ONE of the things that always impresses me is the commitment and devotion of members of our churches.
Across the country, teams of unsung volunteers clean churches, make coffee, arrange flowers, prepare activities for children, and do many other jobs.
It’s their commitment that means we can welcome you to church each week.
But it’s not just in church that they volunteer.
Often it is churchgoers who are quietly serving the needy in their community, visiting the housebound, doing the shopping for a neighbour, running lunch clubs for the lonely, raising money to help local charities, feeding the homeless and so on.
They do it because it is part of their Christian faith to serve others.
They don’t expect thanks, and many of them are incredibly humble about their contributions.
Being generous with their time is just part of who they are.
Of course, those of other faiths and those of no faith also do some fantastic work.
But I do believe it is the commitment of thousands of churchgoers that keeps community spirit going, especially in places like the three parishes in which I work.
It is always hard to single out any one person, but we’ve recently publicly thanked one member of our congregation who is a great example of what I mean.
David Lougher had been a bank manager before he retired, and decided that he would use his skills to be our parish treasurer for 10 years.
He was then churchwarden, helping to look after our building and its people for another 10 years.
In that time, he also ran an arts and music festival at the church for three years, helping to foster community spirit.
For many years, alongside this, he has managed bookings at our busy parish hall, which often involves him cleaning floors and doing minor maintenance jobs to keep it looking pristine.
Those who hire our hall may have no idea just how much work he puts in.
David is an exceptional Christian who really loves God and works out his Christian service in very genuine and unassuming practical ways.
He is a very faithful servant of the church in many different ways, and a stalwart and loving friend and knowledgeable adviser to many.
We should thank those like David who make a real difference to our communities.
For more information go to the webstie, bcichurches.org.uk.