From the Oughtibridge Parish Church notice sheet:
Surely much in many ways!
Not everybody is in a position to commute out of their local community to go to a larger, better-resourced church elsewhere.
For the elderly and the vulnerable in other ways, parish churches in their neighbourhood can provide a Christian community from which they can receive invaluable spiritual and practical support and to which they can contribute by their presence, prayers and gifts.
But surely our whole community would lose out from the loss of the parish church and its ministry. Every person living in our parish needs the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation from the wrath to come; by God’s grace our parish church is in a position to proclaim the Saviour to them through our outreach activities, our occasional offices such as baptisms, thanksgivings and funerals and through our children’s work.
We are not the only fishing boat for the gospel in our community. But we are a boat that can catch people for Jesus. And there are plenty of fish in the sea, in fact more than the current boats can cope with.
It is also worth noting that it is much easier to close a church in a local community than to start a new one.
Our small church family is humanly speaking a weak community. But the New Testament encourages us that God’s grace is sufficient, for his power is ‘made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12v9).
The Christianity Explored course to be held God willing in our Parish Centre in October and November is a great opportunity for us to unite together in proclaiming the gospel to this community. The intention is to involve more members of the parish church family in sharing their Christian stories.
Please be praying that people in our parish will be converted to saving faith in the Lord Jesus through Christianity Explored this autumn.
Warmly in Christ,