Take a Look Inside
Never judge a book by its cover, goes the saying. That’s what I kept in mind as I listened to a recent discussion between Russell Brand and an Anglican Bishop.
Russell Brand, a provocative comedian, writer and actor was interviewing the Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell. Their exchange was very interesting, as it quickly deepened into serious things. Brand is clearly someone who is open and interested in spiritual matters. He calls himself a ‘perennialist’ – in other words, as someone who believes that all world religions share a single truth.
What struck me was how the Bishop shared very openly with Brand the Christian message that, in his words, “you are loved for who you are”. The Bishop also spoke of his belief that many people in our country do not know this message.
Being loved for who you are is a big deal. This truth radiates far beyond the structures of church and Sunday worship. This truth impacts all of your life. It means you don’t need to struggle to buy, belong or be something else to add value to your life. Someone else sees who you really are and loves you anyway. You are OK as you are.
Do people think that church is all about hymns, leaky roofs and vicars in strange clothes? Perhaps that’s why Brand seemed to listen to this truth for the first time and really absorb the wonder of it. He had never heard it before. He seemed to really take it in.
Many people may have their preconceived ideas about Christians and the church. However they may be surprised when they come along to see for themselves. We are a welcoming, inclusive community, where all have value. Hopefully people will hear the message from me, on a regular basis, that they are loved for who they are. I think that’s the most important thing to speak about.
Why not come along to one of our services and give it a try? You might be surprised yourself.