5th May

This is an ancient church at Antioch, now in Turkey. Originally built in the 4th/5th century and then expanded by the Crusaders. It is cut into the rock and celebrates the life of the early Church, which we heard about in the gospel today. Antioch is where the name Christian was first used according to the Acts of the Apostles. At the start of his preaching Paul goes back to his town of Tarsus not that far away and Barnabas comes to dig him out and brings him the new Greek-speaking community in Antioch. In many ways this is the beginning of the the opening up of the Church to people who were not already Jews. It was the early community here who laid hands on Paul and Barnabas and sent them out to share the message of God that they had received. It is our beginning too.

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