiet spaces
  • Harvest
  • Sharing our concerns
  • Advent
  • Christmas

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Author info

Karen Morrison is the Pilots Development Officer for the United Reformed Church and Chair of the ecumenical Consultative Group on Ministry Among Children (CGMC). Her material includes contributions for CORE Skills for Children's Work. Karen also writes articles and magazine pieces and is involved with training adults to work with children and young people.


From Christianity Magazine - February 2011

Karen Bulley's Creative Ideas for All-Age Church does not give us traditional all-age service outlines either; instead, it provides resources for 12 all-age worship events. The book encourages worshipping together in imaginative and innovative ways. While some of the ideas could be adapted, they are intended to be applied in flexible spaces (such as a cafe -style layout). Many of the ideas involve movement, discussion or activities that would not be easy where people are seated in forward facing rows.

This book provides themed resources for all-age worship events throughout the year, although each section stands alone. We are offered reflections on Bible passages as well as activities for different age groups and for all ages to carry out together. Shared meals are encouraged, and there are some suggestions for sogns and hymns relating to the themes that are varied and relate well to different parts of the year.

If you are considering innovative monthly all-age worship events, you may find Karen Bulley's book a helpful starting point.

From The Good Bookstall - July 2010

Karen Bulley, the Pilots Development Officer for the URC, has produced a thematic collection of creative and practical ideas for all-age church. Bulley captures well the informal approach which has come to characterize all-age church - an ever popular form of worship and expression of faith -without losing its sense of liturgy. Bulley is to be commended for sharing such a rich wealth of ideas, and her contribution to the field - not merely to be found here in this present work - will prove invaluable to any prospective reader.

Those responsible for planning worship will welcome the flexibility of the suggestions in that they allow the planner to delve in and out and select parts which are to their liking without having to submit themselves to the whole shooting-match; of particular success in this regard is her treatment of prayer for the season of Pentecost (pp.71). Also, the emphasis placed upon biblical context - present for each of the twelve themes - is both pleasing and informative. Of less success, perhaps, are the sections which call for reflection that often negate the very action she seeks to promote. In addition, the bibliography (153), for such a popular subject matter, is less than satisfactory in omitting some important resources.

In sum, this is a well presented book which will add considerably to the arsenal of the planner without being so dogmatic as to nullify or exclude their own contribution.

Reviewed by Dan McNamara

Book details

  • ISBN: 9781841016634
  • Published: 12 May 2010
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 156
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