Published by Tim Cockell on Wed, 3 Jul 2019 16:16

“The people who sat in darkness – on them light has shined.”

I have just come away from church this morning having sat through the first service where our new lighting was being used.  Wow, what a difference!  You can read an order of service more easily and see what is going on “up front” with the extra bright lighting that is focused there.  There is still quite a bit to be done to the new system – lots of “techie stuff” that is really beyond me!  But the result will be that we will have a complete new white light system that can be zoned and dimmed as well as architectural lighting to bring out some of the fantastic features of our building, like the windows.  Being able to program the new lighting in advance will help us to create a balance of colour and white lighting to enhance our worship as well as stage events for groups and concerts.  

There are also other enhancements going on in relation to our sound system and visuals. These improvements should just about be finished by the time you read these words…fingers crossed!  Other improvements are coming too, namely some adaptation in the choir stalls with new book rests and downlighting candle stands to help with being able to see music more clearly.  

So, lots going on, and I hope that when everything is complete that we will all be able to see and hear things a bit more clearly.  The work has been made possible by a very generous gift received a couple of years ago and from the residue of funds from the sale of the old Church House. 

Seeing the new equipment being installed over many weeks has reminded me of the organic nature of the church.  Of course, being organic ourselves we understand how our bodies change over time as we grow, mature and age takes it effect.  We don’t often think of buildings as being organic, but in the sense that they are constantly changing it is perhaps a useful way of thinking about things.  

St. Mark’s has undergone significant changes over the years – it has not remained the same for very long.  If you take a glance at the booklet about the history of St. Mark’s you will see this for sure.  There was believed to be a Saxon church on the site that the existing church now occupies. There is a mention of a Priest in the village in the Doomsday Book – so there must have been somewhere to hold worship. 

The existing church was built in the 1340s with the area of the choir stalls added in 1600 along with the Spire on top of the existing tower.  The North Aisle was built in 1872 and other alterations carried out to some of the windows and the chancel and choir stalls.  The old North Porch was added in the early 1900s and the South Aisle built in 1960.  The new North Porch and Servery were completed in 2011.  There have been alterations to decoration, bells, organs, wooden screens have been removed and re-used, pews replaced, methods of heating changed, glass screens added, glass doors – the list is almost endless.  So if anyone is a little squeamish about the recent enhancements – just think, in a few years they will feel like they have been part of the place for a long time, just like all the other things that have been done over time.

Just as there have been many changes over time to the church building as we seek to serve God and engage in his mission in the world, so God changes us.  His Holy Spirit is always at work in us, bringing us closer to Him and transforming us, bit by bit, day by day, to be what he created us to be.  It’s important to remember that the changes that God brings about in us are never to be feared, they are always enhancements and improvements and never backward steps. And they are always things that, you could say, that help us to see and hear more clearly what God is doing in us. 

With every blessing.


Categories Word from the Clergy