God’s people together at Epping
The parish of Epping marked 50 years since the consecration of its main church, St Alban’s, with a weekend of celebrations centred on and around that building.
A dinner was held on the anniversary itself, May 12, while on May 13 parishioners gathered to give thanks for the many years of ministry on the site – 50 of them in the building consecrated by Archbishop Marcus Loane in 1968.
Anglican churches cannot be consecrated until any debts owing on their construction are paid, which Epping rector the Rt Rev Ross Nicholson regards as a “great little gospel illustration”.
“We have a debt to sin and then Jesus removes that debt from us, and we become consecrated, or made holy, for the task God is calling us to do"
He adds that Archbishop Davies, who came to help the parish celebrate, “picked up on that theme about us being the people of God – who are consecrated to that task of being his people, reaching out and being witnesses to the wider community”.
The church had a copy of the original consecration service and included some of the prayers and choral elements from that day into the anniversary service. And then celebrated some more over morning tea.
Bishop Nicholson says parish members were thrilled with the dinner and Sunday events: “The number of people who came up to me and said, ‘That was a fantastic evening and the service today was so wonderful’.
“It’s so important to come together and celebrate – there are not a really lot of times in our life where we can do that. We have to create those opportunities where God’s people can come together and celebrate who we are, what we’ve done in the past and where we’re going in the future.”