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  • "Interesting to read the comments by Mr Smith. I must admit it caused me to chuckle when he compared Victory Church's 300 plus crowds and "Mass hysteria" to sitting around having tea and scones, singing Sankey hymns every now and then!

    Let's really be honest here, was the Church meant to be a scone eating, tea drinking, hymn singing fellowship group or was it meant to be a means of making an impact in society by reaching people, meeting needs and bringing hope into a hopeless World. For a more detailed account of what Church should be like take a look at Acts chapters 1-4 in the Bible.

    For those who are accustomed to nice little traditional, quiet, comfortable services in tiny, rural Chapels, Victory Church may appear to be "Americanized showbiz razzmatazz type religion". But for the 300 plus congregation it is more than that. I have spoken personally to people who have had their lives radically changed for the better since attending Victory Church. One young man gave a detailed account of how he had turned over a new leaf or in his words "Been born again". his life had formerly been one of drink, drugs and violence. Now he says his kids have a real mam and Dad! If victory Church had substituted reaching the lost for a "Cymanfa Ganu" then people like this in our locality would remain in a mess. What would Gwehelog methodist Church do if half a dozen drug addicts rolled up at their doorstep!

    Let's stop criticizing successful, growing Churches who are reaching out and embracing the lost and broken in our society and instead get behind them and pray for them. This will achieve a lot more than finger pointing.

    You made the comment "Where money seems no problem". Yet Victory Church have not even been able to pay a pastor and the most part of the congregation are unemployed! Never judge a book by it's cover!

    The funny thing in all of this is that I am told that in Victory church they love the old hymns and sing them in every service and that the preaching is Biblical, sound, exciting and inspiring! Why don't you just go along and experience it yourself Mr Smith. you might enjoy it!"
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Churches loss a great shame

First published in Letters

IT WAS sad to read of another traditional church, St Mary’s, Malpas, experiencing financial problems. Several weeks ago I wrote of the upsurge of the modern style Victory Church in Cwmbran, where money seems no problem. This Americanised showbiz, razzmatazz type of religion draws the people in, but I have found it rather superficial.

I recently paid several visits to a tiny rural Methodist church in Gwehelog, near Usk, well kept by local volunteers, here with a fully ordained minister a congregation of about 20 max (unlike 300 at Victory) we had a Cymanfa Ganu, a Whitsunday service with tea and cakes and there is a forthcoming Sankey hymn singing morning which attracts visitors from all over Britain, even America.

The simplicity of these services seem so right and sincere, no crowd hysteria, if we should ever lose these traditional chapels and churches it would be a terrible shame.

R. John Smith, Greenwood Ave, West Pontnewydd, Cwmbran

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