the end of August, Barry Drake is to retire as minister in order to put
all his energy into promoting healing ministry in his role as East
Midlands Synod Health and Healing Advisor.
Sadly, the church decided that this was the time to close the doors
of the Netherfield URC. The final Sunday service will be led by Geoff
Smith on August 30th. There will be a closing celebration service on
Saturday October 10th at 3.00 pm.
The church web site carried a statement that -
"We come from a variety of different Christian traditions and value
each other's tradition and theological stance. We embrace one another
with love in the enabling power of God's Holy Spirit".
It has always been my dream that there could be a church that
honours and respects the full diversity of Christian teaching,
tradition and experience. Sadly, the extreme tensions between opposite
ends of the theological spectrum led some two years ago to a split in
the church, and to some of our enthusiastic and active members leaving
our congregation. This was a great blow to me, and one from which I
have still not recovered.
The other side of the story is that in spite of much hard work, we
seem to have been making very little impact in recent times on the
people of Netherfield. "It isn't that we don't want to be in
Netherfield", someone said, "but Netherfield doesn't want us!" There is
a certain sad truth in that statement.