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Our Church

Curate's Corner - June 2017

Curate’s Corner – June 2017

Last Sunday we celebrated the first anniversary of the ‘Open Doors’ all age service at Holy Cross Church. It was a wonderful service of celebration and praise in which several of the children from Holy Cross School also joined us to celebrate the very recently published OFSTED report, confirming that the school is at long last deemed to be a “Good” school. It has been a long and difficult journey for the school, but the dedication and hard work of the staff and governors has paid off, and they are rightly proud of what they have achieved.

And we at Holy Cross are rightly proud of our first year of Open Doors services. Originally inspired by the theme of the Diocesan Lent course in 2016, ‘Opening the door of mercy’, the service was intended to open the door, both physically and metaphorically  to those for whom the church door had felt closed previously. For many people, crossing the threshold of a church can still be a very scary and uncomfortable experience.

Time and again I hear stories of people who have come to one of our churches within the Plurality, often to the Open Doors service, but not always, and have found their expectations and preconceptions of what Church is to have been totally wrong. But no amount of colourful marketing, clever service names, or different worship formats can achieve that on their own. What will make the difference is the people they meet when they come through the door.

It is the people in any worshipping community who are the church. The bricks and mortar that we so often call the church are just the structural fabric, the shelter if you like, within which that community gathers. Of course our buildings are important and precious to us, but it is the people, each one of us, who are the church, the Body of Christ.

As the Body of Christ, his church, we are called to spread the Good News and to make disciples. On the face of it, a simple and compelling commission. But the reality often proves to be much harder. Today’s society often seems stubbornly immune to the attempts of the Church to offer an attractive alternative to secular individualism. But we must persevere; persevere because God never gives up and his faithfulness is constant; persevere because however unlikely it seems, our perseverance will bear fruit.

It has been enormously encouraging to see many new people becoming a part of the Body of Christ through the Open Doors service, and elsewhere across the Plurality. And that is thanks primarily to the warmth, encouragement and welcome they receive from those they meet when they do cross that threshold. So thank you for the hugely important part that you continue to make in encouraging new enquirers who make those often apprehensive and hesitant steps through the doors of our church buildings.


Fr Mitch