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Source: (consider it) Thread: Favorite obscure sect name
Al Eluia

Inquisitor
# 864

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The thread about extinct sects reminded me of perhaps my favorite name of an obscure denomination or sect: The Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists. There are apparently a handful of them still around.

Two Seed in the Spirit Predestinarian Baptists

Extinct or not, what's your favorite?

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An omer is a tenth of an ephah. (Exodus 16:36)

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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I have always like the Knipperdolings, because it is fun to say. Unless the "k" isn't pronounced because that is not near as fun. Kin-nipperdoling. It's like abracadabra or bibbity-bobbity-boo.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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Brenda Clough
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These are -great-. I feel like a kid in a candy store. I am forging a fictional name for an entirely fictional cult, and to this end I have coined the word 'agapal'. The adjectival form of 'agape', is the idea. Something like "the Holy Day Resurrected Church of the Agapal Love of Jesus Lord of All." (Your suggestions of cooler wordage welcomed.) I am going to scarf up other terminology. I do like 'pre-missional' but maybe 'amissional' would be even more gnomic.

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Albertus
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If i could do the tech (which I can't) I'd love to knock up a random obscure sect name generator.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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Brenda Clough
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Perhaps it could be done more low-tech, like a decision tree. No infant baptism? then the word 'anabaptist'. No missions? Amissional. And so on down the line of various doctrines.

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georgiaboy
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My all-time favorite was a church sign seen once in rural Alabama:

'Seven Seeds in the Spirit Sun-Rising Apostolic Baptist Church of Jesus Christ with Signs Following.' (I think I've got it all there!)

I know nothing of this body, except that I know that 'with Signs Following' is an indicator for the perpetuation of the tradition of serpent-handling based on the questionable ending of Mark.

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Brenda Clough
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What is the significance of the term 'seed' here? I think that 'reformed' or 'renewed' always means that there was a schism and this group was on the losing end and went off to form their own sect.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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I like the Flippin Church of God.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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Pangolin Guerre
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Not a sect, but until recently there was a church in Toronto, the product of two congregations of the United Church of Canada merging, called St James Bond.

I guess that the choir had a license to trill...

I'll get my hat....

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Trudy Scrumptious

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I love the Brooklyn storefront churches for great names (I guess maybe they exist in other places too but I know them from Brooklyn). I used two made-up ones in a novel -- The Miracle Healing Temple of the Precious Blood, and The Praise Tabernacle Cathedral of Miracles. Making up fictional ones was basically like choosing two adjectives, one noun, another adjective and another noun from the rich bounty already available. Mix and match. There used to be a great photo collection someone had online of pictures of them, but it's disappeared and I can't find an equally good one to compare to it.

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Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

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Brenda Clough
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I am still trying to derive some of the naming principles. I associate 'Praise' in the name with energetic singing, do not you? "Gospel Praise" suggests a large choir of deep-lunged black people who can improvise over the choral line while the congregants shout things like "Sing it, sister!"
'Spirit' and 'Maranatha' hint at glossolalia. I love the idea of a term in the name that means snake handling. "Charity" suggests giving to the poor whereas "Bible" hopefully indicates the primacy of Scripture, possibly only the KJV.
Which brings us to 'agape', which I trust implies all the X-rated stuff.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:

Which brings us to 'agape', which I trust implies all the X-rated stuff.

I'm no scholar of Greek, but wouldn't the X-rated stuff be 'eros'?
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Bishops Finger
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Yes, I think it would, but the Agapemonites didn't seem to see it that way...

As regards names, I always admire and adhere to alliteration's artful aid. How about 'The Free Fornicating Fellowship For Fleeing From the Faithful Father's Frightful Fury'?

Brenda, if you'd like to use this material, let me know. My people will then contact your people. My rates are reasonable (by mega-tele-evangelist-John Oliver standards).

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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betjemaniac
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sometimes it pays to keep it simple... Coronation Street once had the Glad Tidings Mission Hall, where Ena Sharples was caretaker, and Leonard Swindley the sometime preacher.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Bishops Finger
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No, no - the longer the name, the smaller the sect, and the more outre the doctrines...

....and it's hard to associate Ena Sharples with Glad Tidings...

