Four Churches in One Day

Dominic has written this post about Year 1 Undergraduates’ recent visit to Leyland. You can follow his blog here: https://dominickidney.wordpress.com/ 

Today was a good opportunity to visit various churches in the Leyland area with the chance to speak to various pastors and priests. It has truly given me a deeper insight into similarities and differences of a few different Christian denominations and how they practice their faith in the eyes of God.

Leyland Baptist Church

Pastor Tony Crawford began the day at a Baptist Church with a speech on the history of Baptism and how it emerged as a separatist movement due to the fact that the ecclesial church had stepped to far away from the true word of God. Moreover Baptists believe that only an adult should be Baptised (in water similar to that of John the Baptist, we were also able to view the Baptism facilities at Leyland Baptist Church)due to the fact that a child can not consciously make a decision to make a commitment to God. Baptists have also stepped away from the idea of a priesthood by allowing pastors to lead services and perform Baptisms and other priestly duties. This is due to the fact that they believe in the concept of  the ‘Priesthood of all believers’ so that everyone gets a say in church life. Furthermore so that priests do not hold complete authority over church decions making. Overall there are two main distinctive features about the Baptist denomination which include a ‘gathered church’ where everyone is gathered to praise God and his son Jesus Christ. Secondly ‘believers baptism’ where you make a commitment to God with a new start and a new beginning with God, it’s a declaration of ones faith.

St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church

A valuable opportunity to view the magnificent architecture of a Catholic Church with the facilities to seat 1000 worshippers for a church service. Also an interesting aspect inside of the church was the fact that the book written by the renound Humanist Dawkins (2006) ‘The God Delusion’ was openly available on a book stand which could be viewed as controversial. However I think it is a good example of interfaith dialogue and pluralism with religious and non religious groups in contemporary society.

The Orthodox Church of The Holy Apostles

Being my first time visiting an Orthodox Church I can say that this experience has truly assisted me with my knowledge on the Orthodox Christian faith. Due to Fr Dionysios (James Higgs) I have learnt how the Orthodox Church was formed due to the fact that they saw the Roman Catholic Church as giving to much presence to the Pope and Rome. Orthodox Christians believe that everything should be decided in unity. Moreover I had the opportunity to have a tour of the church to view the icons and learn how a Church service is performed. An interesting point I have learnt is how each service begins with the statement “Blessed to the Lord, in peace let us pray”. I think this raises the point of how Orthodox Christians main focus is to give thanks to the Lord in his divine peace that he wishes us to act upon.

St James Church of England

A wonderful example of a Victorian era  Anglican Church. Moreover the point was made how much the Catholic and Church of England service are similar. Overall a good tour and a valuable experience of the history of the church in the local area.

Overall a very educational experience that has definitely assisted my understanding of the similarities and differences of various Christian denominations. The knowledge learnt today will surely assist me in my training to become a secondary school RE teacher and how valuable it would be to bring students to visit various churches to increase their understanding of Christianity.

References:

– DAWKINS, R, 2006. The God Delusion. Black Swan: United Kingdom.