Other church activities
Christians see themselves as a community of faith, dependent upon the support of each other. St Paul stressed this in many of his letters to early church communities: “The body is not one member but many… If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it” (I Corinth. 12). Church members see themselves as the earthly embodiment of the ‘Kingdom of God’ and so try to live out the life, teaching, work, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The importance of a church building to the community as a whole is to provide a physical symbol of the presence of Christianity within that community. The parish church in any community provides a natural contact with the rites of passage, of baptism, marriage and death that many people who would not normally attend church for Sunday worship, still participate in. The church also provides opportunities not only for worship, but also opportunities to learn about the faith through Bible studies, and prayer and discussion groups. Church groups also meet for social occasions and mission activities that might take them out into the community. Such activities might provide support and facilities for disadvantaged groups like single mothers, older people and the unemployed. Churches increasingly manage and support food banks and other measures to alleviate poverty and disadvantage. The church can therefore be an important part of the social fabric of any community, and the Cathedral is often significant for regional confirmations, ordinations, and a range of civic events such as university graduations, Remembrance services, commemoration events, etc.