The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website


Aylsham Beanefest inside 750CF

Back to church – we are family!

Claire Hamilton-Deane encourages us to re-immerse ourselves fully into the family life of our churches.

The last couple of years have been a challenge for the Church in more ways than one!  Many have had to get to grips with new technology and come up with inventive ways of communicating the Gospel to a community in desperate need of its Good News.
During the lockdowns I, for one, enjoyed Sundays watching a varied pick and mix selection of Church services online curled up on the sofa in my pyjamas drinking coffee.  Such services have been ideal for many people, who during this season have begun questioning what life is all about and seeking to know more about who Jesus Christ is, and the claims made about Him in the Bible.
Now, post lockdown, as things return to ‘normal’ how will we respond?  Are people willing to get off the sofa and go back to, or even join for the first time, an in-person service?  The particularly vulnerable may well choose to continue to do Church at home in this way, but what about those in relatively good health?
Along with many other verses, Hebrews 10:25 serves as a reminder that online services are not a long term substitute for getting together physically:  "And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near".
It is important to remember we are members of the body of Christ, with each of us having a part to play in maintaining the health of that body.  We were created for community and relationship.  Essentially, in the immortal words of the 70’s pop group Sister Sledge ‘We Are Family’, and families encourage one another, rejoice together and share one another's burdens.  We basically ‘do life’ together.  
I’ve heard it said that Churches are hospitals where hurting people find healing, which I believe to be true, but I also want to suggest that Churches are places where we should be able to be our true selves, not having to pretend we have it all together, where we can admit our weaknesses and find acceptance, love, and support without judgement.
Whilst sitting on the sofa on a Sunday, taking it easy, watching services was, for a season, the right thing to do, I believe it’s now time to set the alarm, get back to Church and get immersed back into family life!
This article was first published in Network Yarmouth.

claire hamilton deane 340The picture above is of Aylsham Parish Church.


Claire Hamilton-Deane is a member of Park Baptist Church in Great Yarmouth.

The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users. 

We welcome your thoughts and comments, posted below, upon the ideas expressed here. 

Click here to read our forum and comment posting guidelines

To submit a story or to publicise an event please email: web@networknorwich.co.uk