St Aldates, Oxford

Have just spent an enjoyable evening with Colin at St Aldates in Oxford, a massive, successful evangelical charismatic church in the heart of the city. The evening worship included 5 Adult Baptisms by total immersion. It was slick, musically powerful and wonderfully emotive. It had an authenticity which could not be denied, and although it spoke from a different part of the church, it had a number of resonances with mission, witness and the response of the soul to the heart of God.

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However, the audiovisual work was waaaaay below par: Slow, amateurish, poor layout, kept flicking off and on and losing the place. Frankly, young Matthew who is in year 8 does a much better job at St. Thomas the Apostle. There was probably close to 600 people there for the evening service, and they were announcing a gift day or two to raise £100,000 – no indicated that they weren’t going to get that. We struggle to pay the £24,000 quota.

There is much we can learn from a place such as this, but also much that we can teach them. There is a core of inspiration from this for our new Sunday evening worship. Watch this space and see how something new, exciting, vibrant and spirit-filled might start to take shape over the next few months.

 What was also equally good was the discussion on the way up and back: from theology to terrible (and largely clean) Nun jokes and back again. Thank you Colin for a great evening!