Fore Street Topsham, Exeter

Minister : Reverend Paul Collings BTh (Hons) : email : : Telephone : 01392 206229 : Mobile : 07941 880768

About Us

St Nicholas Methodist Church has existed on the present site for over 150 years since it opened in 1867.

We are a friendly community of believers where all are welcomed. We help each other to worship God, and strive to live more like Christ in service beyond the walls of our church building.

Part of the
Exeter Coast and Country Circuit of the Methodist Church.

Saturday, 25 September 2021

An ABC of Faith


Alleluia - God be praised - often uttered in worship throughout the bible. The Hebrew word Halleluya as an expression of praise to God was preserved, untranslated, by the Early Christians as a superlative expression of thanksgiving, joy, and triumph.

The word hallelujah first appeared in the book of Psalms in the Old Testament, a combination of two Hebrew words, "hallel" meaning praise and "jah" meaning God. But it's in Christianity that hallelujah or the Latinised "alleluia"  became best known as a word of great emotional energy. It also appears as a triumphant ending in the book of Revelations where we read, “Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.”

It was Leonard Cohen a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist who explored religion, politics, isolation, depression, sexuality, loss, death and romantic relationships in his music and challenged the idea that all there was in the world was damage and despair who said, “It's the notion that there is no perfection - that there is a broken world and we live with broken hearts and broken lives but still there is no alibi for anything. On the contrary, you have to stand up and say hallelujah under those circumstances.” He went on to write the hit number “Hallelujah”

Another song writer, Candi Stanton, who lived a troubled life in her song “Hallelujah Anyway” lists life’s troubles but resolves her depression in the refrain:-

Praise him till your blessings come down

Praise him till your situation turns around

You gotta lift up your voice and say:

Hallelujah anyway

Hallelujah anyway

In many ways these two songwriters are following the scriptural tradition of lament. N T Wright  invites us to remember that Christianity offers us a way to lament that leads to hope: “It is no part of the Christian vocation, then, to be able to explain what’s happening and why. In fact, it is part of the Christian vocation not to be able to explain—and to lament instead. As the Spirit laments within us, so we become, even in our self-isolation, small shrines where the presence and healing love of God can dwell.”

In many senses though our songs may be in a minor motif of now, become one day a resolved major chord. When every tear is wiped away, when death is swallowed up in victory, when heaven and earth are made new and joined as one, when the saints rise in glorious bodies…then we will sing at last a great, “Hallelujah!”

May our prayer today be “Alleluia Anyway” Amen

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Community Groups Regularly Usiing the Church

Regrettably, due to the current restrictions, there are no community activities at the church premises.

Watch this space for news of when activities will restart.