A Growing Family

 

Dear Friends

How many of us started out in life with a small ‘starter home’, a flat or something equivalent, which was special because it was our first home. Then when the time came to start thinking about a family, what was adequate for the two of us suddenly starts to feel very small. Our thoughts turn to considering a move to a larger property or extending what we already have to ease the pressure of living together in a confined space. So plans are made to extend over the garage and build an additional bedroom, or build a conservatory on the back as an additional living space, or extend the kitchen to accommodate a larger dining area.

In a similar way we at Holy Trinity are a growing family with more and increasing demands on the space we have available; the size of our Hall rooms for children’s groups, the number of rooms available for numerous midweek activities (all happening at the same time), the accessibility of the Hall for fellowship after our services along a narrow corridor. The increase in activity of our growing church family means we constantly have to juggle rooms around to accommodate different sized groups, be creative in discovering additional storage space and become ruthless in throwing out unnecessary items.

Looking Ahead

At the moment with good communication and sensitivity to one another’s requirements we are able to facilitate the life of our family even though we have areas of particular congestion. But as the family grows, we will need to look for additional space in order to welcome in all those whom the Lord is bringing to us. As in any extension programme, plans will need to be drawn up, permission gained and funds acquired and all of this will take time, but the process has to start somewhere. A journey always begins with a first step and perhaps in the life of our church family the time has come to take that first step. We do this prayerfully, always seeking the Lord for his guiding hand to lead us, knowing that we are providing for future generations of followers of Jesus.

 

So would you remember the PCC in your prayers as those who will be at the forefront of beginning this process and considering the way forward? We don’t want our church family in the future to be limited by the restrictions of our buildings. We want to be available and accessible for all whom the Lord is calling.

Freedom of Conscience versus Human Rights legislation

We have seen recently the European Court of Human Rights making judgements in which they have had to decide between the right of an individual to express freedom of conscience based on religious conviction (and thereby withhold their professional services) versus the human rights (as decreed by law) of an individual not to be discriminated against. Which trumps the other? What do we do when the right to exercise freedom of conscience conflicts with the human ‘rights’ of an individual? Who determines what is a fundamental human right and then enshrines it in law? Is there any place for freedom of conscience in a secular society?

At the beginning of February the House of Commons will be debating the first reading of the Bill to redefine Marriage. Should this proposal become law it will create a clash between law and conscience. Irrespective of ‘quadruple locks’ and other so called safeguards there will inevitably be test cases brought before the courts that will fuel the disharmony in society and accelerate the distance between our Christian heritage and the values of secularism. It is not only those who perform marriages that will find themselves in a difficult position but teachers too who will be expected to deliver this redefined understanding of marriage to their pupils as part of an education syllabus.

Whatever your views are in this debate please pray that God’s will may prevail and that the values of His kingdom may be upheld.

With every blessing in Christ

Stephen