Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A trip to chapel

I undertook a very pleasant and most inspiring trip to Richmond Hill on Sunday night to the Congregationalist chapel.

I well remember the erection of this magnificent Non-Comformist temple when I made it my habit to visit the town in the latter part of Her Majesty's reign. Indeed at a time when many of the churches of Bournemouth appear to have been converted to be pleasure palaces, this building of Gothic style continues to serve its original purpose; in participating in worship with the remnant of the great non-conformist conscience of our nation, I almost felt as if I was in the true English church.

The minister considered the question of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, drawing some interesting and unexpected lessons from the story. It is a story which has inspired many generations of oppressed peoples to venture to seek freedom; I well remember how the abolitionists drew on these passages and indeed sought to convince me of the error of my youthful opinions by citing the text of Exodus.

This minister's theme related to each person's personal exodus, the journey of courage that must be undertaken if the will of God is to be exercised. It was a well-chosen message for an audience, many of whose members have set out on the hard paths of public service. It is to be hoped that encouragement was well-received and spirits lifted.


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