Rector’s Letter, April 11th

Dear Team

The Acts reading for this Sunday caught my eye, especially verse 32, ‘All the believers were one in heart and mind’. As the Psalmist says, ‘How beautiful it is when people live in unity’.
Its such a beautiful picture of church, and one we should hold before us as we seek to be God’s church in this place and at this time. The unity of the early church, a unity which spilled over into practical care for

one another’s needs, was a great witness to the non-Christians, so much so that people came to faith through the example of those courageous Christians. It wasn’t this unity alone, which grew the church. The preaching of the Word, endurance through suffering, the miracles performed by the disciples, the classlessness and relative empowering of women all showed the church to be a very different thing, and people wanted in. They wanted to know what had created this revolution, and so they came to know not a what, but a who, Jesus.
For me, unity isn’t so much a lack of conflict as it is how we express disagreement, and it is what we hold at the heart of our life as Christians. One in heart and mind is not about an insipid squashing of our convictions. I firmly believe that we can disagree lovingly, that we can continue to honour one another as we explore our way forward, that we can hold strong opinions while we protect one another’s hearts.
The question for each us though is what sits at the centre, at the heart, of our engaging with the life of the

church. Most of the things we get wound up about in church land are actually about personal preference, rather than a passion for Jesus. The heart of the church is knowing Jesus, learning to love Him more deeply, and bringing others to know Him as well. As we pursue this heart we find we have far more that unites us than could ever drive us apart.

Rev Steve