Wednesday, 3 February 2016

A window into church

February 2016

What happens in the church here in the village?  Can I somehow give you a window into our Sunday gathering?

Church ministers are not asked to re-invent the wheel.  Over the centuries and across the world there has been a remarkable agreement about what needs to happen when Christians gather each Sunday.  If you've been used to going to church in the past then you will find our services familiar.  But if church is a new idea for you I don't think you would find it difficult to come along and see for yourself without feeling that you have to say or do things that you are not sure about.  Push through the slightly unfriendly old wooden doors and you will find someone ready to warmly welcome you, to offer you a service sheet and a hymnbook, and to answer any questions you may have.

During the next 65-75 minutes, those assembled will come clean with God, confessing what we're really like and hearing again God's offer of forgiveness, there will be readings from the Bible, a sermon will bring the meaning of the Bible passage to the surface and make clear the implications for our lives, we will pray for ourselves, for the village and for people elsewhere in the world, and often the service ends with the sharing of a symbolic meal – bread and wine – to take us back to the last meal that Jesus had  before he laid down his life for us.  And, of course, we sing.  We sing hymns that have stood the test of time and when we choose newly-written hymns we look for the same well-crafted Bible-soaked words and tunes that all ages can sing with gusto.  We try to avoid music that would be better suited to an experienced rock singer.  A variety of instruments is used to accompany our singing but we particularly like to use our wonderful old pipe organ; still one of the best instruments for helping a congregation to sing out.

And when the service is over some people leave but most stay for a while and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and the chance to talk with old friends and new faces.

You will be very welcome.


Graham Burrows