To the outside world, a church is a religious building but we know that a Church is a collection of living stones who don't need four walls in which to worship ( though of course its nice to have them ! )
As FACT we know very well that we don't need a building to worship together and if we do it doesn't have to be a "church" in the traditional sense. We have in recent years, worshipped together in the park, outside the library and in the main street outside the old post office. When we do use a building we have used the Memorial Theatre and the Cheese and Grain. Of course when we did the Advent Light relay last year, we worshipped together in a whole raft of different places including supermarkets, car parks and a pub!
Four of our members don't own a church or chapel of their own and use buildings which serve as other things during the week. They are a marvellous example of not needing a building to "be Church".
However that’s not to say that we don't love and care about our churches and chapels and indeed we are blessed in Frome Area with some stunning examples of ecclesiastical architecture, and some quite unique ones too. Many of them are listed in one category or other, 12 of them are Grade 1 (although I've got to say it will be a long time I think till my own St Catharine's is listed, although it’s unusual enough to maybe warrant it!)
As I took over the Chair of FACT at this year's AGM, I asked everyone to try and do something to find out about another tradition that they didn't know anything or little about during the year. The aim was to foster the idea of "Diversity with Unity". I do hope that all Christians in Frome will do this by trying to attend another denomination's worship during the year. However another good way of achieving this aim would be to visit another place of worship maybe outside service times (although I know its sadly hard to gain access a lot of the time) for if we look around a place of worship a lot of the things that make that denomination's worship different and the same will be apparent in what we see.
To aid this, I intend each week to look briefly at one of our places of worship and to encourage you to visit by pointing out some of its history and its special features. This week we start with the United Reformed Church in Whittox Lane Frome.