Published on: May 2020
Audrey Ashcroft writes... When I was the editor of the Hornsea Methodist Circuit Magazine, which I did for about 10 years, I came across this article in a newspaper. I wonder how people think things have moved on since then.
NEVER ON A SUNDAY
Church may drop Sabbath day due to lack of interest
This was the bold heading that leaped out at me from a page in the Daily Mail on Tuesday 20th January 2004 and was the result of a report by a team headed by the Bishop of Maidstone.
The editor's comment was headed Sunday surrender and I quote, "Sunday should no longer be the Sabbath, says a Church of England team led by the Bishop of Maidstone. The reason? Nobody goes to church at the weekend. Perhaps there's a simpler solution. Shouldn't the C of E for once try offering strong moral guidance, as though it believed in the Christian message?"
This is not a criticism from me on the C of E as editor of this magazine but this message has hit the headlines. I trust that this will never happen and that Sunday services will always be there and the Sabbath be honoured and kept holy by those who wish to do so and keep the door open for others to join them. I feel sometimes we are falling over backwards to 'appeal' to the present generation.
We know that some things have to change and alternative services can be offered to those who cannot attend Sunday worship but Christians should make a stand for Sunday as a day for worship and I am sure would be respected for doing so.
Another headline in the East Riding Mail of 20th January was
#'The answer to our prayers'
which was accompanied by a photograph of Rev. Richard Teal and Neil Richardson, president of the Methodist Conference, outside the Toll Gavel United Church in Beverley after the dedication service for the completion of the refurbishment of the Church Hall which has now been renamed the United Church Centre.
This is perhaps the answer — to make our churches a place where the community can feel welcome and 'at home'. We do need to have contact with others during the week and not for just and hour on Sunday which is set aside for worship, praise and prayer. Getting to know people and to share with them is also part of our Christian discipleship. May we strive to do this and to be there when and where we are needed.
May it not be 'NEVER ON A SUNDAY' but 'ALWAYS ON A SUNDAY'.
(I would welcome any comments to this editorial)
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