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Bishops Finger
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A quick thought, but at the risk of incurring Hostly wrath if I'm advertising....

....for a non-judgemental and quite sympathetic look at unorthodox or heterodox sects and followings, seek out the published works of the Rev. Charles Maurice Davies (1828-1910), an Anglican priest who did quite a bit of journalism on these subjects, mostly in London, in the 1870s. Google and Wikipedia are your friends.

I have most of Davies' books - they are quite readable, and not too prolix. He had, IMHO, a GSOH.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Pangolin Guerre
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Sorry... GSOH?
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Baptist Trainfan
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Not so way out, perhaps, but I've just come back from lunch with some colleagues, one of whom was raised among the Peculiar People in Essex.
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betjemaniac
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Of course the mighty Patrick O'Brian resurrected the Sethians for several of his Aubrey/Maturin novels now I think about it. They centre in the fictional south coast town of Shelmerston and claim descent from the Valentinian gnostics.

They believe Cain and Abel were brought into being by angels, whereas Seth was a direct creation of God, the progenitor of Abraham and thus the father of all men.

They're split into two factions, one of which insists on writing the S of Seth back to front.

Honestly, if he hadn't had the temerity to write in the "ghetto" of historical fiction, I believe O'Brian would be regarded as the greatest 20th century writer in the English language. His Aubrey/Maturin novels are positively Homeric. They're not a pastiche of 18th century novels IMO, they are 18th century novels.

Sorry for wandering off the subject at the end there - I'll stop now!

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Bishops Finger
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GSOH = Good Sense Of Humour.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Brenda Clough
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Holy Ned, there's a lot of material about Davies. It looks like his work is old enough that it's out of copyright, which makes Gutenberg a prosperous pond for fishing. I can see that my problem will not be a want of material. And with eleventy-hundred perfectly historical cults out there I can easily slip a fictional one in, custom-tailored to my authorial needs.

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SvitlanaV2
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The author of this novel has apparently taken the name of an existing denomination and then created for it set of beliefs and practices to suit her own creative purposes.

(I haven't read the novel, but I've seen the book in a shop and read the blurb. The author states that the 'Strict and Peculiar' chapel in the book has nothing to do with the real-life religious group of the same name.)

My impression is that this is a very unusual thing to do. Smallish denominations that appear in contemporary novels are almost never identified. Maybe it's because authors fear being sued.

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Brenda Clough
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Hence my coining of the word 'Agapal', which is my own and therefore cannot be in the name of any cult. (Unless they are so obscure they don't Google up at all, which is of course possible. An anti-tech theology would do it -- something like the Amish.) I have also selected the perfect site for this cult. The novel is set in the 1870s, when the land was probably forest and farmland. Today, it is a major airport. Right under the pavement of runway 2, I figure, is where the book is set. This should keep me safe from complaints from insulted cultists.

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Bishops Finger
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'Strict and Peculiar' reminds me of 'Strict and Particular', as in (some) Baptists, so it's quite realistic.

IIRC, one of Ruth Rendell's novels (not one of the Inspector Wexford stories) features two barking-mad members of 'The Epiphany People'.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Gamaliel
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I was going to mention The Peculiar People, but Baptist Trainfan's beaten me to it ...

That has to be my favourite name for a small, localised sect. They were, as their name suggests, pretty peculiar ... although not in the sense that they wanted their name to convey.

They might have been that too, of course.

Time was when there were all manner of independent groups that flourished across very small geographical areas. I had German friends in the Siegerland and they told me about obscure sects that were only known in one or two valleys and were completely unknown a few miles down the road ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Bishops Finger
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Brenda, did they have to dig up graves when they built the runway? And was one of them the grave of the sect's founder?? And did s/he curse anyone or anything that should disturb the Eternal Resting-Place???

Enquiring minds need to know....

[Help]

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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WearyPilgrim
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In Oakland, Maine, there's a congregation called The Old Time Pentecostal Blood-Bought Church.

