It was the first part of the opening 'celebrations' for the king's centre. Steve Thomas spoke for some time about where Oxfordshire community churches had come from, detailing some of the groups, churches and churches they'd been thrown out of. After a time of worship designed to be 'dignitary-friendly' we were addressed by a variety of people. Highlights:
Charlie Cleverly, Rector of st. Aldates mentioned that when he was in Oxford to take up his post he visited a Vineyard meeting. In conversation with the leaders after the meeting (who didn't know who he was) he expressed that he'd hoped for a more conventional meeting (it was the summer and they were in small groups). They suggested he might prefer St. Aldates!
Gerald Coates mentioned a number of things but recommended everyone watch BBC2 at 8.50 on Wednesday. Apparently they're covering a major evangelistic event organised by Mike Pilavachi in Manchester. He said it was interesting how the major evangelistic works seemed to be originating in the anglican church at the present.
Franscois van Niekerk from Hatfield Christian Church in Pretoria said all sorts of pertinent things, none of which have stuck in my mind. Good man though. We'll hear more of him tomorrow at the leaders day.
Barney Coombes spoke about the sanctity of the person as a building block in the church, and how buildings were nothing more than a tool. He related a line from a hymn about how the author loved a particular place where God was honoured. He observed that he had never once found anywhere of any significance in that fashion, and how God was far better represented in his creation that in any of man's works. He also fitted in a straight gospel message, complete with explanations about how to pray for salvation.
Final funny bit was a clipping from Todays (Fridays) paper talking about the area centre. It quoted Reverend Steve Thomas and Reverend Mike Beaumont. We know these guys, and they're friends. It's really funny to see them quotes like this - they're usually Mike and Steve. Weird, the things that people that don't understand try to hang on people.