Shared Adventures

Rector's Letter - January 2002

 My dear friends,

 People who share adventures also share special friendships.

 Psychologists recently demonstrated the point in an intriguing experiment. Volunteers had to clamber across a rickety rope bridge over a deep gorge and thundering river.  Each member of the group was asked a series of questions by one of the research team.  Half the group were asked their questions on the swaying bridge, the other half once they were safely on the other side.  But the questions were a red herring.  After the exercise the group were asked to assess what they thought of their questioner.  Those who found themselves sharing the middle of the bridge with their researcher considered them more attractive and friendly.  They felt closer, had a greater sense of affection, and in turn felt this was reciprocated.

 To share times of danger and risk brings people close.  This is why there are wartime romances.  It's why communities felt drawn together during the Blitz.  It's why Astbury started the Men's Service, as men looked again for that fellowship and special friendship which had grown amongst those fighting side by side during the war… and it is a quality that should be alive and well in the life of the modern Church!

 In modern western society, the Church isn't usually thought of as an organisation at the forefront of risk, adventure and danger.  But we are a historical oddity.  In times gone by and in many parts of the world still, to be a Christian is to live dangerously.  We have fundamentally lost a sense of the adventure of Faith.  To believe and to follow, and to leave all else behind is part of the Christian calling.  Perhaps that is why observers of the Early Church said "See how these Christians love one another".

 I don't think we're likely to be thrown to the Lions or stoned for our faith, but I do sometimes think that we are just a bit too "comfortable" with our Christianity these days.  I'm not going to go looking for persecution, but I shouldn't be afraid to be different from the secular society that surrounds me.  And if we sometimes get shouted down, laughed at or misunderstood, we might at the same time find a Church full of love and friendship to strengthen and support us in our calling.

 Jeff Cuttell.

E-Mail the Developer of this site to enquire about your own site