“I was lonely until I found a community who cared”
“I didn’t think I’d fit in, but there was a place for me”
“I thought it was judgmental, but they saw me as an equal”
“It always seemed so boring, but I’ve never felt such joy”
“I didn’t think I needed it, but now I can’t live without it”
“I thought it was restrictive, but now I feel released”
“I’d heard so much hate, but I experienced so much love”
“I thought faith was stupid, until I was made to think”
“I thought it was all fake, but I found authenticity”
‘CHURCH’ — what are your thoughts and emotions when you hear that word?
A cold building, filled with guilt, boredom and non-sensical religion? Church-goers who act nothing like the Christian message they claim to believe? An institution that’s shown itself to be hypocritical, outdated and judgmental? A religion based on ignorance and irrelevance?
Has all that put you off the idea? If ‘yes’ then we’re not surprised. We’ve experienced many of the same things and it’s tragic. It’s tragic, because it should never have happened. And for what it’s worth, as ‘a church’ linked with the ‘wider Church’, we apologise!
When we examine the blueprints for how the church should look and act, we see something radically different. In short, the church is supposed to be like Jesus to the world: Jesus loved everyone, he welcomed anyone, he cared for the lowest and the least and he challenged attitudes of the stuck-up and the proud.
If you could find an organisation that acted like Jesus, wouldn’t you want to give it a try?
We are still learning and growing and are by no means perfect, but the quotes above were said by people about our church, Westminster Chapel. We want to invite you to give church a(nother) try: we want you to consider a new definition of ‘Church’ as a family for the lonely, a home for the lost, a hospital for the broken, a house of ideas for the intellectual, a light in the darkness, a place of love, fellowship and joy.
Wherever you’re from, whatever your background, whether you agree with our opinions or really dislike them, we invite you to come and see for yourself.
Maybe you’re writing a list of 2017 resolutions? Could we be cheeky and pop ourselves onto that list? Why not scribble down, ‘Try Church’ and pick a Sunday to give it a go? Maybe even invite a friend to come along, because we recognise the first time can seem pretty daunting.
Back in January and February 2017 we hosted 5 ‘Try Church’ Sundays where we looked at the topics of Identity, Belonging, Purpose, Wisdom and Strength. If you’d like to listen to those messages then please visit our sermons page and look for the Try Church series.
But don’t think you’ve missed your opportunity. Every Sunday is an open door for anyone to come and experience Church. Our meetings start at 11am and you’re welcome to join us whenever. Plus, on your first Sunday you’ll get a free lunch if you stick around afterwards. Why not come this Sunday? We’ll see you there!