Taking a pilgrimage through the church building
Every time Christians enter church and progress through an act of worship we go on a physical journey through the building which is a microcosm of the journey of faith and of life itself.
- The font is traditionally near the door. As we enter the building we are reminded of the beginning of life and our repeated need to receive new life through the cleansing power of God in our worship
- We gather in the body of the church ("the nave") in font of the lectern, from which the Word of God in scripture is proclaimed, and the pulpit from which it is expounded. We learn and develop understanding on our journey
- At the altar at the far end of church we contemplate Jesus' death and resurrection (many Christians think of the altar as a sacrificial slab or the tomb of Jesus). Christians consider that we receive the life of Jesus within us in the consecrated bread and wine of Holy Communion in which he is present.
- As we turn round from receiving Holy Communion we see the vision of St.John the Divine in the stained glass window in the far wall. We are reminded that, in Jesus, God's kingdom is "coming down from heaven" into the life of this world. We believe ourselves equipped to be sent out from worship as Baptised believers who have heard God's Word and received his presence in Holy Communion. We consider ourselves commissioned to act in partnership with God to bring about that kingdom of justice and peace.
Before leaving the church building
Consider whether you would like to spend some time in quiet prayer or contemplation at the informal area in the back right hand corner. You may care to light a candle.
Consider whether you would like to learn more about the Christian faith. You may care to attend a service in the church at 10.15 on a Sunday morning or visit www.rejesus.co.uk
The Church of St. John The Divine was planted as a daughter Church of St. Matthews, Rastrick around 90 years ago.
The earliest recorded origins of the Church in Rastrick date to 1360 with the establishment of a chapel at St. Matthew's. In 1798, the Parish of St. Matthews was created.
Above: Two members of the congregation
sharing memories of "Times Past".
In 1870 the Rastrick Building Association built a school at St. John's on land bought for £180: a Sunday and Day School and Mission Chapel designed to accommodate 120 infants and 220 juniors, Construction was completed in 1874 and the Mission room opened 19th August 1874 , with the School opening on 1st October 1874
The first service in the Mission room was held on 6 April 1893, with the last service on 30 June 1901.
In 1894 Wakefield Diocesan Organisation Society gave £300 and £4,770 was paid by the railway company following introduction of the Railway Bill. The old buildings were destroyed and a new School built (the current Church Hall) which opened on 27th August 1902. The School was also used as a Church, and lead to the creation of St. John's Parish.
The first sod was cut for a new Church next to the Hall in 1913, with the Church dedicated on Christmas Day 1914. On 27th November 1915, the new Church of St. John the Divine was blessed by the Bishop of Wakefield, George Eden.
Subsequently, in 1983 a New East Window was dedicated, followed in 1991 by the dedication of a new West Window by the Archbishop of York.