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3rd CENTURY A.D. ROME COMES TO BARTON

On Monday in Holy Week the Youth Fellowship took part in a communion service in the style of the early church. Our service was based, as far as we could, on the communion service of a 3rd century Jewish Christian Church in Rome. This in itself was a new experience for us but the days before the service had been spent in trying to appreciate how it felt to be part of a persecuted church.
As the service was supposed to be "secret" each member had to try to find out the passwords needed to enter. They all had two or three of the words given to them which meant that they had to contact eaoh other to find out the rest. The problem was that there were two spies from the Roman authorities in the group who, if they could find out the passwords, would call in the Roman army to arrest the followers.
At one time, it looked as though the spies would be successful but, unknown to them, another member of the group an "elder" of the church was hot on their trail. All would have been well but the spies became suspicious and reported baok to the authorities and on Monday morning the "elder" was arrested and the Christian oommunity was in danger.
So far all this had been planned so that the young people would get some idea of the dangers of being a Christian at that time and, although the communion would have still taken place for us, the members would have been told that they had all been caught and. thrown to the lions! BUT, as living proof that the Church can never be completely defeated, two of the members planned an imaginary but daring "jail break" and rescued the church elder at the last moment, the password was changed and most of the young people were contacted in time to ensure the safety of the Christians.
The service itself was held in the choir vestry with the congregation gathered around a plain table and it really felt as if we were meeting in secret in someone's home.
Many thanks to our Vicar who entered into the spirit of the occasion, to our "spies", Vikki and Tania, to Janice who was our church elder, to Gareth who represented the Roman authorities but especially to Suzanne and Helen who rescued Janice and saved the Church!
Mike Page-Chestney

 

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