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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

12 February 2014: Dom Clarke - Dominic Clarke, Church leader - St Matthew's, Blackmoor and Whitehill

Get connected

Sometimes, I have to confess that I have days when I wonder what it is all about.

I agree, this may not sound like a good start to a faith based newspaper article, but there it is. I’m actually quite comfortable with this position of doubt and confusion and I do believe that it is a spiritually healthy place to be. It’s so easy in the church to get lost in the beauty and intricacy of our shared divergent history and tradition or in the spectacle of Christian worship – whether that is dignified, ordered and liturgical or wild, exciting and charismatic.

At the core, what it is all about though is this enigmatic slightly mysterious guy called Jesus who walked on the earth an awfully long time ago, did some amazing things, said some very challenging stuff, was killed for it but returned to show us plainly and simply that God is, that God loves us, and that nothing ever could separate us from that relationship. Not even our own deaths.

In the end nothing else really matters. Except, we need a context and a community in which to explore what this all really means to us, and what our response should be. The truth seems to be more and more evident that slowly but surely the Anglican Church as we know it is declining. In fact a previous Archbishop recently wrote that we are maybe just one generation away from collapse due to our failure to be relevant, meaningful and accessible to the generation who are set to inherit it.

Here in Blackmoor we are tackling this problem by developing a new way to worship called “Connect”. Freed from the constraints of church building, set liturgical formulas or even traditional seating plans it has proved to be increasingly popular especially with families and children. There are many such ‘fresh expressions’ of church popping up all over the place. Why not seek one out? Particularly if you are bored or feel disenfranchised from more traditional models of church.

You never know you might start engaging with some of these bigger questions of life, and find a relationship with Jesus that has real meaning for you. Together we can then start to work out what it is all about.

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