Remembering our 1998 Dedication Service

We were delighted to find this video of the 1998 Dedication Service for the [then] new Church building!
It’s nice to see many friends and supporters of the Church again including John Hicks, Rita Dulake (Tomlin), Alan, Tomlin, Sonia Mallia.
Thank you to Mark for improving the sound and video.

Transcription of John Hick’s Address

You know, it must be about 15 years ago since I first gave an address in the derelict building across the way. It was on my birthday. Well, this is my first address in this new church. Not quite right. My birthday was yesterday

I tried to think of a theme, and I thought, the 60th chapter of Isaiah “Arise, shine, for your light has come“. But it didn’t seem quite right.

Then I thought, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a stand so that it gives light to all men“, not quite.

So eventually I came to the 21st chapter of revelations, “and he that sat upon the throne said, behold, I make all things new“.

Well, it is new, isn’t it? Everybody’s new. From the old place across the land we have bought many old things. You can see them all around. We’ve also bought many old ideas, things which we cherish and value, and things which we also most certainly cherish in this new thing.

But this is a new ‘body‘ and we can only put so much old ‘mind‘ into it. And there’s an awful lot of learning to do.

So what are we learning today? We’ve got to think ahead.

This is a big building and our present congregation will not fill it by any means. So we must go out as it says in the Bible, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled“. We must let people know what they can find in peace, in love and in real spirituality. People who are looking for the meaning in their lives.

If we do our job properly, we come to this place and know that they will be done. They will progress in spirit. It’s a marvellous thing. You can’t begin to tell them how I feel about it.

I don’t know what will become. But I do know this: whatever becomes of it, it is down to us ‘the people’. Because the church is the people. God has come to us to put up his manors and do it. But he will help us to finish, I’m sure. But we must do our bit. 

We cannot plan. He will not let us plan because he has always been pushing us to look further and we have all our spirit come.  Our loved ones who worshipped in this church years and years ago will be looking to us. So I’m sure. I know that maybe there must be many, many souls who are witnessed tonight. People. A few of them will know many, many more we wouldn’t know. But people here have to bear with us and it is their church as much as ours.

So we ask them, please give us all that you can to rebalance our ambition, yes our ambitions for this and to our father God we say: We know you are with us. We know you will always be with us. And we thank you.