16 May – Rev’d Josh Thomas, Petersfield and Liss United Reformed Church

Grasping the nettles

Sometimes in life, difficult decisions need to be taken. If you are anything like me, you’ll do whatever you can to string these kinds of decisions out, but we all know that this ultimately, is not very helpful in the long run! Recently, we as a church family made the difficult decision to close our building over in Liss. The church there started in the 1870s as an Anglican mission chapel and became Presbyterian (the roots of our denomination) in the 1920s. Obviously, there is a lot of history and a lot of memories made during those years.

The church there laid strong foundations of faith in so many lives and as we came together in worship there for the last time, I was struck that the words I was about to speak would be the last in a long history of faithful Christian leadership in that location. It was good to share memories, to share the discomfort that we felt that such decisions need to be made but mostly, it was good to focus on the fact that God calls us to look beyond bricks and mortar in our service to Him.

A few years ago, we took the conscious decision to rebrand and become Petersfield and Liss United Reformed Church. This has not changed. We still feel committed and called to serve both communities, it’s just how we do that which has changed. I firmly believe that there is one church, and we will be seeking ways to see what other Christian’s are doing in the village and work out how we can support them and join in. Sometimes, difficult decisions must be taken, but this does not mean that God is absent, we just need to learn to listen to what and where he’s calling us onto next.