The church that rocks




People who attend Methodist churches aren’t usually associated with living life on the wild side. But that all changed during the height of the Covid pandemic when one minister used heavy metal music to reach out to his online congregation.

Such was the impact, the story has now become the subject of a three-part video series.

Available on social media platforms Facebook and YouTube during the lockdown, the service was created by Methodist minister, James Morley. Dubbed Metal Compline, it consisted of liturgy and music – heavy rock style!

A NORMAL SUNDAY: a typical Methodist congregation gathers for its weekly service.

The electronic evening service was made available to his own flock, and other people who needed to find peace and reassurance. One key supporter was Barrie Morley, a resident of the Methodist Ministers’ Housing Society (MMHS), which provides housing for retiring Methodist church staff. Barrie, who is also an ordained minister, also happens to be James’s father.

“During the first big lockdown, I thought, ‘What would a heavy metal compline look like?’” said James, who looks after three churches in Derbyshire.

James shares the story of his innovative style of church service – with Barrie also contributing – in the latest edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots, which is distributed to MMHS residents across the UK. Their interview has also been made into a video series.

FATHER AND SON: James and Barrie discuss spiritual matters – and heavy metal.

“It did draw folk,” said Barrie, “particularly when there was no physical ‘being together’. It was very important.”

The first part of the video series Dad, Lad And Distorted Guitars can now be viewed on the MMHS website. Click here to gain access.

The Methodist Ministers’ Housing Society is a national charity providing rented houses and flats at special rates for retiring Methodist presbyters and deacons of limited means, who meet established criteria. It also supplies housing for their widowed partners, and for ministers retiring on health grounds.

Steve Legg

Steve is a British speaker, author and founder of The Breakout Trust, a Christian mission organisation based in Littlehampton on the south coast of England. Since 1988 he has travelled the length and breadth of the UK and 30 countries overseas, covering a staggering 1.5 million miles on the road, using a crazy mix of comedy, trickery and mystery to communicate the Christian message to young and old. He has performed at top venues globally including NIA Birmingham, Wembley Arena and London’s Royal Albert Hall. Radio and TV appearances are in the hundreds. His passion is creative communication of the Christian faith through performances, books, DVD’s and other resources. The author of 17 books, these days when he’s not on the road, much of his time is spent on the groundbreaking men’s Christian lifestyle magazine, Sorted.

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