When I was in hospital, I met a woman called C. She is the same age as me but has two kids and a job and a generally different life. Still, we found a lot of things in common and have stayed in touch since. Today we finally met up to go to a Church service one of her friends attends regularly. It was called Canterbury City Church. It takes about two hours: half an hour of music, half an hour of a speaker and half an hour of Worship- I know that doesn’t total two hours but give or take 5 minutes each way. It was alien to me. There wasn’t a definite format; people were very open; there was, shock horror, no Kyrie Eleison. And no Communion! But it was nice, very child-friendly, and the speaker was funny and interesting.
I experience my religious beliefs as a constant crisis of faith, fluctuating and encountering problems, peaking and banging into brick walls. This was a nice service in that I didn’t feel pressured to behave or feel in any particular way and there was a general air of acceptance. It was nice to be in such an embracing environment.
I point-blank refused to lift my palms ceiling-wards and Embrace Power, or Lay My Hands on anybody, or close my eyes. But I did try to be open-minded.
Afterwards we went to a picnic at C’s friend’s house. I had only briefly met C’s friend, and didn’t know anyone else there but was quickly made to feel very welcome and part of the group. It was a really nice afternoon. I’m glad to’ve gone.