We go to a different church almost every week when we are cruising. Some are good at welcoming, some have good teaching, and others have good worship. Some are modern, others are traditional, the rest are somewhere in between.
When we first arrived in Aylesbury over a year ago we tried four different churches – Baptist, Salvation Army, Pentecostal and Charismatic. Whilst they all had good things in their favour, we didn’t feel any of them were right for us. Then we discovered Broughton Community Church, meeting in a school, away from the main road, in a housing estate.
Church sign at the school
The welcome was the best we have experienced in eighteen years of boating, and not just on the day we arrived. We were followed up with invitations for meals, encouraged to join a life group, and invited to join the worship team practices. The preaching was relevant, the worship was modern, and the atmosphere was one of reality. There were no traditions that took place because they always did it like that: everything had a purpose.
Before the service at the school
We didn’t know what affiliations the church had until this chap stood up and said: “Hello. My name is Phil and I’m the vicar here.” Until then there were no clues to the Anglican connections – no special clothes, ornate altar cloths, or prayer books.
The worship team in action
The church runs a cafe called More+ and they regularly hold Alpha Courses there, as well as special outreach events. It is in a row of shops near the school, and customers who walk in find a warm welcome and a caring atmosphere. It is a further connection with the community.
This year they have moved from the school, and they now meet in the function room at the canal basin. They have started some important children’s work, and are seeking to reach out into the new community that is being built, literally, just next to the canal basin. There are thousands of new homes due to be built in the next few years.
First service in the new venue – the worship team
The first communion service in the canal basin
We have now become members of the church, and have been involved with the worship on Sundays, have led a life group for an evening, and even been included in a drama. We have helped serve meals at Alpha, and really feel part of the community of believers here.
So if any boaters who read this decide to venture down the Aylesbury Arm from Marsworth, try to coincide with a Sunday. You can have free visitor moorings in the canal basin for 14 days, and you will have a great welcome from the church here.