On Sunday 21 October, at 10.30am, bikers gathered for a special service at St James’ Church in Gloucester.
Scooter, trike and bike riders were invited to bring their bikes, helmets and gloves along to the service for a blessing. It was an event organised by the Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA).
Alexandra Dyer is a Reader at St James’, Tredworth in Gloucester and is Secretary of the Gloucester branch of the CMA. She said: “I’ve been involved with the CMA for the last four years. We’re international and have branches all over the world. We have nine registered local members and lots who are interested and ride out with us to see what’s going on.
“We visit different churches, explain who we are and what we do. We go to biker rallies and are often the only non-alcohol zone on site, which can be a haven for people recovering from addiction. We pray with people, we talk with people – some have faith, some are exploring faith. Once, a biker came up to my husband, talked to him and ended up giving his life to the Lord.”
The services are open to everyone and they sing well-known hymns and tunes. Biker Bibles are given out free to anyone who wants one – copies of the New Testament with testimonies from bikers at the front. They are specially designed to be the right size to fit in a biker pocket.
The bikers brought their helmets into church to be blessed, and generally at least one bike comes into the church building. There is limited parking for cars onsite, but motorcycles can park on the grass by the side of the church.
After the service there was a ride out to the Black Shack Café near Slimbridge – another opportunity to chat for those who were unable to make the church service.
Alexandra said, “Being a biker means you are part of a really special community. When you park up somewhere, you have conversations with people that you don’t know – the only thing we have in common is that we are both bikers. If you see a biker at the side of the road, there’s an unwritten code that tells you to stop and check that they are ok. Being part of the CMA is a way of working out my faith and serving. It’s outside of the church and we are hoping to reach out and show God’s love to people that have never encountered it.”