To many people the Church seems something of an anachronism – it suggests to some a sort of pre-scientific and pre-democratic world. What does it have to offer to sophisticated twenty-first century minds?
In reality the Christian faith provides an explanation and understanding of our world that is timeless.
This is because it speaks to us at our deepest level – it answers questions about ‘who am I?’ and ‘what is life all about?’.
‘Who am I?’ – not the random result of centuries of genetic mixing but someone unique, made in the image of God, known by and loved by God. That is truly awesome. It gives you both an identity – and a responsibility. A child of God, called to reflect a family likeness in your life.
It is sometimes said that people are less religious but more spiritually aware then in previous generations. Formal religion isn’t as popular – but actions that suggest a belief in a spiritual world, from reading horoscopes to consulting faith healers, are all around us.
Blaise Pascal, the great 17th century Mathematician and Philosopher said, "There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus”.
The church’s role is to enable people to find that vacuum-filling Jesus; and, thence, to live a life that is but fulfilling and honouring to God,
We all recognise that we live in a world that is imperfect, and that we all do things that add to that imperfection. None of us could ever claim to be faultless. Christians believe that God’s loving response to our imperfection was to send his Son not only to be a great example and a great teacher but also to make it possible for us to become more like the people we were meant to be. Jesus did this by taking upon himself the responsibility for our imperfection, on the Cross, and coming into our lives, through his Holy Spirit, to enable that God-shaped vacuum to be filled and our lives to be more Christ like.
Who We Are
We are a group of people who are in the process of discovering what it means to be a Christian. From the time of our baptism until the day of our death we are on that Spiritual journey. There is no sense of ‘having arrived’ or ‘knowing it all’ but a constant desire to become more like the people God wants us to be.
As we grow in our own understanding and faith we also seek, in the words of St Paul, ‘to be your servants for Christ’s sake’. A twentieth century Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, said that ‘the Church is the only organization that exists essentially for those who are not members’.
How do we act as servants? This is mainly through the worship and the pastoral care offered by the church.
Elsewhere on the site you will read about the variety of acts of worship in the parish and benefice (the group of parishes served by our Rector). We are responding to our responsibility to provide opportunities for worship that will meet the needs of people at any stage on that Spiritual journey.
Pastorally the Church (building and people) is available at important points in people’s lives – when you want to celebrate, or grieve. When you seek healing (in its many forms – of relationships, of memories, of the spirit or body) or when you want simply to be still and pray. Much of this will be with the help of the Rector, but he is only part of the Church in Norton – and it may be that someone else could be the best person to help you.