The church of St Birinus and St John is surrounded by three residential care homes for adults with learning disabilities. When a few of the residents started attending Sunday morning worship, church members began to explore the idea of holding a regular service where those with disabilities would feel less inhibited and other residents from nearby care homes could also be invited.
The first service was held in January 2006 and has met monthly on a Monday evening ever since. Worship is interactive, noisy, creative and, most importantly, a huge amount of fun. The team that lead Rainbow Worship describe it as immensely refreshing and highly rewarding.
Over time, Rainbow Worship has developed a congregational life of its own. Those who participate increasingly see it as their main place of church belonging and, as a large group, they have been able to organise outings and events to raise funds as well as to have a good time.
The Bishop of Buckingham confirmed six members of Rainbow Worship in April 2010 and reflected on his visit:
[Rainbow Worship] is rumbustous and celebratory some of the time, but hushed and awed at others. Comments are chipped in from all around as things happen, like an ol' time revival meeting. Craft actvities are built in, and the management has radically tried to break down the distinction between client and helper. On one occasion, as Noah’s Ark was revealed in all its glory, a loud voice cried from the back, 'This is one I made earlier.'
Bishop Alan, Weaving the Rainbow in Wycombe