St Wilfrid’s has a wonderful history. For over 90 years its members have provided a faithful Christian witness to our community. There has been much change: not only is our building very different to that originally built in the 1920s, how we worship, minister and reach out to Cowplain has moved with the times. Not least, St Wilfrid’s vision and willingness to try new ideas has led to the global phenomenon that is Messy Church.
We believe that God is at work right across Great Britain! Jesus is building His church, and St Wilfrid’s and Messy Church here in Cowplain are very much part of it. Church is for all ages and backgrounds; God shows no favouritism. This challenges us to focus on reaching out to our whole community. How is he working in the lives of babies, children, teenagers, working-age adults, the retired, the housebound and the sick?
Called to be Worshippers, Disciples and Witnesses
God calls each of us to be worshippers, disciples and witnesses. Together they are the heart of what it means to be a Christian – none make sense without the others. When we truly worship God, we grow in what it means to obey him each day – that’s the heart of being Jesus’ disciple. When we give our lives to him, we can’t fail to want others to know him also – naturally we become witnesses through our words and actions.
Worshippers - Psalm 100.1-2
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Disciples - Matthew 16.24-26
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Witnesses - Acts 1.8
‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.’
St Wilfrid’s and Messy Church - Vision
Our vision for St Wilfrid’s and Messy Church is to be a vibrant, welcoming and consistently growing church that is seen by our community to be its heart.
It’s a place where everyone feels welcomed and valued. It’s a church full of people of all ages and experiences learning together what it means to be worshippers, disciples and witnesses. It’s full of people choosing to obey Jesus’ commands to love our neighbours and willing to take the risk of standing up for him.
'Dare to dream God’s dream'
'Dream dreams that are destined to fail without divine intervention'
Martin Luther King
If our purpose is to be (and grow) as worshippers, disciples and witnesses, it stands to reason that God wants to use each of us to make a difference in the world around us. As a parish, we must work together to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ – his love demonstrated on the cross that brings eternal hope for all who choose to follow him. As has often been said, the church is a Battleship not a Cruise Liner.
God has a big vision and calls us to dream big. Jesus wants his Church to grow. He wants Christians in Cowplain to make a bigger splash in our community. But growth is not primarily about numbers; rather it comes back to more people choosing to follow Jesus.
God’s vision for St Wilfrid’s and Messy Church is for a vibrant, growing church. It’s a church full of people of all ages grappling with what it means to be worshippers, disciples and witnesses. It’s full of people choosing to obey Jesus’ commands and willing to take the risk of standing up for him.
As Martin Luther King famously wrote, God has a bigger dream for us than we can humanly achieve. What is impossible for us is possible with God – when it is his will and his vision.
Let’s together seek God that He might show us how he wants us to make a difference. What part does he want each of us to play? Maybe he is calling you to take a step of faith beyond your imagination?