February 2023 – Faith in the Building

At St Mary’s Stansted a lot of work goes on behind the scenes in the maintenance and upkeep of the Church Building and its surroundings. As you can imagine keeping a medieval building in good repair requires a considerable investment of time, energy and money. The Church Wardens and Parochial Church Council as well as a faithful group of helpers are continually working away in the background to make sure that the building and the churchyard do not fall into disrepair.

In the past, we have been blessed with a small but committed core of people from inside and outside the village who have made a substantial investment in the ongoing life of the Church Building. I am very thankful to all those who have supported the upkeep of the building and indeed to those who continue to do so. You have probably read in the papers that in the wake of covid-19 the Church of England has lost about 35% of its volunteers who have in the past been very active in the life and maintenance of the local Churches. It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out in the future both Nationally and locally but here in this parish, we are determined to press ahead not only with maintenance but also with the growth and development of the congregation and its facilities.

We have faith in the building. Not only in its importance as a symbol of Christianity in these villages but also as a repository of living faith in Jesus Christ. St Mary’s is not just an historic building, it is the meeting place of the local Anglican Christian Fellowship. The word fellowship means participation. Participation in the life of God involves positive and active involvement in the lives of one another. Our fellowship with God is expressed and in part experienced in our fellowship with each other. We need God and we need one another. We participate in fellowship with God and we participate in fellowship with one another. Indeed the Bible goes as far as saying that we experience Christ in one another.

What we have at St Mary’s is faith in a building. Living faith in Jesus Christ is being publically expressed in a beautiful and inspiring ancient building.

Rev. Dr Christopher Noble – Rector of St Mary’s Stansted with Fairseat and Vigo and Area Dean of Shoreham.