Wednesday, 27 July 2011

small churches

We had our annual church meeting last Saturday morning; our only church meeting in the year. It was like that when I became the minister and I see no reason to change it. The meeting started with coffee and home-made biscuits and lasted just over the hour! such a change from churches I have been part of in the past where the monthly meeting would go on far past my bedtime!
Questions were asked about the donation to the local 'Churches Together' in our local town which is six miles away - we really feel out of it and don't seem to have much in common with the larger in-town churches.
Meanwhile, we are part of a Rural Churches Group and hold joint services and celebrations and swap pulpits throughout the year.
Each Tuesday evening one very small (numerically) chapel is hosting the Baptist Union six week course for small churches. We start with tea and coffee with home-made cakes! and so far (just two weeks in) it has been an excellent opportunity to recognise the benefits of being a small church as well as trying to see the needs of the locality.
Small churches in a town can be very different to those in rural areas. The little chapel last night is in farm land where the local population has shrunk to about 10% of what it was a hundred years ago - farming then was labour intensive.
There may not be the people around locally who have needs which the chapel can try to fulfill but holding the course stimulates those from the other chapels who may be able to help folk in their villages.
I believe that God brings together certain people at certain times to do certain jobs. And we have to be open ready for change and upheaval - not easy but I also believe that God gives us everything we need to carry out his work.

1 comment:

  1. Small churches are very precious and often achieve great things with and for God. Although I'm now in what I think of as a big church (small in Scottish parlance!) I have a fondenss for tiny churches which, like mustard shrubs, can offer shade to the weary and, like leven, can transform communities.