Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church faith//hope//love

  • Michaelmas

    Being a Baptist, I’m all in favour of a secular society. I don’t think the church and state sit comfortably together. Faith has to be free, to enforce faith on someone goes against some of the basic tenets of what the church claims to belief. I know our history hasn’t always demonstrated this but I think (hope?) that we alive in a more enlightened age.

    What’s interesting is how culture, nationality and faith have, historically, been intertwined, and are still regarded as so today. Which is what makes Britain a bit of an oddity. We have been a secular nation for a while now, still not fully achieved it, but well on our way. And with the rise of a more, shall we say, aggressive secularism, many cultural events have been thrown out as being ‘religious’. The charge has some truth, for centuries the church has been the guardian of community and managed the festivals of the year. If the church is irrelevant or ignored, then who will keep these festivals going? We are a society which, having taken God and the spiritual out, now finds itself a bit poorer. For all it’s faults, the church did bring some colour and festivity into the grind of the year. This is probably the reason for the rise in local festivals, where interestingly many of have some kind of faith/spiritual roots. Human beings, it would appear, just like to party.

    At Chemsley Wood we try to do that. We know not everyone wants to buy into the God stuff, but we do know that life is worth living and celebrating, whatever your beliefs. Northern Star, which is now an independent charity, was started with the aim of celebrating our community and many of the activities at Three Trees have there same aim. Living in an urban area can detach you from the turn of the year so we have been running events at key points, Christmas, New Year, Easter and harvest being the obvious ones. We’re also developing two fairs a year, a May Fayre and a Michaelmas Fair. These have an emphasis on well being, our version of the mind, body, spirit event. They are broad in their approach, we have all kinds of things, jobs advice, nice stuff to buy, health support, art exhibitions, and this is alongside some spiritual input based around listening and affirming.

    The fairs so far have a very laid back feel, not the bustle of a car boot, and attendance has been on the increase. If you’d like to come along the next one is at Michaelmas (the feast of St Michael which celebrates the power of goodness over evil), on 27th September. You can find out a bit more at the website http://www.homecoming.moonfruit.com or get in touch if you’d like to be involved.

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Neil (the minister) occasionally gets round to blogging so welcome to the trivia and ramblings of an erratic stream of consciousness.

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