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A year ago the blog raised the question of what a living and growing church would look like in the future.  Buildings put up in the Victorian age are crumbling, damp, uncomfortable and often the wrong shape for modern use.  They were built in a day when Christendom was alive and people had a vague faith in a Christian God and a sense of duty that they should ‘go to church’.  No more.

Today, especially in rural and Welsh Wales, the numbers of worshippers are few, the buildings are a burden, and resources are limited.  I suggested that the pre-Victorian patterns of regional ministry serving local small groups in homes might be more practical.  Are we any nearer to a vision or a plan?  The purpose of the Blog is to challenge us to grapple with the issues we face.  Is the fog clearing?

If we hope to see thriving Christian communities (buildings or not) that live and tell the Gospel clearly (tradition or not), how do we make a start?  Will there be enough people to run Clubs, CAP, Food Bank … Sunday Schools, Worship groups, Sisterhood … and other activities expected in urban church?  Will we need a different pattern?  Will we need ‘Gospel Centred Communities’ who use neighbourliness, nosh and need to build relational bridges for the Gospel?

Maybe we do not need to go too far back to find the future.  The early Methodist meetings [seiadau] were in homes, supported by travelling ministry both lay and full-time, and they multiplied through local witness and contact and family as much as by great gatherings and preachers. 

There are clues to help us, but we must wrestle with the issue, the challenge, our context … until we have a plan that will work.  The wilderness will encroach otherwise.  Let’s make it our business for this next year … so blog away!

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