There are many examples in the Bible of names being changed e.g. Abram became Abraham and our patron saint was previously called Joseph but became Barnabas, which means the son of encouragement.
In the books written by Gervase Phinn relating to his time as a Schools’ Inspector he recounts many amusing anecdotes about children having been given names, which possibly seemed very topical at the time but would no doubt find less favour for the person in adulthood. On one occasion after a school governors’ meeting in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, Gervase Phinn got into conversation with the local Vicar and they exchanged anecdotes about children’s names. The Vicar mentioned that prior to the baptism of a baby girl, he asked the mother what the child was to be called. To which she appeared to reply it’s “Onacardi”. Unable to believe his ears, the Vicar repeated the question and momentarily thought she had replied as previously until the mother pointed out it’s “On her cardi” (cardigan) and much to his relief the Vicar found that the name was Rachel.
Names have the ability to conjure up all sorts of preconceptions and this could equally apply within church circles as anywhere else. A church, which offers diverse and different groups, reflects an integral and important aspect of its ministry. Taking stock of what is available within the life of St. Barnabas Church confirms there is much to offer. This spans a wide spectrum and endeavours to cater for the needs of people across the age range. Some groups have been in existence for a number of years and others have been formed more recently. Though there is variation in names the ethos of the groups, encompasses the category of Fellowship Groups, with the aim to explore faith, to engender friendship and fellowship and to provide pastoral support.
New people are always welcome to join a group of their choice echoing the invitation of the psalmist “taste and see that the Lord is good”. Relevant information is included on the church website.