A View from England

Measbro Dyke Church is a small independent church situated in a town called Barnsley, in the county of South Yorkshire, England.

Barnsley is approximately 180 miles north of Lon­don and has a population of 240,000 people. Unfortu­nately, not many of these people seem to attend church – although the two or three charismatic churches in the area have a rather large following.

Our church is the only church in Barnsley itself which holds firm to the true doctrines of scripture.

Measbro Dyke Church has a congregation of 30 individuals. We have few young people. These consist of two at 10 years of age, two at 15 and six between the ages of 18 and 25. As you can imagine with the ages scattered over such a broad range, it is difficult to have such things as “Young Peoples” or even bible classes together. Most of the activities we arrange include the whole congregation and, being such a small church, organizing such events is a lot easier!

We have two worship services on the Lord’s Day – morning and evening. We are blessed with our own full-time pastor for which we are thankful to God. We also have Sunday School on an afternoon.

The Sunday School is well attended by children within the local vicinity of the church. These children are mostly from non-Christian and broken homes. We as a Sunday School have a duty to instruct these chil­dren, however simply, in the ways of the Lord.

Over the past few years we have seen the numbers in Sunday School rise from five or six to a total now of approximately 20, which by our standards is rather a lot!

Sunday School is split into three categories – Pri­mary for the under sevens; Juniors for the under elevens and Bible Class for 11 +. The Bible Class has the lowest attendance, most of the class being made up of the younger teenagers of our congregation.

Although we try to encourage the parents of these children to come to church, as yet none have attended on a regular basis. However, the witness, with the Lord’s help, continues.

Our mid-week meeting is a Bible Study held on a Thursday evening. This is a preaching service where the pastor often concentrates on a certain book of the Bible or does a series on a particular doctrine.

We have no contact with any other churches in Barnsley but there are one or two other independent churches outside of Barnsley, which like us hold to the Reformed faith. The young people from our church meet together with the young people of these churches once a month on a Saturday evening for a preaching service followed by a supper. The ministers from the churches involved each take a turn at speaking at the meetings.

These gatherings are beneficial to all who attend and the supper afterwards gives us an opportunity to meet with and make friends with other Christians.

We long and pray for our church to grow numeri­cally but realize that faithfulness to the truth in Eng­land invariably means a small congregation.

The Lord has richly blessed us at Measbro Dyke as we seek to remain faithful to God’s word.

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.” -Matthew 18:20