I hope you are well.
Last Wednesday our church members meeting decided we should continue to hold our Sunday morning services at Deer Park School following our 10 week trial. This letter aims to clarify where we go from here.
The elders and I are convinced that God is leading CBC to increasingly grow in our mission to the 40,000 un-churched people who live in our area – and to welcome all who want to come and explore a relationship with God with us. At the same time He wants to gather us together in love and service for each other in the church. These two things should be complementary, not in conflict.
As part of our mission we had to solve the overcrowding problem that the church had at our morning services at Coxwell Street. Our move to Deer Park School has amply solved that problem, and provided all the space we need to welcome new people among us. Aspects of the move to the school have gone well – in particular more space. But for some, the move has not been so easy – the feel of the new venue is different to Coxwell Street.
The elders & deacons are very aware of both the benefits and the challenges of our new arrangements. We are committed to welcoming new people enthusiastically; but we are also committed to caring for everyone who is already part of CBC. Both are equally important. So whether you really like Deer Park School or struggle with it – our desire is that we all hold one another together knowing that it is each of us who make up the church, and that each of us matter to God and each other. We do not want anyone to feel pushed out of CBC by these changes even though they may be uncomfortable for us.
So, what happens next?
- The church and the leaders are agreed that our current arrangements are interim, and that we will now be praying and working purposefully to secure a long term building solution for our church – i.e. a new building or a redevelopment of Coxwell Street.
- Now we know we will be staying at Deer Park, we will be working to improve aspects of the space for our services – in particular the sound and the aesthetics.
- The elders will soon produce plans for an earlier Sunday service at Coxwell Street that can hopefully start for a trial period after Easter. This is likely to run from 9-10am, and may include elements such as regular communion, quieter prayer, teaching and (less loud) sung worship music. This service, although likely to be smaller, will not be viewed as less important than the 10.30am or 6.30pm services. If you are interested in helping with this service – welcome, music, prayer etc. – then please let the elders know.
- If you are finding some of the changes at CBC difficult in some way, then please come and chat with me or one of the elders. We genuinely want this church to be a place for you, as well as for anyone else.
- We must pray that whether we are in Coxwell Street, Deer Park School, our house group meeting or wherever – we are meeting with God by His Spirit as we gather for worship. “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Jesus – Matthew 18:20)
All of this marks a change for CBC – but only in our patterns of services. Our values of wanting to grow in loving God, each other and the world remain unchanged. May God help and bless us.
Love in Him,