The Kingdom of God
The community of faith is dependent upon the support of its members. It is a truism to say that a church is not just the building but the people who congregate within it. Church members are the earthly embodiment of the ‘Kingdom of God’ and hope to act according to the rules which stand in the kingdom – that of unconditional love as embodied in 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. For Christians, their church provides opportunities not only for worship, but also opportunities to learn about their faith through Bible, 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. The church is therefore an important part of the social fabric of any community and the Cathedral is significant in importance for confirmations, ordinations and civic events.