What a view! We often have pictures of a church, but here is the view from a church. It is Denholme Shared Church, a photo I took on Palm Sunday from the cemetery at the front of the church – hence “a tomb with a view”. The next photo is inside the church, showing a tableau of the bare cross on a hill, like Calvary, but surrounded by the dry-stone walls of Yorkshire, a scene that will change over the next few days as the church walks the way of the cross. Here is the Easter journey that will take the folk of Denholme to a tomb that will be empty, and where they will see with fresh eyes, as they hear the words “He is risen, he is risen indeed” – a tomb with a view, that invites us to meet the risen Christ in our world. What a view!
It is always inspiring to visit Denholme, a country church with a heart for community. It faces many challenges, such as being a listed building with huge costs for maintenance and repair, the differing expectations of being an ecumenical partnership of Anglicans, Baptists and United Reformed, and being right on the edge of the community it seeks to be at the heart of. But just look at its ‘logo’ – a cross made of the diversity of people connected to the church’s life, including the man with the lawnmower who cuts the grass!
Here is Denholme Community News, always including news from the church, and here is a really handy diary which the church delivered to every house in the area. Although the congregation is ageing, on Sundays it has a café/messy church at 9.30 led by church members, followed by a traditional service later. In the past, I have been to special exhibitions and community events put on by the church, but also heard of the day to day commitment they have to work with the local schools and community in sharing the good news of God’s love. This they do, so openly and spontaneously. Over the years I have visited this church in snow, fog, and rain; indeed, sometimes it has been hard to see the view. But this is a people of Faith, who know the view is there, and trust God to reveal it! The view of God’s Kingdom!