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Welcome...

Thanks for visiting the website of St John's church, Marchington Woodlands.


Here you will find information on the history of the church, dates and times of services, details of fundraising initiatives and upcoming events, plus contact details for some of the people working in the parish.


Just bricks and mortar?

What is the Church? It's a simple question with a simple answer – the Church is the people of God, and the church building is the place where they meet together for worship and prayer. Every parish in this country has at least one church building, but there is only one Church – and all who call themselves Christians the world over are in fact brothers and sisters within that Church regardless of age, class, race, denomination, tradition or preferred style of worship. Our church buildings exist only to serve the needs of the Church when they meet together in worship; and unless they do meet the needs of God's people as places of worship and prayer, fellowship and care they cease to be church buildings by definition and just become empty shells. It is enormously sad when this happens and church buildings cease to be used for the reason that they were built.


Image of St John's church, Marchington Woodlands


One of the greatest challenges facing the Church is learning to recognise that those who have different patterns and styles of Christian worship to our own – those whose preferences are quite different in how they approach God – nevertheless still our brothers and sisters in Christ and that we are still called to love them and to be united with them. Loving someone else means putting their needs before your own; loving each other in the Church means putting the needs of the Christians you don't meet very often and may feel that you share very little in common with before your own needs and preferences – a difficult thing to do and an unfamiliar idea to many Christians today where they identify very strongly with a particular style or brand of Christianity and tend to ignore the rest.


It is my understanding of the Church (and that found in the New Testament) that we will not be functioning fully as one body and able to live up to our Lord's commands unless we strive to work in love and in unity with one another across the traditional boundaries of denomination and tradition; until we can own one vision, one common purpose, one mission together with no thought of what we might gain or lose, and with no parochialism in our attitudes. Together we are the Church Christ intended and we can achieve great things; together we witness to the world that the church is not wasting its energy in protecting our small differences, but instead is united in living out the command to love one another just as Christ has loved us.


To achieve this we all need to be open hearted and generous, to go to the trouble to learn one anothers preferred "languages" in the Church and to treat one another with the greatest respect and care; and then we will show the world that the Church is a lively and attractive place to be and to belong. Of course its easier said than done – after all we've had centuries of practice at dividing the Church and at justifying our reasons for so doing – but it doesn't alter the fact that the Truth is only ours when we own it together and in unity, and never when we are divided and apart.


May love and unity be our gift to one another as we journey on in faith.


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