Preaching at Marton URC in Blackpool last Sunday gave me the opportunity to see the progress that has been made on the development of the front of their building. The work done has provided a tremendous space for welcoming people in, combined with a small kitchen and several disabled toilets. The space is warm, welcoming (as are the congregation) and through the glass has an openness towards the community (snapshot).
One of the most significant challenges facing many of our congregations in the North Western Synod (and the UK generally) is the nature of buildings that we have inherited from a historic way of “doing” church. Buildings which become a millstone and result in us simply acting as caretakers no longer function as a tool for helping us engage in mission in relevant ways to our communities.
Please pray for:
- the vision to grasp the new ways of “being” church that enable us to grow in discipleship and engage in vibrant ways with those in our communities
- the energy and enthusiasm needed within each congregation to explore fresh ways of using our premises/sites to reach out to those beyond our walls
- the denominations’ ministers as they gather next week at Yarnfield Conference Centre (Staffordshire) for a once in 40 years opportunity, exploring Walking the Way as the core of our “being” as 1,400 congregations in the UK.