Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Reordering: ‘For a time such as this’ book of Esther 4:14.
Every now and then comes a defining moment when, as a group of people, we can make a change that unlocks many other possibilities and without which very few of them would be possible. Last Saturday the Church Council met to look again at the values that underpin who we are as a people: being abundantly generous, relational, welcoming and joyful. These helped to define what we believe God is calling us to try and achieve over the coming years: A Church at the heart of the community.
A considerable part of unlocking where we are and freeing us up in order to achieve this meant a decision on reordering the Church. A Church that continues with fixed seating (pews) cannot physically open up its building to the myriad of welcomes and opportunities available. It cannot ‘throw open’ its doors and say ‘this is your Church too, please come and use the space.’ The unanimous decision we took to say goodbye to the recent past (pews) and return the Church to its, much longer, previous state as an open and flexible state was the right one for this century. It is where God is calling us to move on into; just like the spacious place that we see created in Genesis 1:3 where God pulls back the sea and creates a space into which new things can happen and flourish.
We also all understood that some of us will find this is a difficult decision and may struggle with this change. We know that we need to keep praying for each other and to continue to listen to each other’s views. It will now take, perhaps, six months to obtain the permissions we need to do all this. We can achieve all this together in Christ.