Open the doors!
Here’s the church
Here’s the steeple
Open the doors
and here are the people!
Were you taught that wee rhyme when you were growing up? The people – your fingers – were inside. Contrast that with churches today – all too often people are outside, and we who are on the inside want them to come in and join us. The trend for glass doors to a church building is perhaps a reflection of this longing – transparency, so that outsiders can see inside, and also see what the insiders are doing, and then they might come in.
St Andrew’s is open on a Saturday morning for teas and coffees – open to anyone who wishes to drop by. Our prices are lower than those of surrounding establishments! Last Saturday was a bit different: any visitors who came in would have seen an impressive range of displays and stands showcasing both the work of St Andrew’s and the wider Church. There were people to talk to, leaflets to take away, ideas to ponder . . . Everything from the choir, the walking group and the Girls’ Brigade to the parish area, financial projections and church gardens. This was part of the ‘Forward in Faith’ Stewardship Programme, in which all members of the congregation were invited to participate. Besides the displays, there was a presentation in the form of a quiz which combined humour with serious information and, to round things off, hot drinks and a vast array of homebaking.
In the afternoon the doors to the front of the church, which face the terraced garden, were thrown open for a wedding. The sun shone, the bride was radiant, the excitement was almost tangible – a lovely occasion.
Meanwhile at Meadowside St Paul’s the front doors were open for ‘Open Doors Weekend’ which St Andrew’s also normally takes part in, but the wedding booking, plus the fact that the weekend was brought forward a week because of the V&A opening, meant that this year St Andrew’s didn’t participate. As often happens, the visitors to Meadowside St Paul’s were a mixture of local people and visitors from further afield. This is a wonderful opportunity for folk to see inside a church without feeling pressured, or to sit down in a pew and enjoy the quietness of the sanctuary, or to come back to a place that was once very familiar.
Meadowside St Paul’s is opening its doors again today (14th September) and tomorrow – providing a safe place for a number of groups who are to be taking part in the V&A Opening.
V&A Dundee? You’ll have heard of it – it’s been all over the national news this past week.
More of that next time . . .