Old Pentecostal Church, Scarborough

The old Pentecostal Church in Scarborough is now a sad sight. Although the congregation almost certainly moved on to more commodious premises, the old one sits now abandoned and forlorn. Upon is written the words from the psalm:


But alas, these particular gates are literally padlocked shut and boarded up. In its day, it would once have been an impressive building, though I am not convinced by its fusion of gothic arches and classical pillars topped with Corinthian capitals. Each to their own.

There are many churches around the world which are barred and bolted. Some, on account of state persecution. Others, for want of congregation. Some are officially open, but the word of life is no longer preached, so they may as well be shut. Wherever God’s people gather for worship- in a parlour, a hotel, a park- they are at church. Where the Lord’s people meet to fellowship, the invisible gates of God’s presence have been opened. I am the first to criticise so-called believers who do not attend church. Such people are usually lazy, and seek excuses, or they expect the church to exactly fit their high, personal expectations, which are usually borne of pride or ignorance. Yet for many around the world, there is no church available. May they, in whatever humble numbers can be mustered, pass through those gates with thanksgiving, be grateful for they do have, and not what they have not.

Brethren in Christ, and well-beloved,
To Jesus and His servants dear,
Enter and show yourselves approved;
Enter, and find that God is here.

Welcome from earth: lo, the right hand
Of fellowship to you we give!
With open hearts and hands we stand,
And you in Jesu’s name receive.

Say, are your hearts resolved as ours?
Then let them burn with sacred love;
Then let them taste the heavenly powers,
Partakers of the joys above.

-Charles Wesley