Revd Chris Lee, a vicar who has reached new audiences on Instagram, will lead this week’s online service for the Church of England – with a message that God welcomes us all, however ‘messy’ we may believe our lives to be.

The Vicar of St Saviour’s Church in Wendell Park, west London, will use his sermon for the service, to be broadcast on Sunday, to warn against being ‘embarrassed’ about the state of our lives when considering whether to ‘open our hearts’ to God.

The service will be available from 9am on Sunday and can be watched on YouTube, Facebook or the Church of England website. As in previous weeks, the service will include full BSL interpretation and subtitles throughout.

Chris will add that Christians are not called to be ‘bouncers’ who police whether people are leading ‘good enough’ lives to come to church.

”God is not going to stand at the door of your heart, knock and look in and think to himself ‘you know what, I am not going to come in, it is a little bit messy there’,” he will say.

“No, as (the Gospel of) Matthew records Jesus saying, whomever welcomes one of you, welcomes me. Anyone is welcome, God’s grace is sufficient for all of our needs.”

He will add: “God’s welcome is wide, his love is deep, he is generous to all who come to him. As Christians we should be welcoming. We are not called to be bouncers at the doors of our churches seeing if people are good enough, clean enough, moral enough, to come in, we should be welcoming to all people.”

Revd Chris, who has nearly 170,000 followers on Instagram and regularly broadcasts on YouTube, will lead the service from St Saviour’s in Wendell Park. There will be pre-recorded contributions from musicians, Choral Scholars of St Martin in the Fields in London and from Holy Trinity Platt Church in Manchester.

The service will include reflections on welcome and hospitality from Bristol University engineering student Tom and Fiona, team manager of nine churches in the Stroud area of Gloucestershire.  

Explore the full range of online resources available at this time, including mental health reflections, prayers and other materials.


Source URL: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/online-weekly-service-focus-welcome-and-hospitality

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