I had been told it was no longer a church, but that wasn’t the full story. More accurate would be to say they no longer hold Sunday services there – but it is still a place where the gospel is proclaimed.
Technically it is named The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but everyone refers to it by its shape. The Round Church is a Cambridge landmark and tourist destination. It has been a Christian institution for more than 800 years, not too shabby when you think of it. The congregation meets elsewhere these days, having outgrown the heritage building.
However the church is still open to the public, a museum of sorts with a very modest admission fee. I didn’t think twice about paying, especially since my travelling companion wanted me to see the place where he first heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is a small place, rich architecturally and steeped in history. On display are a number of panels detailing the history of Christianity in the United Kingdom (and Cambridge), century by century. Being addicted to the printed word, I read those while my friend shared stories with the attendant. That’s where I learned about William Wilberforce and The Eagle.
It’s a small building; it doesn’t take long to see all that there is to see. It is a place steeped in history and faith though – we stayed for an hour or so.
It is always a little sad when a church ceases operations. In this case though I didn’t get a feeling of sadness. Maybe that is because the Round Church isn’t really shut down, just refocused. The mission is still there, the message is still being proclaimed.
Even after almost 900 years.