Saturday, October 20, 2007


Whilst trawling through the NCBC archives at the record office I stumbled upon the following typed note. I have no idea what the exact connection was, but it was written at about the time Dereham Road Baptist Church premises were being extended to include a large church hall and more schoolrooms. It appears to be part of an address dating around 1935.

“Now we shall have the building – but buildings alone are not enough. We must have earnest, concentrated devoted service. We who have laboured must strive to make ourselves fit, more willing, more persistent. You who have watched but not put your hands to the plough, what of you?”

Press articles of the day convey that mild intoxication experienced by a group of people when something new and full of hope is in the offing. With the recent renovations of our current building we can empathize with that. But can we empathize with this language? It is the language of different times, the language of a spirituality that was founded in the will, and not that of the late 20th century which equated a quasi-orgasmic perpetual honeymoon ‘experience of God’ with ‘closeness to God’. Instead we hear of labouring, ploughing, persistence, earnestness, concentrated service, devotion, striving. The unknown speaker is saying “OK, many of you have worked hard, but now ALL of you must work even harder”. With the living memory of World War I still very much in the public domain they soon had to face the privations of another war. They were ready.

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