So Good to be Here!
St. Peter always seems to speak first and think afterwards! As a result he comes out with absolute gems of truth and really dreadful howlers. On the mountain top at the Transfiguration he declares how good it is to be here with Jesus; and I hope that is how everyone who enters St. Luke's Parish Church feels. On the occasion of my induction, several relatives and friends expressed their feelings that St. Luke's has a special, warm, and welcoming ambience. I believe that to be true and I believe that it emerges from the fact that many people have experienced the presence of God in this place - and that the building, in some sense, is soaked, immersed or even "baptised" in the presence of God meeting his people.
A church building and its furnishings is a sort of vehicle in which people can travel in their personal and corporate lives of faith. Such buildings must always "live" by "growing" and changing as people seek appropriate ways to express their faith in their time and situations - and that will change in every generation. St. Luke's has the marks of change and growth as each and every human being does - look for them, reflect on them, and treasure them rather like a Bible which has the marks of use and wear.
This vehicle, which we call St. Luke's, reflects a People of Faith travelling over a fairly short period of time during the last century of the second millennium. As you visit this church - as you pray in it - as you worship in it - as you open your life to the embrace of the God who meets his people here watch out for its primary characteristics;
A holy place where people "Belong" to the God we meet in Christ and each other;
A holy place where people "Believe" and put their trust in God and each other;
A holy place where people "Bear" witness to the love of God in the power of the Spirit and each other.
Above all pause for a moment with St. Peter and pray 'It is good Lord to Be here"!
May the third millennium BE a time in which many more people come to Belong, Believe, and Bear witness to the God of all time and space.
God Bless you and all who come to this special place.
Rev'd Canon Stephen Purvis,
Fomer Vicar of St. Luke, Leagrave (2001-2013)