Thanks to Andrea McKellar (Digital Ministry Coordinator, St Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Charleston, NC) for creating and Lisa Brown (Building Faith) for sharing this Great Idea!

Andrea McKellar coordinated this multi-generational faith formation experience for Epiphany – and it can be replicated for Shrove Tuesday – based on The Great British Baking Show (GBBS). Her congregation hosted a King Cake baking competition, inviting one clergy, one deacon, and one vestry member to be the competitors – and the whole congregation to act as judges.

You can find all the details, including distribution of baking ingredients and baking instructions, guidelines and rules for the competitions, and recording and editing logistics here.

You might modify this contest by altering who competes:

  • just youth
  • youth vs. adult vs. child vs. elder
  • three people representative of different committees or groups within the congregation
  • new parents vs. grandparents vs. middle-aged parents (let child-care needs play a role in the baking!)

You might also modify what is being baked:

  • swap pancakes for the King Cake for Shrove Tuesday)
  • invite each contestant to create their own celebratory bread – based on a family or ethnic tradition for the season (a la GBBS’s “Signature Challenge”)
  • find a local tradition or favorite – especially if someone in your congregation “owns” the recipe – and see who can replicate it most closely (a la GBBS’s “Technical Challenge”

There are countless modifications to GBBS that would be delightful if shared at various times of the year. This is a great way for families and individuals to get to know one another, laugh and eat “together” – even when/if they can’t – and bond with one another as they share and explore new foods and traditions as community.

See Brown’s article for technical tips – beyond that, the sky’s the limit!