I’ve now been at Christ Church for over two months – how time flies – and it’s a therefore a good time to reflect on life as a curate here.
I often wondered at theological college, immersed in deeply academic stuff, how relevant it would all be in parish life. Well, I’ve now got an inkling.
I might be conversant with all the debates on the theology of baptism, but what I really wish I had been taught was how to hold a baby properly whilst conducting the baptism service.
I might have written a brilliant academic essay on the Christian doctrine of creation, but that is of little help in answering very insightful questions from 10-11 years old children on the subject, especially if you have less than a minute to give a convincing answer.
I also learned a great deal about the rise of the early church, and perhaps surprisingly, that is actually relevant today. For a key reason behind its success, aside from the Gospel message itself, was the way it stood out against the culture and other religions of its day. The early church practised hospitality, caring for those in need, and being a welcoming community.
And what has particularly struck me about Christ Church is how we practise many of the things which made the early church attractive.
Robyn and I have been so blessed to come to such a welcoming, loving, hospitable community. We should never become complacent, but equally, it is something to be proud of … while always continuing to improve. We can have great preaching, superb worship, wonderful facilities, but if we aren’t a loving, kind, welcoming community, all the preaching, worship and facilities will count for little in attracting people to Christ. So, thank you for making us so welcome – we are so pleased to be here.
Terence Russoff (Curate)