Although June 12th was the last day of the all important National Funeral Exhibition it was also Pentecost Sunday and the privilege of being invited to take the Anglican service in Wye, Kent was just too much to turn down. What sort of a Pentecostal minister would say no to that? Leaving five staff members behind to ensure our stand was well represented Paul and Marian darted off as a combination to St Gregory & St Martin, Wye.
When I arrived to hide in the vestry during the music practice I thought, “oh dear!” A wee while later the Edinburgh lady, brown suit, and the flutist flowed in together to say hello. This time, “well at least they are nice people,” flashed through my head, but I really wasn’t looking forward to the singing at all.
Well, if ever I got it wrong, this was it! This Pentecost Sunday evening service has to have been one of the most musically anointed services I’ve been in. The congregation and the team together were in the presence of the Lord for sure and if ever there was an environment to make preaching on The Holy Spirit easy this had to be it. Personally I can’t help but wonder if Ravi the Vicar, who happens to be one of my all time favourite singers, lends more to this anointing in song than he realises, but either way and without doubt there is something happening in and through these people in Wye. As for that flute… wow!
Worship in song is not of course there to entertain or spiritually titillate the worshippers and not feeling anything in a service does not mean you are not worshiping in spirit and in truth, but it is quite something when you literally sense The Holy Spirit moving and see the anointing through you and others. The songs we sang were not necessarily the latest nor trendiest, but The Holy Spirit was there and these songs felt fresh and new once more.
Pentecost Sunday or not, we are body, soul and spirit, not just spirit, so meeting so many dedicated hard working folk who really put their back into things was just as uplifting. If this congregation does not grow to fill that historical building I’ll be astonished.
When I was a young man I thought an itinerate minister was someone who went around ministering the word and seeing the Holy Spirit move through him, but now at my grand old age I discover quite the opposite. In reality an itinerate minister is a man who goes around to see the Holy Spirit working through congregations and leaves ministered to!
Yes, St Gregory & St Martin, Wye is a must visit church!