Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The declining congregation - 1

One of the routes I take for my daily walk goes past a local church property. It is on a main road, so highly conspicuous.

The building itself is a quite attractive (or not unattractive) 1960s style triangular prism, the grounds immediately around the building are a step down from that: not so good. They appear, from an aesthetic point of view, not quite considered, and are not appealing. Often they look un-cared for.

Adjoining the plot of land of the building is an unmade car parking area, and then adjoining that a dwelling and open ground used for outdoor functions.

Here the unkemptness looks even worse, even sloppy, bedraggled!

Think of the passers-by. In the locale of this church people are generally very 'house-proud'. It is a high income area and the properties usually look very 'sharp' and at least neat, well presented and carefully looked-after. It's an area with high appearance values.

The church premises are discordant with this. They suggest a demeanor that is inconsistent with the area. A place people might feel ashamed to be associated with (I would).

Over the years I've been living near this property, I've seen the number of  'services' decline from three per Sunday to one.

What's happened? It can't be just poor property presentation, it's got to be more.

I pray for this church as I stride past it.

But, what would I do?

I'm not a professional clergy-person*, nor do I know the congregation; but I know the area and its people, so I can but make a few guesses.

They are here.

*but I have post-graduate quals and experience in adult education and marketing.

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