Friday, August 2, 2013

"Early morning thoughts"

It’s 5am and Bev and I are staying in a Derbyshire chapel which was built just a few years after Wesley died. It’s been converted into three stunning apartments one of which we are enjoying as part of a short house swap with our Paihia home.

This morning we meet three denominational strategists to discuss Local Shared Ministry in the UK and that’s enough to wake me early. And having been through the trauma of the closing of our parish’s Russell Church three months ago I have been wondering about the story of this lovely chapel and its predecessor. What did it mean for those enthusiastic converts who could not endure the life of the thirteenth century parish church up the road in 1806? What did it mean for those who pulled down that first unadorned building and erected this fine structure in 1891? And what did it mean for those who made the decision to abandon it in 1996?

These questions are duplicated all across this country. The answers are not often obvious. But one simple fact is that things change. Sometimes for better; sometimes for worse. And these days things change faster than ever before.

That reality will haunt our minds as this morning we attempt to relate the insights of Local Shared Ministry to the vastly different setting of this country. It’s going to be stimulating and fun, I think, for we’re all friends or acquaintances who share a common passion for this strategy for ministry in small churches.

But it’s also likely to result in some oppressive demands on people’s commitments to ecclesiastical structures and the buildings in which they exist.

1 comment:

  1. Found you, Dave!
    It was a privilege & pleasure to spend time with you & Bev today. Inspiration & food for thought at the same time :-)