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England: Back to Church service

On Sunday September 25, members of the GCI/WCG congregation in Manchester, England combined with members of the St. Andrew’s Church for a joint Back to Church service.

The previous Saturday leaflets were distributed to homes in the area. The leaflet featured an article by GCI member David Bedford describing his impressions when he first started attending church. He was expecting to find near perfect members, but it wasn’t long before he realized they had as many flaws as he did. Then, reading the Bible more closely, he realized the New Testament was full of flawed individuals as well. The leaflet then gave encouragement to respond to the invitation to attend the special Back to Church service, knowing that the members of the church are not perfect, but trying to serve God.

Meeting for fellowship

David also led the service, with other WCG members doing a scripture reading and playing piano for hymn singing. The Rev. Lisa Battye of St. Andrews gave an encouraging and uplifting message about the healing of the paralytic man as covered in the scripture reading. Rev. Battye then concluded the service by leading Communion. Following the service, the two congregations joined in fellowship over tea and refreshments.



2 thoughts on “England: Back to Church service”

  1. The photo sparks many questions: Is this a tiny congregation? Did the members not want their faces displayed? Are they mostly elderly, old-time members? Is St. Andrews a Church of England congregation? What drew members of both churches together? Is St. A. also a tiny congregation? Do they share any doctrinal beliefs? Do they get together often?

  2. I am David Bedford who wrote the article and must first apologise for the photograph. I only remembered to take a picture after a number of people had left after refreshments, hence the small number and the back view! There were about 40 in attendance.
    We are mostly elderly old timers and one young family of three children were not present that day.
    Yes, St. Andrews is a C of E congregation.
    When we started using this church for our services over 3 years ago we agreed to have a minimum of three combined services annually. Our next one is a Combined Carol Service on 17th December to which the public are invited directly.
    Yes, we share a number of basic beliefs.
    I think a very important part of the communion service, which illustrates how we are working together and which was in the originally published report, was not included here. The wine was served in individual glasses as has been the custom of the WCG, instead of the usual one cup preferred by the C of E. and this was at their suggestion.
    Thank you for your questions and I am glad to answer them for you.

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