The church and the Church

29 Aug

This is partly in response to a BBC news report

One thing I think we need to separate in our speaking is the church (the building) from the Church (the people) (O for the use of the word chapel for the building but that’s another thread).

One of the Methodist churches where I have pastoral care celebrated it’s 200 anniversary last year and the 20th of the current building this year; another is about to reach its 10th anniversary and has never had a building in its current incarnation (though the site of the old chapel is now a public garden and had shut 10 to 20 years at least I think before the re-establishment).

What all this is saying in a long-winded form is our buildings serve the church, not the church serving our buildings. If our buildings are no longer fit for purpose, in the places where there are no longer communities, taking all the energy of the Church to maintain and acting as a liability. Well I say close the building. But this is not closing the Church – for some the meetings in that place may come to an end and the preaching place will cease to be a place where the people called Methodist meet. However the congregation the church may as outlined by some examples posted here move to new buildings and new places.

Our forefathers and mothers in the faith built chapels and meeting places where they where needed – often when congregations had grown and developed in a place – many where put up to serve the purpose of the time. Should we not do likewise?



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