In the first Saturday of our family holiday my father’s top priority was to look for a church where we might worship on a Sunday. No googling in those days just a lot of foot slogging to read notice boards which often gave an indication of the ethos of a church.
Attending church on holiday is very important to Liz and I and we have often found it to be inspiring and uplifting.
On our last day of our recent holiday, we were faced with a choice of where to attend.
Liz had read about a church plant in the Evangelicals Now magazine, the church happened to meet just three minutes from our daughter’s house.
One of the dangers of attending a church is to have preconceived ideas what it might be like. We wanted to be positive and after attending I was thinking about trying to do an honest critique of what we experienced.
Primarily of course we were there to worship not to analyse and the thought of doing a critique was prompted on the following Monday morning.
We had a most lovely and beneficial experience. The church meets in a lovely modern school building with exceptional facilities and as we took our first steps, we were aware of procedures to guard against the threat of the still lingering Covid virus.
We were aware that in a city church the welcome may not be so warm as in a rural church. That did not trouble us as we had experienced it in similar situations.
The service was led by the Pastor who was a good communicator, who made sure the service got off to a good and positive start.
The singing was beautiful but all the songs were new to us. I enjoyed listening and a young man sat behind us who had a wonderful voice. The musicians led the worship well and the words of the songs were meaningful with good worshipful theology.
The congregation numbered about 80 and was mostly comprised of young families with lots of children. It seemed like a Gadarene rush out at Sunday School time.
Whilst the children and teachers were leaving, those remaining started talking to one another which was new to us but a warmth of fellowship was evident.
We had been warned that the sermon might be long and possibly dry but the opposite was the case.
The service ended with the Lord’s Supper and quite large pieces of bread were distributed. The wine was delivered in small glass pots with lids on and was alcoholic generally but non-alcohol wine was also available. That was also a first for us.
After service tea, coffee and cake was on offer and the congregation went into bubbles and at that point we did not want to penetrate such.
We left full of praise and felt it had been a worshipful and learning experience. I was reassured that a service is best started in a joyful way, that good theology is important in hymns and songs. Also, that clear explanation of Scripture is vital.
I hope that I am not too old to learn and was again reminded of the importance of seeking fellowship with other believers whilst on holiday. It was a perfect end to a most beautiful holiday of physical and spiritual rest. An added bonus was lovely weather.