Everything seems to change so rapidly nowadays that one might expect to look back at the world 20 years ago and find it to be very different. The reality is that many of the names and situations that we hear in the news today would have been familiar to us in 1989.
For example, just as was the case at the beginning of this year, there was a President named Bush in the White House in 1989. There were people demonstrating on the streets of Tehran. The Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was placed under house arrest. The US government were forced to bail out more than 700 Savings and Loans associations. Pan Am’s Flight 103, that crash landed at Lockerbie was in the news, as investigators discovered the cause of the crash. And there was fighting in Afghanistan.
In the same way that the world is undergoing many of the same experiences as it was twenty years ago, so the reasons that this church built the Cross Street Centre in 1989 still hold good.
The centre of the city of St Albans still needs community spaces for civic meetings, choir practices, art exhibitions. People still value a Coffee Shop that provides refreshments, cakes and light meals at reasonable prices in an atmosphere that is welcoming and unhurried. And the church still needs a ‘shop front’ where people can see what we do and, if they like what they see, find out how to join in.
The Cross Street Centre is just as much a part of the work of our church as is the sanctuary in which we worship on Sundays, because we are committed to engaging with the city of St Albans. A Baptist Church is not a building. It is a community of people who have come together to worship God, to support one another in their faith and to share that faith with the community in which they live, work and play. Our church is made up of people from all backgrounds and at different stages along the journey of faith. It is open to all who are interested in finding out more about themselves, our world and about Jesus and we believe that the Cross Street Centre is a good place to start this journey of discovery.
Here’s to the next 20 years!