Posted by: Carey Memorial Baptist Church, Kettering | June 28, 2014

The Strong Word July/August 2014

Although a lot has happened in the last few weeks at Carey, I have found myself dwelling on the “find” by the builders when removing the main stone in the foyer area. It all began for me with a phone call from Keith asking me to collect Derek and meet at the church. A time capsule dated 4th November 1911, over 102 years ago had been discovered concealed in the base of the stone.
The Evening Telegraph was contacted and we soon found ourselves photographed as we opened the box. The contents, consisting of a Baptist Times, a Mission Herald plus a local Kettering Leader paper all dated 4th November 1911, and all stored carefully inside, together with a line drawing of how the church would look on completion.
I have not had time to read much, but a brief reading of the contents enabled me to capture the feeling of the age, an age prior to the first Great War a time when things were very different than they are today.
It has for me been interesting to compare notes with historical commentators, like Jeremy Paxman, as they have reviewed the nation prior to the outbreak of war in August 1914. Many people state Britain is a place that is insular and inward looking, a time before TV and even Radio when communication moved slowly. Issues that concerned the nation were things like votes for women, the reform of the House of Lords and the Industrial relations of the nation to say nothing of the upstairs /downstairs approach that many town and villages lived with. There seems to have been a lot of class warfare and bad feeling about, despite the growing affluence of the Edwardian years.
The time capsule revealed to me a simple enthusiasm and commitment for the gospel, the desire to see a church built for the expanding population of Kettering and serve the local community, whilst the mission outside of Kettering to far flung places like India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) is enthusiastically outlined in the Mission Herald. Many are recorded as preparing to “go” abroad, keen to share the gospel with those who have never heard.
It seems the church of the day was optimistic, enthusiastic and open to the work and the commitment that the Gospel message calls for, and without the benefit of modern communications. My prayer is that we shall capture some of the enthusiasm of the church of 1911, willing to give time and talent as the refurbished building opens and opportunities come our way. We too must support local and international mission with equal enthusiasm and prayer.
Like those in 1911 we do not know what limitations and changes the future holds for us and our world, but I want us to use time and opportunities as they come to us.

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