1812 and all that

This is the background behind a 200 year old church building.  It's an  historic building in that it's the first non-conformist place of worship on the Colneis/Felixstowe Peninsula and it's still open and functioning for the same purpose for which it was built.  The video is the story of how the present building came to be as it is; reflecting as it does the changing generations and different styles of worship and different ways of serving the community.

I guess some people will be surprised that despite it's historical significance, the building has never been listed.   The reason is that very little of the original building remains to make it worthy of listing - just the walls.  Everything else was altered and replaced in 1897.  It had to be - the roof was caving in and the walls cracking up in places.  It was either a case of radically refurbish or move to another site.  The growth in the population of Felixstowe meant that more seats were needed anyway.  The solution was refurbish.  In the last 30 years substantial extensions were added and even recently the late Victorian pews have been removed as well as the pulpit. As I said in the video, many of the old features have found new uses.

That said the building is still unique in being the only church building in Felixstowe that has a balcony - a nice piece of Victoriana - and it's one of the few bits that hasn't been changed since 1897 and probably never will be.

The main emphasis of the video was to stress that the building is not the church; the people that worship, witness and serve there are the church because that's what the word for church - ekklesia - means.   That being the case, the building has been adapted to serve the needs of the church - the people - in each successive generation. 

Why?  Church fellowships expressions of the body of Christ.  What I mean by that is a picture we are given in the New Testament is that the church is described as a body (the body of Christ).  When people decide to follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit makes each one of His people part of that body (1 Corinthians 12:5).   Locally He puts us together with other people in local churches and as a church we grow together as we worship, through friendship and mutual support, through getting to learn of God together and letting others know about Jesus.

The Christian faith is all about relationships: a personal relationship with the living God; and a relationship with others like ourselves.

If you want to know more, please contact me or visit your local church - or if you are in Felixstowe, do come along to Maidstone Road.