Our worship alternates between private prayer and public prayer. When we pray in public it becomes clear that we intercede not only with God but also with our fellow men. We pray to God, who is always the first and final hearer of our prayers. We are the voice of God appealing to our neighbours and neighbourhood and to the whole nation. We are the voice of God to them, so God help us and God help them. We are the mediator between man and man, and we are the mediator between God and man, and this is so because this is what the Lord makes us; he determines that we – we are his embodiment her and now, to these people.
The Church comes out of church, and travels along our streets, taking the worship service with it, taking that service into the marketplace in the centre of town. So we shuttle between church and marketplace, between closed building and open space. The Church goes from church to marketplace and back to church again. It oscillates and alternates because being ‘in church’, inside its own building, behind walls and therefore invisible and unnoticed, to appearing in public, and singing and kneeling and standing there, regularly and unhurriedly on vigil, in peak footfall in the day and late evenings, holding the ground, claiming the territory against all who ravage across it in the hours of darkness.
We carry these tableaux with us into our town centre and public spaces. We carry the cross, and our voices carry our songs into the middle of the Saturday morning busyness of our shopaholic neighbours, and to the place where our unemployed and listless are waiting for something to happen. Because we carry this cross, we are recognisable as Christians, even at a distance. Even when they are just passing in the car and turning off the roundabout, people will catch a glimpse of us and some of them will realise what we are doing. Our identity is clear because we are alternately standing and singing, and kneeling and praying, around a large and very visible cross. Some of those standing on each side of the cross are robed in vestments. We can carry an ark depicting the Lord – as a carnival float, and those in vestments stand on either side of this scene and by framing it, make it visible to those further away. We do not use amplification. We use only the harmony of our own coordinated voices, singing either in unison or antiphony, which is alternately, one group responding to the next. As far is as possible we sing and pray what we know off by heart. Our corporate unity and our identity as the Body of Christ displays and amplifies the gospel proclaimed in our worship