Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hang on....

Justin my friend, I didn't actually say what I think you thought I did! At least, I hope I didn't (though very ready to accept that I should join incoherents anonymous without delay). A few months ago I posted here about how hugely important I believe our church buildings to be...Indeed, an experience of a community (the ex RAF base at Upper Rissington, which has no church) who badly needed somewhere to go, to mourn safely in the presence of God,was a key stage in my own journey to priesthood. I would really struggle to be part of a worshipping community that didn't have an identifiable, and open sacred space...( I believe it's called a church...)...
But I do get fraught when it seems to me that people are so dependent on the external surroundings for their encounter with God that they can't believe that there is any possibility that they might find him anywhere else. I hate the fact that people will talk endlessly to me about St M's, but shy away from ever talking about God....What depressed me about the programme last night was the way the women seemed unable to accept that any alternative place could enable them to engage with God...just as my sad parishioner last week couldn't (or wouldn't) believe that God might be prepared to meet him if he moved from the chapel to the high altar, or from his knees to his feet.
I don't think that buildings are a hindrance to mission (though it was an eternal struggle to maintin 3 medieval churches, with electoral rolls of 40, 12 and 22 repectively) but nor do I think they are an acceptable substitute for it. Does that make more sense?

1 comment:

Ella Quint said...

Kathryn, my friend, if you have not yet done so, please treat yourself to the first two chapters of "A Pirate Mythology" which are posted for your viewing pleasure at RealLivePirate. :)