Paul and Marian went as a combination to The Old Meeting – United Reformed Church in Bedworth. When you are invited to ‘take the service’ in a pentecostal church it normally means to speak or preach and possibly sing or play an instrument if you do that as well. In the United Reformed Church ‘take the service’ literally means take the whole service, so you are responsible for the prayers, offertory, children’s address, bible readings, hymns, intercession, prayer for the sick, sermon and convening, which is nothing short of overwhelming. My friend Rev Jay Phelps, a BSA and Ural combination motorbike rider is also a United Reformed Minister who offered a voice of calm in the midst of my stress. Rev Jay Phelps (Rev JP helps?) reminded me that the URC is a non-conformist church, which means by very definition even its own traditions are not hard and fast, so anyone trying their best will always be welcome, even if they don’t get it 100% right! So off we went.
Over a hundred thousand pounds has recently been spent on The Old Meeting in Bedworth to bring the facilities up to scratch and it shows. Somehow they have kept the best of the best, the classic woodwork etc. and upgraded the rest of the rest with modern drainage, a new floor and so on. As such the congregation are able to focus on both serving their community while still enjoying a bit of class and style!
In any church with a good number of old folk there is a great advantage to be had as the golden oldies have so much experience and very little shocks them. In The Old Meeting I met one 86 year old lady who was christened there. She can remember the German bombing raids over Coventry and was far from the only one in the congregation to recall that infamous period. What a great resource these older people are to the communities of today where many lack even the most basic disciplines of getting out of bed to go to work. With lifestyles like that it’s hardly any wonder so many are in such a mess, yet right on their doorstep this Bedworth congregation offers a combination of people with years of experience, a modern facility that is community orientated and a truly classic presbyterian building just crying out for the best singers to land there. Without a doubt this Old Meeting is set to meet the needs of today.