What do you think of when you hear the word ‘church’?
Big stone buildings with bells and stained-glass windows? Vicars on bicycles and choirboys in cassocks?
A place to go for christenings, weddings and funerals?
Church is all those things, but that’s not all.
When the very earliest Christians talked about the Church, they used the Greek word ‘ekklesia’ which just means a gathering or group of people.
You could equally apply it to a book club or a darts team.
So church isn’t primarily about buildings, pews or hymn books, it’s about people.
This Sunday, we’ll be welcoming a new priest to Gosport, but he won’t be an ordinary vicar.
The Rev Tim Watson is going to be licensed as a pioneer minister for the Leesland area.
He won’t have a church building or even a ready-made congregation.
It will be his job to start a new Christian community in Leesland – a church, but something that probably won’t look much like church!
Tim comes from Crewe, where he had a similar role in the church and the wider community.
He’ll be living here in Gosport with his wife and young children, and you’re sure to bump into him in the park, on the school run or perhaps in the cafe – a good cup of coffee is the way to his heart.
Tim writes poetry, enjoys painting and graphic design, and is the vocalist in a post-hardcore band, so there will definitely be plenty to talk about.
But what he’s really interested in is getting to know the people of Leesland, helping to make the neighbourhood stronger and becoming part of the Leesland community.
So if you live or work in Leesland, why not come along on Sunday and meet him?
His licensing celebrations will start at St Faith’s Church on Tribe Road at 11am, but we’ll soon be on the move, along the cycle track and through Leesland Park to Leesland Junior School, before finally ending up at Leesland Infant School for lunch.
Everyone’s welcome, whether you count yourself as a ‘churchy’ person or not. Hope to see you there!
LICENSING OF THE REV TIM WATSON
Sunday, April 17, 11am, starting at St Faith’s Church, Tribe Road, Gosport, PO12 3NS