I write this on the day my car is in for its MOT.

I spend the day at work in St Albans nervously awaiting bad, in other words, expensive news, watching the video I’ve been sent of my car being inspected up on the ramp.

So I put out a tweet this morning to suggest churches might do well to put themselves through an annual MOT check-up.

Back came a range of comments, most suggesting churches would fail.

Toxic emissions was one reason, handbrakes that would not release and worn out tyres were others. I even had one light-hearted response from a bishop.

Yes, I see churches like that in my work around the country.

They get parodied on TV. People fall for the message that this is what the Christian faith is like: authoritarian, deadly dull, out of touch with life, a crutch for the elderly.

But I also see many, many churches that are making a real difference in their community.

They run food banks, organise groups for people living on their own, set up pre-school playgroups, and offer practical support to the marginalised.

Churches where people are enthusiastic about their faith. Churches that are full with a complete cross-section of ages.

Churches made up of ordinary people with extraordinary stories of how their lives have been changed through an encounter with Jesus Christ.

It’s encouraging to see churches that would sail through an MOT, but who know there is room for continuous improvement.

Readers who submit articles must agree to our terms of use. The content is the sole responsibility of the contributor and is unmoderated. But we will react if anything that breaks the rules comes to our attention. If you wish to complain about this article, contact us here