Daily Archives: April 10, 2019

Beyond The Pew Part 2

What Rev Don Robbins in some small way stands on the shoulders of the john wesleys, martin luthers, who had one thing in common. That is vision and ability to see what was possible, God birthed in these people a willingness to engage, a strength of character to overcome, a stubbornness to see what might be, actually become reality. It began with a faith in a God who loved people and that love is infectious

What I found at the Lighthouse where people who had been set adrift by the circumstances of their lives, and who were commonly drawn to the light from this Lighthouse based at st Georges crypt and part of st Georges church.

I was looking to see what God was doing and attempt to document it. I found God in this place, both within the volunteers and the members of this its community. The God in Jesus who walked the streets the ancient cities and towns of Israel, and met people where they were, without prejudice but with deep compassion.

the welcome at the crypt

What shone for me in this community, was its inclusivity, its christ centredness, its commitment speak of and live out a vibrant life giving expression of what it means to follow Jesus in todays world. The comunity is lead by an enthusiastic team headed by Rev Jon Swales.

Community personified

The above image was taken in November 2018 on a light house trip to York Cathedriel and annual presentation. York centre was filled with Christmas stalls and hundreds of people going on their way. In the midst of this was a local band was playing and everyone except the christians were standing still, it was the christians from this comunity, that saw an opportunity to celebrate, to dance, to the music to show joyfulness.

I remember marvelling how it demonstrated community, there was no them and us, just community, joy, love, kinship. To me at least this image speaks of what it means to be brothers and sisters in Christ.

As with any community there are difficulties, there are hills to climb, challenges to meet. Yet in this light house, nothing was too much effort, as an outsider, I loved the recurring experience of not quite being sure of who was receiving Gods love and who was offering it. It seemed to me at least the camera guy in the corner, that God was present and that was what mattered, whether in the giving and receiving of bread, or the sharing of prayer all of it mattered, all of it spoke to the tapestry of church woven in this place.

The images have been taken with permission from the light house team and in connection with myself at http://www.Lobecphotography.com

Beyond the Pew Part 1

There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.-Gandi

At the feeding of the four and five thousands, in the upper room at passover and the beach at breakfast time. Jesus illustrated who God was by meeting their physical needs. As they received from God they consumed more than nutrients for life, but a spiritual awareness of who God was that would possibly lead to a deeper spiritual awakening.

The redundant crypt of the church…might be the saving grace for these despairing people.

Rev D. Robbins- quote from the book Entertaining More Angels-

So in Leeds in the 1930s the Revd Don Robins, at that time priest of St Georges, in response to the poverty he saw. Opened up the crypt, a place for the dead to be buried and instead turned it into a place to offer a life line for people, and so began a story of resurrection that out of the tomb new life could be offered. That story has continued today, with the church crypt and community working in tandem. This is a story of the church on the margins, of meeting the needs in practical and spiritual ways, underpinned by the love of Christ.

 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Matthew 25:31-46

Fast forward to 2013 and the inception of the light house offering a church service to the community that had grown up around the crypt. The Rev Jon Swales continues to lead that team, in their ministering to the needs of the community around St Georges, to those for whom life circumstances had become difficult.

In 2013 realised that the ordinary church wasn’t speaking to many of our friends here.

Rev Roger Quick- Chaplin to the Homeless- excerpt from Entertaining More Angels

The Light House offers lunch bible study, worship, fellowship, education, trips and above all hope. Rooted not in the shifting sand of life but the solid rock of a more eternal perspective. This hope is one that is lived out, on the rough edges of life, where deeds speak louder than words, actions hold greater authenticity than sound bites. A place where trust is won, respect is forged in the fires of struggle. Any other hope not seasoned, tested, lived out, would fall on deaf ears, be discarded like a disused cardboard coffee cup.

See Beyond the Pew Part 2

%d bloggers like this: