Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Coffee and music – the religious experience

The BBC has reported a new phenomenon – the Sunday Night Live experience.

Many people in Britain are reportedly reluctant to venture into a church for a formal and traditional service because of certain perceived stereotypes and stigmas attached to this form of worship. This sentiment, however, does not apparently mean that some people are not curious about religious matters and the idea of faith.

A solution to this dilemma has been presented by Johnny Kinch, who has organised the Sunday Night Live series. The target audience is this very group of potentially religious people who resist the formal church setting. Coffee is offered to attendees together with Christian music and possibly catering equipment. The coffee shop environment in an event in Loughborough was said to be very popular and resulted in queues of people who were interested in taking part. These queues were not a one-off either – people came back month after month.

Mr Kinch has assisted in organising similar occasions at some 29 other places, to cash in on his successful reception. He is quoted as aspiring to extend this to 200 venues around the country, even extending the opportunity to a football stadium full of catering equipment.

Coffee has long been a beverage that has encouraged thinking and animated social gatherings. Coffee shops were originally referred to as 'penny universities' when the intellectuals of the day attended the early versions of the coffee shop in London. It seems that some elements of social ability and intellectual stimulation continue to this day.

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