As a part of the project I thought I would go to places that non-church people go on a Sunday. So I did that but first I went to church…The Cathedral. If a NLP course wasn’t enough to get a Methodist minister into trouble, then going to the largest non Methodist church in the area could just get me into some hot water…
I went partly because a while ago someone suggested we went one Sunday morning to see ‘what they’ve got that we’ve not’. Do you want to know what they’ve got..?
Well, I was met by people who seemed genuinely glad to see me. They weren’t shy in approaching me. They made me feel very welcome and showed me to a seat (two seats actually because my 16 year old son took me – it’s his church). The notices were entertaining and engaging (multi media professional stuff). My son was met with enthusiasm and someone offered to meet him for a coffee before he started work in Honley one day – he was genuine!).
The musicians were excellent. Their theology (not one I shared necessarily) was clear and everyone knew and sang about salvation and atonement; acceptance and forgiveness. Even though I didn’t know most of the songs it felt a welcoming place. 45 minutes of worship followed by a short loo break before the sermon (I didn’t stay for that), also apparently 45 minutes long. After the service there was (free – no ‘donations’ plate) real coffee in a purpose-built worship area. As far as anyone can tell everybody was glad to be there and smiling too! The songs were uplifting and good to sing to.
So, what do they have that we don’t..?
Next on the list was the Holmfirth Food Festival
We paid £3 each (Hazel came too) to enter the Mind Body Spirit Fair. We saw Tarot readings, Reiki (for animals as well), crystals and psychic ‘stuff’. The organisers were really lovely people who are planning another one before May. There were plenty of stalls all offering all sorts of therapies including Indian Head Massage.
20 years ago I would have freaked out at this. 10 years ago I went to a MBS fair and did the Jesus Deck (see below).
And now..? I wondered, ‘where are the Christians?’ I don’t mean outside protesting, I mean offering prayer and an alternative way of life. But then I thought, ‘Suppose we were here. What would we offer? What would we put up on our display boards?’ Everyone here is offering something albeit at a price. In this market place we would struggle to offer anything. And then I thought, ‘We could offer free prayer. I’ve still got a Jesus Deck – two actually – ( Steve Hollinghurst uses them. Click here for Steve’s news or please ask me or click this link or maybe this one) and with a few pioneering people we could do something really good here…we could pioneer here’. If this sounds good to you or you are a pray-er or would like to come with me and Hazel next year – assuming it’s still on) or just want to do some outreach, then let me know.