Monday, 20 July 2009


At the moment I am reading Dave Gorman's "America Unchained" which recounts the story of his attempt to cross the USA coast to coast without using any "chains". He would only stay at hotels/motels that were not part of a chain, only eat at places that were not part of a chain, only buy petrol at garages that were not part of a chain. The book offers an interesting reflection on the large part that "chains" have come to have in our lives most of the time. It is true that most high streets look much the same. But it set me wondering how chained we are, and how chained we should be, in the church. It would seem that we are concerned with liberation and freedom in a big way which suggests we might be strong supporters of Gorman's quest. Yet part of church is that we are linked to each other, wherever we are. There is a sense in which any individual congregation will, and should, do its own thing. However, that should not happen in an isolated way. We are part of the whole Body of Christ, the whole People of God. That's why I belong to a denomination, and why I think it's right that I should do so - but it is also why I hope that, one day, we'll bring all the denominations together. I guess it is a bit of a forlorn hope - and that's why, across the denominations, I am clear that what unites us is more important than that which divides.

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