I’m often struck by how much St Catharine’s Church means to people in Houghton—whether it’s people who have lived here for most of their lives, or people who have moved here relatively recently. And I’m not just talking about those who are there attending church week by week—but often it’s those who come along occasionally, or even very rarely if at all.
Clearly there are all kinds of reasons for this, and I wouldn’t want to generalise. On an obvious level, there is the simple fact that St Catharine’s is the oldest, the largest, and the most historically significant building in the village—it’s what you see on the skyline from a distance away as you approach, it’s unique, and it’s interesting. Then of course, there’s the fact that it holds memories—of weddings, funerals, and other significant occasions. But there are other things too—often there is an appreciation that prayer and worship is taking place in our community, even by those who choose not to take an active part in it.
And all of this reminds me once again that the church is an organisation that exists not exclusively, or even mainly, for the benefit of its members—but that as Christians, we are called to pray for those around us, whether or not they share our faith; for those who take positions of leadership in the local community; and for those in need.
So, whether or not you would consider St Catharine’s your spiritual home—we want to be an encouragement to all those in our community, whether in prayer or in practice—so if there are needs we can help meet, do let us know—and be assured, you would be welcome to join us in prayer and worship at any time.