Christian unity sometimes seems like one of the great enigmas of our time. So it is beautiful that the code has been cracked at Bletchley.
During the Second World War Bletchley was the most secret location in the United Kingdom – so secret that even the staff at Bletchley did not know where they were. In this mysterious hideaway, brilliant minds cracked the infamous Enigma Code, thereby laying bare German wartime intelligence. Breakthroughs of an eternal significance happened much more recently on a Good Friday in Bletchley, when churches from across the area united to put on a showing of The Cross, a short film featuring Billy Graham.
Milton Keynes was an area where congregations had sometimes done separately what could have been done together. But The Cross brought together the most diverse players. Along with the host church of St Mary’s Bletchley there were evangelicals from Milton Keynes Christian Centre and members of an Anglican/Baptist Local Ecumenical Project in Whaddon – not to mention the Deanery Synod and an internet youth congregation which teamed up with the youth group from St Mary’s.
“Our initial plans were to set up a supporting prayer group and encourage members of the church to pray about bringing a non-Christian along with them,” writes Mike Wittle from the Parochial Church Council of St Mary’s. “Another aim was to prayerfully target those we were already in contact with who were on the fringe of the church – those who had either never committed themselves to the Lord or who had fallen away (in particular partners who did not come to church). We identified a good number of partners in this category.”
On the night 120 people came along, and of these 15 committed their lives to Christ for the first time, or made a recommitment. Fifty people came forwards to take a copy of the discipleship course Living in Christ.
“The young people also used the DVD over Easter,” reports Mike, “and there was a positive response to the point that we were soon planning another baptismal service.”
Looking back, he reflects that it was an event which really helped churches to take a step forward together.
Like all great code-crackers, the key to the enigma of church unity was something so simple: introducing Jesus to people who did not yet know him.
A free follow-on film to The Cross, entitled The Worth of a Soul, is being released in November as part of the My Hope series.
You can watch the trailer and pre-order a copy on http://myhopewithbillygraham.org.uk