Sir Isaac Newton said, ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’, a phrase which has come to mean “one who discovers by building on previous discoveries”. Early in my Christian journey I discovered the importance of the church family. Indeed it was through the church family that I came to know Jesus for myself. We are not meant to ‘go it alone’ in this faith but are part of a body. That body is universal, the Apostles’ Creed reminds us that we believe in the ‘holy catholic church’ and we can learn from so many others of faith throughout the ages.
Today, we as a church family are benefiting from the legacy of the “Giants from the past”. Indeed as Psalm 145 v4 says “Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts”
Taking a tour through the church archives, history shows us that past generations are the epitome of living out this verse.
In 1858 Robert Hanbury and his friends funded the building of Christ Church, followed by the school, the original Church Hall, the Mission Hall in Amwell End and the school mistress’s house.
In 1895 Mrs Page funded the building of the Memorial Hall to replace the original Church hall which had been gifted to the school to help them meet the rising demand for education.
During the 1940’s the Church family overcame the challenges brought by worshiping during the war years. They changed service times to avoid the blackout, worshiped in a bomb damaged church for 7 years, with boarded windows and a patched up roof.
The 1950 generation was blessed by generous gifts in memory of loved ones, which saw addition of the vestry and toilet and as they celebrated their centenary in 1958 they blessed future generations by reroofing the church.
The 1970’s generation funded the installation and upgrade of the kitchen at the back of church,
The 1980’s generation funded the enclosing of the North porch and the internal decoration of the church. .
The 1990’s generation funded the Memorial Hall extension to provide us with the church centre, youth hall and the car park was upgraded.
The 2008 generation funded the repairs to the church roof, leadwork and windows and a new boiler was installed.
The 2017 generation funded the new Church office complex.
Thanks to all of the past generations generosity, foresight and willingness to do mighty works we have the facilities to bless and serve the town.
However there comes a time when we have to stop standing on the shoulders of giants and become the giants ourselves. If we look at all of the quoted passage from Psalm 145 it reads
“One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
Will generations look at us and celebrate our abundant goodness and our great deeds? I firmly believe so.
I have had the privilege of being involved in the development project from the start. I have seen God lead us, inspire us, correct us and sustain us as we have tried to take the church’s dreams and aspirations and shape them into the finalised designs we now have. The road has not always been easy but slowly from those initial ideas God has revealed his plan for us. We have shaped and refined that plan, committing it to him and sharing it with you as we have journeyed through the various stages of the development project.
You have been amazing in your support. As your understanding of the plans has grown you have grasped hold of the vision, supported us by asking questions, making suggestions, praying with and for us and supporting fundraising events. Others have helped in researching, preparing and submitting grant applications.
And finally you have given sacrificially to get us to the point where we are able to stand on the cusp of starting the work.
Past generations have dreamt of improving the facilities within the church but we are the generation that have the honour and responsibility of fulfilling all of those dreams.
MartinTags: Dial M, Magazine