Making our mark
I come from a church tradition where the entry of a processional cross into a morning service is virtually unheard of. However, yesterday I broke with tradition and carried just such a cross to the front of the church to begin our worship. This is no ordinary cross. It is one of two metre-high wooden crosses which began their journey at the Baptist Assembly in May of this year. Since then the two crosses have been travelling around the country from church to church. Every surface now bears the name of the churches they have visited along the way. Some are neatly printed and others are almost scribbled. Some are in bold marker pen and others in spidery biro.
When the cross reached the front of our church my two colleagues and I added the words ‘Teddington Baptist Church’ on the arm of the cross, as you can see. Writing on such an object felt almost sacrilegious, and yet it is precisely the writing on this cross which makes it beautiful.
Later on the same day, as our small evening service drew to a close, we gathered around the cross to send our photographic greetings to the next church which will host it. By the time it completes the journey I suspect that there will be hardly any space left for writing anywhere on the surface of this cross. Between them these signatures – brash, spindly, colourful and careful tell the story of the diverse life of those churches they have visited. I am pleased to have played host to this cross, and more pleased still that the colourful and often chaotic church of Jesus plays host to me.