From The Manse: Winter 2008
‘Out with the old – in with the new’………. I know this is usually something we say at the turn of the year, but there has been a lot of it going on at the Manse lately!
You know the sort of thing that happens – you start one job and problems arise, which leads to other things needing to be done, and before you know it – you’re camping out in the living room with the fridge, the kettle, and the microwave, picking your way through the rubble to get to bed, and wondering if you’ll ever get back to normality! Things, however, are now beginning to get into a more ordered state and apart from a spot of decorating, the job is done.
It does beg the question as to why we start these things in the first place. Often it is out of necessity and sometimes because we just fancy a change. Regarding the Manse, it was definitely the former and not the latter.
However, it won’t have slipped your notice that the way the church is set out has changed. This is not because I wanted to catch all of you out but because we often need to look afresh at familiar things in order to re-evaluate the reasoning behind them. It is also not a decision which was made solely by me – after consultation with some of the church council, we decided that if we lessened the distance between the minister and the back of the church, you could still sit on the back row and yet be nearer to the front!
It also gives us a fresh perspective and provides a better space for those leading worship at some of our Advent and Christmas services. I have to admit, though, that I’ve never understood the mentality of ‘filling the church from the back’. If we go to the theatre or a concert – we like to be at the front because we can see and hear so much better. Why then, is coming to a church service any different? Are we afraid that we might become too involved; we might be noticed too much; or we might be asked to do something!
Let’s all take an honest look at why we do the things we do and admit that sometimes a fresh perspective can be a good thing.
Yours in Christ,