'˜It is church people, not buildings, that matter'
One of the Orange Order's top religious figures has stressed that human beings '“ not bricks and mortar '“ are what churches are truly built from.
Robert Campbell, the Co Antrim deputy grand chaplain, used a speech in Rossnowlagh to recap on the life of Martin Luther – who kick-started the Reformation 500 years ago this year.
He said Luther’s work inspired the “education of the people”, but added: “Given that, I often wonder how is it that there is such a negative view of education and its benefits amongst nominally Protestant working-class children?”
He went on to talk about the essentials of Christianity, and quoted Nazi concentration camp survivor Corrie ten Boom, who once asked: “Is prayer your steering wheel or spare tyre?”
“In other words,” the chaplain went on, “do you use it for daily direction or when you are in trouble?”
He added: “If a church will spend a million pounds or euros on a hall but quibble over a few hundred on outreach there is something wrong.
“In 1969 Heathrow airport’s state-of-the-art Terminal 1 was opened with much pomp. This gleaming new building was last used in June 2015.
“It’s now sitting empty and waiting to be demolished. Buildings are important when they serve a useful purpose but they don’t last.
“Therefore, we need to give our time to what lasts. Buildings aren’t the church, people are the church, people Jesus has redeemed!”