How We Got Here
During the Open Day, we had a ‘visitors’ book’ in which visitors could write their comments about the church refurbishment. Here are some of the comments that were written:
“An excellent example of the Church working with and for the community – WELL DONE.” (Deputy Mayor, Cllr Parkinson)
“A wonderful achievement – good to see everyone working together. Very well done!”
(Deputy Mayoress, Mrs Linda Parkinson)
“God is love and God’s love is in the Goldthorpe church and fully in His people in it.” (Jimmy Hadfield)
“God’s blessing on you all as you begin this new journey.” (Margaret Jarvis)
“Jesus said, ‘I will build my church’. Every blessing.” (Mark Reasbeck, Barnsley Methodist Circuit)
“We celebrate with you – use it all to the full to the glory of God.” (Pastor Joy Gascoigne, Grimethorpe Pentecostal Church)
“Fantastic. The fulfilment of decades of prayer for Goldthorpe.” (Garrie-John Barnes, Hope House Church & Head of Barnsley Christian School)
“Fantastic! Well done! Praise the Lord!” (Bell Marsden, Barnsley Methodist Circuit Church, Valley Darfield)
“God answers prayer!” (Adrian Lee, Salvation Army, Goldthorpe)
“Lovely to see St Mark’s reopened and lovingly restored.” (Lisa Goddard, Bramley)
“Absolutely amazing building – God has brought about a miracle.” (John & Eunice Marrow)
“Well done. A fantastic resource for God’s work in Goldthorpe. May God’s Spirit be encountered by all who enter.” (Pete & Sue Sherrington, Maltby)
“What a fabulous job you have all done – be proud! God bless you all abundantly as you keep pursuing Him and serving Him in your community!” (Ant & Sarah Lee, Wakefield)
“A very homely feel to a beautiful church.” (Adrian, Julia, Tess & Jay)
“Great to see activity and fun in the area” (Terry Noble)
“Terrific job you’ve done. Congratulations!” (Graham Newton)
“Keep looking to God for guidance.” (Grace Clark, Wath-on-Dearne)
“God has honoured your faithfulness. You are reaping after sowing!” (Eileen Cooper)
“May God’s blessing and inspiration continue in this place and community.” (Joyce Barrass, Wickersley)
“Really made welcome. God bless.” (Edith White, Holy Trinity Methodist Church, Wath-on-Dearne)
“Hallelujah! Amen!” (Shirley Smith, Holy Trinity Methodist Church, Wath-on-Dearne)
“Every blessing be poured over you as a church body. May the power of the Holy Spirit be so evident as you start this new journey. May the love of the Father lavish His love so strong that all come to know the Lord in their lives. Honoured to come to the opening, praise Jesus in everything!” (Lisa & James Besley, Father’s House, West Melton)
“What an amazing God we serve! We are so thrilled at what the Lord has done in and through you all. We used to come and help you – I think we need you to come and help us!! We pray that the glory of the Lord will fall upon you all, that you will be soaked in the Holy Spirit and have many, many opportunities to overflow into the community.” (Joan & Ian Bland)
” ‘Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts upon pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.’ Psalm 84:5-7. This church is a ‘place of springs’ for your community.” (Mark & Angie Wapples, South Elmsall)
Our thanks go to the many friends who came along on Saturday and who were so generous in their support and in their comments. We pray that God will bless each church represented and that there will be great unity amongst churches working together in this area for the glory of God.
We have also had comments from friends overseas:
“If only I could be there!!!! I would send you a dozen roses if I could find a florist who delivers overseas!!!
You will be on my heart all day, and I will pray for God’s glory to be revealed!
I am sure I hear my Father saying “well done, good and faithful servants!”
I love you dearly!” (Jillian in Wyoming, USA)
“I had to think of you today and of your special day! I hope that you had
a great day with the church today!” (Rahel Weiss in Norden, Germany)
“What an achievement! I’m so delighted that the prayers and hard work of your congregation had meant that you have a lovely building from which you can be a light in your area.” (Helen in Canada)
May God’s Spirit be poured out over all the earth. “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)
After the evening meeting ended, we returned to the community hall to finish the buffet and to chat with people.
One of the aims of the Open Day was to consult with the community about what people want to see in the new building. We had a ‘suggestions table’ where people could write their suggestions and ideas for activities and the leadership of the church will look at how we can implement some of these ideas over the next few weeks and months.
The ideas suggested were:
Art & crafts
Older people’s meetings
Saturday coffee mornings
Christian Singles’ nights
Alpha courses (for younger people as well as for adults)
Teaching young people a trade
Perhaps the one I found most encouraging was the comment “more days like today” which was seconded by other people writing underneath! Having fun and showing people that church and fun are not incompatible are important.
The badminton club will definitely be re-starting and we hope to run Saturday coffee mornings from September. In the meantime, if anyone is interested in helping with these activities or has any more suggestions, you can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The essentials of Christian meetings have often been summarised as worship, prayer and the Word. In Acts 2 we read that “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” In our church, we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus through the breaking of bread each Sunday morning, but in the evening celebration meeting, we wanted to keep largely to the basics of what we ordinarily do. We’d certainly done ‘the fellowship’ aspect all throughout the day!!
So we began the meeting with songs that focussed our heart on the greatness of God and on all that He has done for us and all He is.
We prayed. And we listened to our elders each bringing us encouragement from the Word – about the way God has worked in our lives on this journey to the new building, about how God has multiplied all that we had to bring about the miraculous, about the need to give our whole lives over to God as our ‘reasonable or spiritual act of worship’ (Romans 12:1) and about the dedication of Solomon’s temple where the glory of God fell in such splendour that “the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:14)
We also listened to ministry through songs, given by Stephen (ably assisted by other musicians and Ruth) and Esther. We do appreciate the ministry of both our own church members and those who travelled especially to be with us to serve in this way.
And, in true Goldthorpe style, we also sang a children’s song for the many children in the congregation. The yo-yo song, written by Garry for one of our family services last year, is definitely unique in its subject matter and style, but the lines ‘Know the truth/ Be set free/ Jesus gives stability’ are as relevant to adults as they are to children!
A great evening!