You know, I do recommend churchgoing if you’re getting a bit het-up. Of course, it may be the stress of churchgoing that hets you up in the first place, but it calms you down too, especially if you stop and listen and think about it a bit.
The flowers from last week were falling about a bit, which meant a fair bit of picking up after I’d carted them down the aisle and into the kitchen (this may be a v. old church, but we have Mod Cons) and I had brought along some foliage – random leaves, feverfew (can’t remember the Latin) and alchemilla mollis (can’t remember the English) and a bunch of sunflowers and a bunch of chrysanthemums and decided to refresh the best of last week’s and make two arrangements into one. Not, in this case, aided by two bored toddlers, it went pretty well and looked good when reinstated on the reredos behind the altar.
At the same time, I was getting things ready for coffee; filling the urn and a kettle, switching on the hot water, putting coffee into cafetières, getting out mugs, sugar and milk, putting out biscuits, tables and chairs etc and the usual unlocking of extra doors in case of fire, and – oh you know, stuff. The usual.
The Fellow* suggested that we sit near the front to encourage the minister, rather than at the back to keep an eye on the congregation. Most of the hymns were much too high for me, which did not put me off but probably hurt his ears rather. I explained, afterwards, that an organist would rather hear someone singing badly than have no response at all.
Anyway, splendid sermon, with the excellent suggestion, tongue in cheek as it was, that we might get Results if we offered Hard Cash to children to come to Sunday School. Seriously, I’m all for it. Get ’em in first and they’ll feel the benefits in due course. I’m not up for indoctrinating little children and I’m quite uncomfortable with the hardline religious stuff as preached to people who don’t know enough to argue and question, but it keeps me going when nothing else would and exposure in childhood has done its bit all through life.
*My fellow churchwarden, who is a darling.
Update I’ve reread this and realised I gave the wrong impression – I didn’t actually go to Sunday School as a child, I went to church as our mother liked to keep an eye on me. I went there once though with a friend and found it a bit too friendly and clubby for me. I think that was my morose and solitary personality at fault there though.