Heart Edge Penzance Hub
We were delighted to have Sam Wells, the vicar of St Martin’s London, with us at our HeartEdge conference in September 2021. Jacqueline Dow made some notes. Sam gave examples from history which highlight the 4 C’s that define the HeartEdge philosophy of a church working at the coalface : Compassion, Culture, Commerce, Congregation.
In 337 AD….A Roman soldier, responding to the need of a beggar, cut his cloak in 2……this was significant, even revolutionary, as at that time people only exercised compassion for their own kith and kin. He be-came a priest…then St Martin of Tours, patron saint of France and inspirator of many.
In 929 AD….Abd al-Rahman was the third caliph of the Caliphate of Cordoba. On his succession he demon-strated his interfaith cooperation by promising to be the political and religious leader of Muslims AND the protector of Christian and Jewish subjects (his mother and grandmother were Christians). He built cultural centres for all. He wanted to have 1,000 flowers blooming rather than destroying infidels.
In 1703 AD…..In Venice, Antonio Vivaldi (musician of 4 Seasons fame) was also a priest. In this year, 1703, he became chaplain to the Pieta Hospital for abandoned children. He wrote many compositions for the upper voices of the orphans, including ‘The Magnificat’. They then performed them as fund raising to rich donors….so church and faith based commercial social enterprise.
In 1948 …..The roles of William Beveridge, social economist, (Beveridge Report 1942) and William Temple, who went on to be Archbishop of Canterbury (and who both went to the same school!) in the formation of the welfare state. Before this the social care was the prerogative of the church.
This was welcomed but the separation between the church and state left the church and its congregations with only spirituality and being holy!
Church was no longer doing interesting things…..
RESULT 1990… across the UK…
The sums no longer added up. There were more people being supported by the state than those in paid work!
SO what interesting things should our churches be involved in so that the wider community might once again be interested in what we are doing …and how we respond to the Gospel of Christ
St Martins-in-the-Fields kept, and is still doing, interesting things!!!!
They kept doing social care/ culture/arts ….we need to copy that ….we need be doing interesting things on all fronts but in an achievable way.
So thinking caps on…….
To conclude ..and challenge : Sam talked about the irony of the well-known story of David and Goli-ath…we admire David but try to emulate Goliath!
Problem: the church used to be Goliath but it is no longer and we are all crying about it!
Opportunity: maybe we are supposed to be becoming David!….. I wonder what our 5 smooth stones are?
COMPASSION: CULTURE: COMMERCE: CONGREGATION
What interesting things should and are our churches be involved in so that the wider community might once again be interested in what we are doing … and how we respond to the Gospel of Christ
Sam Wells talked about the irony of the well-known story of David and Goliath…we admire David but try to emulate Goliath! Problem: the church used to be Goliath but it is no longer and we are all crying about it!
Opportunity: maybe we are supposed to be becoming David!. I wonder what our 5 smooth stones are? Answers to church wardens and Jacqueline Dow