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Sandford St Martin's Community Worship Centre

Endings and Beginnings

Life is full of them, the end of a day, the beginning of the week, the end of an era. On Wednesday 7th January we marked the end of one particular era in Sandford.   Led by the Bishop of Sherborne Rt Rev Dr Graham Kings, the community in Sandford said goodbye the building that has been home to St Martin’s congregation for over 120 years.

The building began as a home for an organ commissioned by Miles Rodgett JP of Sandford House and built by Maley, Young and Oldknow.  The building became a place of education and worship, a place where the life of the school and church has been interwoven.  Children who sat in the building at school desks, have later stood in the same building and made their marriage vows to one another, held their own children in their arms at their baptism and then seen those same children walk across the school threshold on their first day of school. 

2014 saw the church once again full of children, returned to classrooms in order to accommodate Year 6 while the new school being was being completed. The school moved to its new premises in October 2014 and now the congregation of St Martin’s have joined the new school building in the recently completed Sandford St Martin’s Community Worship Centre.

We walked the hundred meters or so from the old building to the new.  Very apt in Epiphany tide when we remember The Magi who followed the star to worship the new King, and like them, we are travelling to an uncertain destination, led not by a star, but the Holy Spirit, our only certainty that he will lead us to Jesus.    In contemplating the glory of God revealed in the form of a child, the Magi were transformed, returning home by a different route, never to be the same again.   

Their journey was both an ending and new beginning.  So for us our ending with its leaving and loss is also a new beginning, a new era in the life of the community of Sandford.    

We take great encouragement from Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians 3:18 as we undertake our journey, that we may be, to use the words of the great old hymn, ‘Changed from glory into glory.’  Endings and Beginnings, death and resurrection, glory to glory.

The prophet Isaiah foresaw a time when God’s glory would shine out for all the world to see.  Fulfilled in part by the visit of the Magi, but still being fulfilled in the lives all who believe in Christ and are part of his body, the church.

Isaiah 60:1   Arise shine for your light has come, the glory of the Lord rises upon you. 

These words speak powerfully for the new era, new beginning in the mission and ministry of the church in Sandford as together we follow the way of the cross and seek the life of the Spirit to the glory of God the Father.


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