Police drugs raid on local church!?!
"Local church raided for drugs”….
"Loads of police in the car park, apparently it’s not the first time the police have had to visit St Mary Magdalene church in Torquay"….
But it’s not true, well not all of it.
The truth is much more scary and shocking.
At St Mags we have let ordinary people come in to church and they sometimes do things wrong. They take drugs, steal stuff, have broken relationships and yes, they are sometimes in trouble with the police. The most outrageous thing of all is that we have included many of “them” in the church family. In fact, we don’t even see it like that anymore. We have moved from being a community who talk about “them” to being a community who talk about “us”.
The police do visit our church, and often.
Most of the time, they are just served great coffee and given bacon baps while they chat informally to some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
Very occasionally (and I do mean very) the police come and intervene. You see, we have to have a StoreNet radio at our church that has a direct line to the police. We press the button and the police come and help (really quickly, sometimes I just want to press it to see how fast they can get here). It is all very good natured, we have even had a retirement party for a local officer and the community thanked him for his amazing work.
I have learnt so much in the last few years about what community really means. St Mags church in Torquay is periodically a little frightening. But what is worse, is a church community that is made up of just nice, holy people who have all the answers and who keep the broken at arms length.
Nice church is really scary.
So what about the drugs raid - seriously are you still asking? Is that the most important bit of this? That someone did something wrong and that they had been allowed into a church - that’s it, you just nailed it!
Church is for people who get it wrong.
Jesus is for people who mess it up and need help doing life. That is often messy and chaotic, but I love being part of it.
(If you still need an answer…. then no, we did not get raided for drugs, or anything else. The police did land in our car park en masse one day, but they were raiding somewhere else. One day it might happen and it will be ok, not because we are trying to be nice, just real!)