Use of Church Buildings by other faiths
Requests for advice have been received at Church House concerning whether the URC has ever made any statement about the use of our church buildings by people of other faiths. This has served to bring this into sharper focus but is connected too to the concern that by inviting or allowing a Muslim, or another faith group onto URC premises we may be muddying waters and appearing to suggest that the other faith is ‘as good as Christianity’ and even worse be syncretistic. Once again reactions can often be more visceral than thoughtfully theological.
After one such enquiry it was suggested that a church might respond by not simply allowing the use of a hall but by deliberately turning it into a place of hospitality with a carefully expressed theological position regarding welcome and service to the wider community that might help to overcome any confusion or unease.
This does not usually relate to the worship space but there are some churches (perhaps only a few) that have already extended the welcoming function to that space too whilst others would stop short of that and others too that would not allow other faiths or activities such as yoga in any part of the premises.
The URC website now has a section specifically concerned with the use of church buildings by other faiths and has produced a booklet giving advice. The page can be accessed Here