Grantley Watkins, on the launch of the new Jubilee Family Centre and Aylsham Community Church Identity

I had a picture of a shipbuilding community, enjoying the special occasion of a brand new ship being launched. At this event I noted four groups celebrating the occasion.

The first were the ship builders and their families who were marvelling at what they had achieved, which was beyond their expectations and previous experiences. They were overwhelmed with joy at their success and took natural pride in their achievements.

But they were not the only ones enjoying this occasion as alongside them had turned out the whole community who couldn‟t miss such an occasion, and in turn felt immense delight and pleasure at what the builders had accomplished. With the launch of the new logo and church identity it is an opportunity to give thanks for all that God has accomplished through the church, the builders, but also the whole community will gather and revel in the achievement of the builders.

The third group on the harbour were representatives from all across the world. They were there because they wanted to see the example of such a vessel so they could build their own in the future. They were also there because this ship would dock on their shores and impact their nations. Such is the destiny of what you are building today that it is to be a model for others and the means of reaching many coasts.
The fourth group that met on the harbour was that of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit; they were the guests of honour. They had come to officially launch the vessel and were about to ceremonially break the champagne but this was very different as it was not a bottle but a clay pot. Shipbuilding communities can be superstitious about this action and believe that if the bottle does not break the ship is cursed with bad luck.

But this clay pot smashed into millions of pieces and what came out of the pot was beautiful oil. It not only covered the hull, but also splashed like a fountain and drenched the whole vessel so that, from the tallest point of the funnel to the waters edge, the whole ship was anointed. At this point all at the harbour burst into joyous celebration, but unlike the normal actions of royalty launching a ship, the Trinity, rather than being reserved were leading the exuberant celebration and it was clear to see the delight of God over the launch.