“Here’s the church and here’s the steeple, open the doors and here’s all the people”
I imagine that you know this children’s rhyme with its hand actions (tricky for little ones!) It’s not perfect - most churches around here have towers, not steeples - but it does at least make clear that the church is the building with its people and not just the empty building. We have a beautiful church building here in our village but if you really want to see the church then you need to come when the church is in the church. And you would be very welcome too! In the same way it can be interesting to visit an empty football stadium or theatre but to really see what the building is for you need to be at the big match or enjoying the play.
The word ‘church’ in our Bibles translates a word (Ekklesia in Greek) that means ‘assembly’ or ‘congregation’. Buildings often get named after the people who meet there: ‘synagogue’ means ‘assembly’ and ‘parliament’ means the people who talk together to make our laws but we think of these as places too. ‘Church’ properly means those who discover that they are called by God to belong to him, to serve and love him and to gather together week by week in his name. The place where we do that also gets called ‘the church’.
That said, we are pleased that our church building is valued and appreciated by so many in our village, not just by those who gather each Sunday and if we are to be able to maintain it for the future we are going to need the help of a good number of you. So if you might be willing to tackle some DIY tasks, wield a paint brush or even to organise contractors to get on with some of the more serious repair projects then do please get in touch with me, a Warden or anyone from the congregation. Thank you. We also have Boon Days when we encourage as many as possible to join in the fun of maintaining the grounds and deep cleaning the building – all in return for a cup of coffee! Burton’s is on 12th Oct; we’ve just had one in Holme but there will be another in the spring.