At the beginning of 2018 the members and friends of City URC began to reflect on their shared history and thoughts for the future. Their stories were collected and presented as a ‘timeline’ on the wall in the main Church, excerpts from which will be serialised here.
When I resigned my valleys pastorate to become Synod Clerk in 2009, I had to transfer my church membership … This took me some time, and for quite a while I worshiped in a number of churches of different denominations. But because of my URC role, my membership had to transfer to a United Reformed Church.
On looking round the
churches in the Cardiff area, there was one where I’d already been a member
before training for ministry. Although I still felt a strong connection with
the people there, it didn’t seem right to go back.
There were 3 other churches
where I’d worshipped and worked happily as a ministerial student, but it didn’t
seem right to go back to any of them either, though one of them would have
suited me well in many ways. I was running out of options …
I had come to know City a
little while serving the church as Interim Moderator during the vacancy between
Tom’s and Adrian’s ministry, and I’d occasionally led worship here. Once Adrian
was settled in, I started worshipping here regularly and eventually transferred
my membership – I can’t remember exactly when!
What I most like about City
is the diversity of its people. This is unlike the churches I’ve belonged to
before which have been fairly homogeneous, with most people sharing the same
sort of background and experience, and many never having worshipped elsewhere:
City is different. Among our number, we share a range of theologies and
understandings of the Bible, yet we all belong together as a church family. To
me this is a source of great enrichment to our worship and our work, and a
challenge to my own thinking and understanding.
Situated in the city centre,
we have lots of visitors and we never know who might walk in and join us on a
Sunday morning, maybe just for (even part of) one service, maybe for much
longer, adding still more to the congregational mix. That’s a challenge too, to
be open to all comers and to offer a genuine welcome, understanding that our
visitors may challenge us to fresh ways of thinking and acting. I love it when
we never know who will walk in off the street, and I think that, mostly, we
rise to the challenge.
So, having come to City
partly because I’d run out of other options, I’m at home here and feel I can
both support and be supported by its life and its people.