The Church is People
When people think of a church, they usually picture a building but actually, the original meaning of church is a group of Christians; The church is a group of people not a building.
So this group of people, Christians, try to get to know God better so that they can each become the sort of person He wants them to be and so that they can bring more love into a world which often seems desperately short of it. But it is a far from hopeless task given the example of Jesus Christ, who showed what real love should be like, and the help of the Holy Spirit. When you admire someone, you try to find out all you can about them, and like spending time with them, which is why Christians go to church: to make time to be with God and to get to know him better.
People Who Care
Caring for people, whether in the church or outside it, is a central part of the Christian life. As Jesus Christ showed the love of God, so Christians are to show that love to others.
The Church pioneered a lot of social care and education, and started charities like the Samaritans, Christian Aid and the Children’s Society and church organisations still work in conjunction with government authorities and other agencies to help all sorts of people in need, including children, the elderly, disabled and homeless, and those who are deprived of love.
The Church of England still has many caring organizations with less well–known names; and individual parishes run local groups. For example, locally, we go into schools to do assemblies, have pastoral teas for those who have been bereaved and run various groups for those who are lonely, parents and young families and provide a safe place for young people to hang out.
Loving By Social Action
The Church is concerned to help create a just and compassionate society with social structures that can be channels of God’s love. This also involves working to bring about constructive change in British society and in Britain’s relations with the rest of the world.
The Church does not ally itself with any particular political party. But many of its members are involved in politics in the hope of bringing about a better and more just and loving society. Jesus said that he had come that we might all “have life, and have it more abundantly”. At the present time there is a particular call for Christians to concern themselves in the deprived areas of our towns and inner cities to help the people who live there lead happier and more fulfilled lives.
At the national level the Church initiates and contributes to new thinking about the future of British society, and the effect that British policies have on the Third World. The General Synod, the governing body of the Church of England, together with its Boards and Councils, frequently makes representations to the Government in matters of social and international justice.
The Church In Action
Above all, the Church consists of individual men and women who are trying to show the love of God in their lives by the way that they do their daily work. In a huge variety of ways they are tackling the enormous job of helping the world to believe in the power and effectiveness of love, justice and peace.
Often they know they are not very good at it. But they keep on trying because they know it is the most certain way to save the world from itself, and to make all lives worth living.