This is a very important week for our church and benefice. Not only have we launched the financial appeal for the building project (St Nicholas Church Fundraising Letter November 2018), but by the end of the week we should have a good idea about the location and pattern of our services and activities during the 6 months or so we will be away from the church. Please pray for me, the churchwardens and PCC members as we wrestle with these issues.
But that’s only one part our discussions this coming weekend, because a similarly important part of our discussions will be about how we use our time of “exile”, if I can put it like that, to strengthen our mission and to reach out with the good news of Jesus to our parish. It would be very easy to let the building work deflect us, and put everything on hold for 6 months or so. After all, being away from home isn’t easy, and we will have to get used to doing things in a new way in a new venue.
But as Christians, our life is one of exile. Ultimately our place of belonging, our real home, is in the kingdom of God, not here at St Nicholas or anywhere else. We are aliens and strangers; we are just passing through. But as we ‘pass through’ we have been given a task to do: we are to take the good news of Jesus out from the church building to the parish, to the town and beyond. And perhaps being away from home for 6 months will help us do that better. That’s certainly my hope and my prayer. I hope it’s yours as well.