Imagining Church

Imagine belonging to a new church. Taking some of the past but finding new ways to pray, grow, welcome, encourage, witness and celebrate. Imagine bringing together some different traditions but also looking for fresh ways in which we can express our faith and develop our church for the future. I hope that such imagining excites you, because that is the challenge we have given ourselves by agreeing to merge Stoke Chapel with Wyken. From a new name, to our worship pattern and social life we have the opportunity to begin afresh and create something that begins in the 21st Century and looks forward with confidence.

Over the next nine months we will make plans to leave Harefield Road and upgrade Hocking Road. We will give thanks for all that both churches have done throughout the years and dedicate ourselves to a new church. We will keep in mind our desire to still have a physical presence in Stoke and explore the ways we want to develop our spirituality and hospitality. We will make decisions about furniture, worship times, constitution, roles,  coffee mornings, social groups, bible studies – not necessarily in that order – or any particular order, and in doing so we will get to know one another better and we will grow as one fellowship.

Through it all we will need to keep in mind that we follow Jesus, that we gather together to celebrate God’s love, that we believe that all we do is inspired by the Holy Spirit, that we are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul and with all our mind and to love our neighbours as ourselves. And that means that we need to make decisions that are mindful or one another and are arrived at prayerfully and thoughtfully. We need to remember that our decisions have had consequences for others, particularly the other groups who use Harefield Road and hold each in our prayers as they make their own decisions about the future – we hope that they will also find new opportunities emerging.

Here’s to the future, here’s to imagining church.

be blessed, Craig

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