Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Empire

I was in the Empire last night for the first time ever. We were down in the Basement Bar for the jazz night for my final farewell with Mark. It seems that Tuesday jazz was a somewhat regular feature of his week and I had heard so much about it that I had to try it once before he moves off to London.

There seemed to be a huge crowd there and it took us a couple of minutes to find a table. Once we did, the music was good and relaxing, although possibly slightly too loud for me. It's also probably a little late, seeing as the music only kicks off at around 11pm. We called it a night about 12.45am, after the band had started their second set of modern songs from bands like The Killers, and Kings of Leon.

An added bonus was that I saw two girls from out old YF days back in Dromore. They were out as part of an engagement party and seemed to have a good evening.

Perhaps the most interesting thing though, was the fact that the Empire is an old Presbyterian Church building that has been restored to become a music venue. Belfast has quite a lot of old closed down churches, so it's good to see at least one being used for some purpose, although sad that what was once a building for the glory of God and the proclamation of his word is now used for drinking and music. So how can we use the old church buildings for the church rather than selling them to the world?

Imagine what could have been done if that was still a mission centre in the heart of Belfast's Botanic Avenue with the thousands of students who pass by on a daily basis. What buildings are now at riskthat we could use for gospel purposes in new and imaginative ways?

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