There is a denomination in the U.S. known as The Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God. Back when I was in college we conjectured that it would be fun to be a cheerleader for their Bible college basketball team: "ApostolicOvercomingHolyChurchofGod, YAY!!" [Devil]

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WearyPilgrim
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There is a little group in southeastern Pennsylvania known as the Schwenkfelder Church that follows the teachings of the German pietist Casper Schwenkfeld von Ossig (1489-1561). It has four churches, one of which, Central Schwenkfelder Church of Lansdale, is housed in a magnificent neo-Georgian building. The total membership of the Schwenkfelders was about 2,500 in 2009. The church is orthodox in theology and evangelical in emphasis, stressing the necessity of a personal relationship with Christ. While it is an autonomous body, it established a relationship with the Congregationalists in the nineteenth century, which it continues today through an affiliation with the United Church of Christ.

http://www.ucc.org/about-us_hidden-histories_the-schwenkfelders

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Graven Image
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I have two favorites.

Church sign when I was visiting South Carolina, First Free Baptist Church of the Post Millennium Rapture.
( Their theology was clearly stated in their name)

In Monterey California, I remember, The Church You Have Been Looking For.
A great answer if you should be asked, Where do you attend church?

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Notice to police, Should my body ever be found on a jogging trail, know that I was murdered elsewhere and my body dumped there."

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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
I like the Flippin Church of God.

That reminds me of the Church of God in Zillah, Washington, which used to have a statue of Godzilla outside the building. Because they were the "Church of God, Zillah." They seem either to not exist any more or to have changed their name.

Here in Seattle I've run across the "Apostolic
Bible Church of Jesus Christ." And there's a megachurch based in Kansas City called the International House of Prayer, which amuses me because the name is so close to the International House of Pancakes.

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Brenda Clough
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Brenda, did they have to dig up graves when they built the runway? And was one of them the grave of the sect's founder?? And did s/he curse anyone or anything that should disturb the Eternal Resting-Place???

IJ

Now that would be telling. I have a plan for this fictional cult founder. (Who I decided the other day calls himself Father Uzziah. I expect he was christened something thoroughly mundane like Leonard Alfred Gassing.) When you join you get a new, OT name.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer

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sabine
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My brother (RIP) decided when he was a teen to make up a church he could go for. He called it The Church of the Wobbly Axis and it's creed was "It all depends. . . ."

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Brenda Clough
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When did Hebrew become an area of study in seminaries, does anyone recall off the top of their head? All Hebrew names seem to be simply nouns repurposed.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer

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tessaB
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Lenny Henry had some lovely things to say about the naming of majority black churches. It's at about 5:50 on the clip.

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tessaB
eating chocolate to the glory of God
Holiday cottage near Rye

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SvitlanaV2
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Yes, I must say that that Lenny Henry clip came to mind when I saw the title of this thread.

The thing is, though, that Lenny is gently mocking a tradition that had a history in his own family. On this thread, however, there's a slight sense that 'normal' Christians are giggling at the ridiculousness of people who are lower down the pecking order. I do find that a tiny bit problematic, FWIW. But yes, there are bigger fish to fry.

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North East Quine

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quote:
Originally posted by WearyPilgrim:
There is a little group in southeastern Pennsylvania known as the Schwenkfelder Church that follows the teachings of the German pietist Casper Schwenkfeld von Ossig (1489-1561). It has four churches, one of which, Central Schwenkfelder Church of Lansdale, is housed in a magnificent neo-Georgian building. The total membership of the Schwenkfelders was about 2,500 in 2009. The church is orthodox in theology and evangelical in emphasis, stressing the necessity of a personal relationship with Christ. While it is an autonomous body, it established a relationship with the Congregationalists in the nineteenth century, which it continues today through an affiliation with the United Church of Christ.

http://www.ucc.org/about-us_hidden-histories_the-schwenkfelders

I knew a Schwenkenfelder from Pennsylvania who went to University in Scotland. I had no idea that it was such a small group!
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Bishops Finger
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Who said anything about a 'pecking order'? I thought it might not be long before someone came along to tick us off for ridiculing people...

...but many of these sects are made up of just as good and sincere Christian people as the more 'mainstream' churches, and I guess we would all acknowledge that, without being patronising.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Brenda Clough
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No, I am purely interested in the basic principles of church naming.

Naming it after a founder (Wesleyan) or a location (Orlando Baptist) is easy, and of course you include a descriptor of denomination (Catholic, Unitarian). More mysterious are the churches named after abstracts. There's a Live Oak Church near me; there are no live oaks in this state (it is purely a sub-tropical tree, usually found in Texas) and so I have no idea why they named the church that.

