Battersea Power Station

Well, it’s the largest of the buildings in my patch Nine Elms Vauxhall.

Not the tallest, but definitely the largest …

(… prints of the image above are at Paul Catherall here …)


And the future …



Victoria Station is worse than ever. In the rush hour the crowds shuffle through entrances in columns of eight or ten people wide in and out of the station. Ten minutes of that is enough to create a yearning for a bit of open space or isolation and a respite from the constant bumping and jostling.

And in that is one of the most poignant conundrums of the city.

Crowds of people desperate for space and privacy and yet as individuals lonely and yearning for fellowship.

Lay Ministry

A Lay Minister is not meant to be a Mini-Priest.

So why do we choose so many people for the role of Lay Minister who look, sound and act like partially licensed parish priests?

Wouldn’t it be great to have Lay Ministers who aren’t chosen because they can fill the church service rota but because they can fulfil a specific role outside the church?

In this schema, the ideal Lay Minister would be:

Extra-church – focused on an area of ministry outside the church where it would be valuable to be trained and commissioned

Representative – of the church in a formal way, probably because they are working within an organisation

Accountable – in a personal relationship with a partner within the church

In this schema, the ideal Lay Minister would not be:

A mini-priest within the church, a sort of priethood-lite.

I’m not denying that the work of the priest should be shared, and that some Lay Ministry is required to sustain the ministry of the church week by week. I’m just reflecting that I’ve never seen a Lay Minister who has been trained and commissioned to a ministry outside the church.

Let’s have Lay Ministers who work in schools, football teams, or with responsibility for particular High Street shops, or health clubs.

Community Hub in Nine Elms Vauxhall

In an earlier post I published a draft template for a new parish church (or Christian community hub). It makes for a very different conversation with Local Authority representatives or councillors if you ask for 13,000 square feet of space instead of pitching in with some general idea of supporting the local community. So I added space standards.\r\n\r\nFor a zoomable version click …here \r\n\r\nBANE-HUB-001