Arthur Spikins served as a “Reader” in St John’s until recently. Arthur still regularly attends and assists in many ways, and here he offers us his “view from the pew.”
Q After 60 years serving from the front, some people might give church a break. What keeps you coming back to St John’s?
My faith is vital to my everyday life! I don’t know how people manage it, but it would be difficult for me without church. I come because I want to share in public worship.
Q What do you think of St John’s worship services now? The answer is “I like it.” There have been many seasons of worship over the years. I remember 40 people singing in the choir, with no space for the preacher to sit! Now, there is a real buzz each Sunday morning. It is such a delight to see children “bouncing” forward to lead us in their worship songs, and then return at the end to share with us the things they have learned. A real strength is the number of people who are actively involved. The clergy, service leaders, readers, servers, musicians, chalice assistants, leaders of the prayers, welcomers, crucifers all work together in celebrating God’s love for us. It’s great that many new people keep coming – sitting at the back, I can keep an eye on newcomers, greet them and I try help them feel at home. Yes, things have changed, but I strongly believe a church which doesn’t change will never grow and thrive.
Q What other aspects of church do you value?
The active Sunday Communion is balanced by a very quiet, traditional service on Wednesday mornings which I certainly value and which is growing. The monthly bible study and the weekly prayer are also key parts of my routine which are very important to me.