But what I really want to hear about is when doctrinal issues are expressed in the church's name. Prelapsarian? Are there churches with that in the name, and if so what is the doctrine?

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Bishops Finger
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What's in a name?

Well, oaks are mentioned in the Bible (though there seem to be several Hebrew words translated thus), but I guess the name 'Live Oak Church' might be meant to convey an impression of 'alive-ness' and strength, as per a flourishing oak tree, regardless of whether there are any actual oaks nearby!

As for a Prelapsarian Church, here you are:

https://www.facebook.com/Church-of-the-Prelapsarian-Howlers-of-Arbraoth-595068873905830/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE

Not, in this case, to be taken too seriously!

I really must get out more, so I'll go and get me Coat and At.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
There's a Live Oak Church near me; there are no live oaks in this state (it is purely a sub-tropical tree, usually found in Texas) and so I have no idea why they named the church that.

Possibly it's an offshoot of a Live Oak Church somewhere in the South?

I remember someone laughing at the name of the church where I was baptized and that I attended as a teenager. It was called Bible Temple (and nowadays is City Bible Church) in Portland, OR.

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An omer is a tenth of an ephah. (Exodus 16:36)

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Bishops Finger
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In this case, I can't see what's to laugh at in what sounds like a perfectly reasonable church name! Both the old name and the new 'do what it says on the tin'...

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Brenda Clough
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The other thing that frequently happens, and not only to churches, is a failure to actually look at the name with an eye to unfortunate resonances. Banks, apartment complexes, businesses, all prone to this problem. I remember in Gone With the Wind when someone mischievously suggested the name "Caveat Emporium" for a store.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer

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Baptist Trainfan
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Well, some of us are not happy with the name "The Church of England" - as it implies there are no others!

Mind you, the "Baptists" aren't the only ones who baptise, either - not even by immersion!

I believe there was a Cemetery Road Gospel Hall (?in Sheffield) which renamed itself "Resurrection Hall".

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Jengie jon

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Uhm I am not sure. The church in Sheffield with connections to Cemetery Road is Cemetry Road Baptist. The Christadelphians are also around there and at least one mosque but I can recall no Gospel Hall.

The other churches around include two chapels at the General Cemetry and a long defunct Congregational Church*.

Jengie

*Alright, it was probably merged with other congregations to form either Central or Trinity.

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Walking 18 miles to help Refugees get an education.

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St. Stephen the Stoned
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The Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion is still going, it seems.

Jengie, I don't think there's a mosque on Cemetery Rd. The Christadelphians and the Baptist Church are still there.

There was a Wesleyan Connexion church nearby on Sharrow Lane. It was demolished recently and replaced with a Tesco Express.

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Do you want to see Jesus or don't yer? Well shurrup then!

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Baptist Trainfan
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My wife and I went to the Countess of H's chapel in St. Ives when we were on honeymoon (which wasn't yesterday by any means).

The Minister at that time - a Welshman I think - was a cracking preacher: his sermon was on the theme of "Jesus: a Man's man".

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St. Gwladys
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There's a Countess of Huntington's Connexion church in Worcester. I don't know if it is active or just used as a concert hall.

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"I say - are you a matelot?"
"Careful what you say sir, we're on board ship here"
From "New York Girls", Steeleye Span, Commoners Crown (Voiced by Peter Sellers)

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SvitlanaV2
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The one in Worcester is just a concert venue now.

[ 02. March 2017, 17:17: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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georgiaboy
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In a city where I once lived there was a 'Christian Community' called 'Jacob's Well.' (Christian Community in quotes because that's what they called it.)

I always wondered if they knew the so-far-as-I-know the only gospel reference to said well. Seemed a bit off the mark to me.

(They could have called it 'Not on This Mount Tabernacle' or some such.) [Big Grin]

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You can't retire from a calling.

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Bishops Finger
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/tangent alert/

(Cos it isn't quite extinct....yet)

What else could The Church of England be called, in order not to sound as though it's the one-and-only?

I thought perhaps 'The English Episcopal Church', as per the Piskies in bonnie Scotland.

/end of tangent/

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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