We are just back from a wonderful week in the Cotswolds, having visited so many beautiful villages, towns and cities. We even got to see Barnsley in Gloucestershire, which is very different to our own beloved Barnsley!

Church in Barnsley, Gloucestershire:

One of the highlights of the holiday was worshipping with God’s people in different churches. We stayed in a lovely small market town called Minchinhampton, which has been known to me for many, many years thanks to being until recently the UK headquarters of France Mission, a charity I support. We attended both the Anglican church there (where the Bishop of Gloucester was present to baptise one child and confirm an adult) and the Baptist Church. We also attended Evensong at Gloucester Cathedral in the week and listened to choirs rehearsing at Worcester Cathedral on our way home.

Every experience of corporate worship reminded us of both the diversity of the church and the essential unity of believers. The soaring choral singing, majestic organ music and formality of the Anglican service and the violin and the keyboard of the Baptist church and the informality of their service were reminders that it takes all kinds of people, worshipping God in all kinds of ways, to make up the church as a whole. In both these churches we had the joy and privilege of sharing in Communion, both celebrating the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. At Evensong in Gloucester Cathedral we joined in prayers, listened to Bible readings and heard the word of God sung to us. Everywhere, the Word and the Sacraments remain the same.

Anglican church in Minchinhampton:

Gloucester Cathedral:

Inside Worcester Cathedral:

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” (1 Cor 12:12-14)