Church buildings and building the Church

Following an ABC interview (see blog article 29 June re Day 4) I received the following encouragement,

Dear Bishop John,

I watched with interest the item on the ABC news on Friday concerning heritage buildings and the church. I want to say thank you for all you are doing to make the church relevant for today. As much as I love the old buildings I believe it is much more important to look after the living rather than the dead. I want to encourage you to keep going in providing the buildings suitable to reaching the people of today. I worship at St. Peters in St. Leonards, Launceston. I know that you are very supportive of our efforts to transform our church property in order to minister to the community we are part of. Again thank you for your courage to embrace change and your commitment to seeing the church reach others with the gospel.


The difficult issue of the use and preservation of church buildings in our mission to build the church and the kingdom of God is likely to be with us until the Lord returns. I believe that the issue runs to our view of ‘Church’ and our discipleship. In response to recent inaccurate claims about church buildings I noted in ‘From the Bishop’s Desk’ some building news for our encouragement,

major new facilities for ministry have recently been completed at Kingston and Riverlinks, . . . contractors are working as I write on significant developments at Burnie, Smithton and the Cathedral, and . . . there are at least three more developments in the planning stage. Each of these is driven by our shared focus on mission and reflects current understandings of ministry in the 21st century. The list above does not include the multitude of smaller, commitment-driven projects of refurbishment which cross the desk of my Registrar on an almost daily basis.

Our purpose as disciples of Christ is to build the kingdom of God and his Church, the people of God, to the glory of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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