Sunday, September 23, 2012

PAGE FORTY-TWO: new church

Charlestown Church of Christ, 1980
I had attended Belmont Baptist Church from when our family arrived in Belmont in about 1955, until Joan and I got married in November, 1973. So it was the only church I had ever known. We didn't know anyone at the Baptist Church in Charlestown, and it was on the other side of town.

But the church in the picture was only a short walk from our house. We turned up there on the Sunday after we arrived in Dickinson St and were greeted by Jim and Jean Williams, a couple who were a few years older than us, with twin babies, Linley and Lauren. They were lovely, friendly people and made us feel at home.

Jim used to lead the singing at church, and I remember his rousing rendition of the song, Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary. Jim's version was much more lively than this one I have linked to.

The minister was a young man called Geoff Risson. Geoff was a few years older than us. In those days, almost everybody was older than us! In his sermons, he used to often ask What is a Christian? He would go on to say that being a Christian means living out the message you say you believe, not just having an idea in your head which makes no difference to your daily life.

We loved the wording of the pamphlet he got folk to put in the neighbouring letterboxes:
What are young people coming to, these days?
Some young people are coming to your house.
Sometimes Geoff would get his words a bit mixed up, but, as The Two Ronnies used to sing,
We heard what he said
But we knew what he meant.
On one occasion, he preached a whole sermon about Jesus turning the wine into water. And another time he talked to us of the importance of going through the bapters of wartism.

We found that the teachings of the church were very similar to what we had heard at Belmont Baptist and also in Youth For Christ and other Christian organisations we had been involved in.

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