I have reviewed many things here on my little corner of the web… books, movies, games, but… a church?
Milady spotted this Church’s webpage, and thought it looked interesting; so we decided to check it out.
CCL began just under three years ago. They meet in, of all places, a theatre (since it is in London, the spelling is correct) in the middle of London’s entertainment district.On exiting the station, there were Tee-shirt-clad “hosts” on hand to help you find the place (about a minute’s walk from Picadilly Circus Station). One of these hosts – a young Asian girl called Julia – greeted us and escorted us to our seats just as the worship service began.
The music was lively and upbeat – almost the opposite of what we were used to, but that was no bad thing – and most of the songs were new to us.
The praise team were backed up by a band of guitars, drums and keyboards. The music was boisterous and exuberant, without being oppressively loud.
The place was hopping – literally. Most of the congregation appeared to be under thirty – again, the polar opposite of my home church. It was abundantly clear that this was a party in the Lord’s house. I cannot remember the last time that I was so moved by a worship experience. Surrounded by so many young people seeking God’s face, it was almost impossible not to be.
Eventually, things calmed down, and they took an offering while Pastor made some announcements. I found out that this church had been founded three years ago and was growing in leaps and bounds (they were planning on opening the balcony in the near future, as the stalls were full!).
The guest speaker that day was Mike Pilavachi; he pastored a Church in Watford, from whence a young man named Matt Redman came. Mike came across as an ordinary man with an extraordinary purpose. He spoke from Samuel 2; I felt like this message had been written with me in mind.As the service drew to a close, there was an extended time of what I can only describe as earnest prayer. While members prayed with seekers, the Pastor dismissed the rest of us.
There was a reception held in, of all places, the bar, where newcomers were welcome to socialize, which we did. The people were friendly and open.I am amazed to find this place in the middle of, of all places, London. Amidst the decadence, the hedonism, the bright lights and razzamatazz, the last thing I expected to find was such a gem of a church. For me, this was an unexpected glimpse into what a healthy church should look like.