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There are three words at the top of our website - Church without boundaries.
It’s not a strap-line from a vision document telling you exactly what God’s going to do in Malmesbury Abbey in the next 5 years. He surprised us in the last 5 years; He’ll surprise us in the next.
Church without boundaries is what we see emerging, it’s what we’re joining in with. So which boundaries are being removed?
At the heart of all we do is a belief that Jesus is calling us to be friends of God, and he makes that possible. It’s not our efforts, it’s His grace that removes the boundary of all boundaries. We suggest you devote each breath to exploring that grace - or at least an hour and a half on a Sunday.
Church should be a community full of creativity and life and excellence, where people are learning and growing and exploring and then stepping out to serve with a song or a visit or a prayer or a set of accounts or even a sermon - whatever that is.

Abbey worship isn’t about the triumph of one culture over another; it’s about the diversity of God’s people. You will find beautiful hymns and liturgy, bouncy kids songs with actions, Advent Carols by candlelight, a band playing the latest Tim Hughes, drama, Evening Prayer with incense, Baptisms in the local pool, praying in 17th century English, praying in tongues … God loves it all, we want it all.
We’re confident that you will find worship to inspire you and worship to irritate you. And that’s OK, because our worship is for Him anyway.
All generations worship at Malmesbury Abbey.
When we took about 100 of us camping to the New Wine Festival last year the youngest was breastfeeding and the oldest was over 80. Alice, our Associate Pastor (Youth & Creative Arts) works hard with young people, and Mike, our Associate Minister (Elderly & Pastoral Care) focuses on … yes, you guessed it. And there’s a whole load of us in the middle. Too many churches are mono-cultural and mono-generational - we’re working hard not to get caught up in that.
On a good day we take quite seriously the teaching of Jesus.
So when he said be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth, he probably didn’t envisage the church being inward-looking. We’re connected practically and prayerfully to global work (particularly in Africa) and we’re committed to working in our community and with other churches in North Wiltshire - in fact last year we gave away a garage to achieve this - don’t ask.
Wherever you are, whoever you are, with more of Christ in your life.
Being a follower of Jesus is tough. It’s a lot easier to be passive and get stuck than to move on and be transformed and be an agent of transformation in the lives of others. Our teaching, when we make sense, is about learning and transformation and discipleship. We like theology, the word about God is surely the most exciting and shocking and comforting word there has ever been. You will change.
Not sure what to write here. God has surprised us with Men’s Basketball, African Choirs, Healing in the Streets, Senior Alpha, Art Exhibitions, the Old Testament, John Tavener, Bouncy Castles, Benedict, Wilfred Owen, Cheerios…
Something’s bound to happen.
Neill Archer (Vicar).

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