Sunday, October 20, 2013

How was it for you?

It was great. I need to say that right away. After - as I found out today - 28 weeks in our own particular wilderness of worshipping on a badminton court, the joy of being back in the church was almost worth the wait. Yes, there is a heap of stuff still to be done - floorboards to replace grey chipboard, paintwork to be de-scabbed (you can see where - look at the sedilia), lighting to be tinkered with - but for heaven's sake, this is our lovely church, returned to us with a wonderful acoustic (not a carpet in sight) and the layout of the original conception uncluttered by the accretions of years of tinkering.

I had to laugh, though - laugh because losing the heid wouldn't have accomplished anything. I laughed at the person who informed me that the new kneeler-boards were dangerously large and caught her legs - laughed and told her it was better to be a short-arse like me. I laughed at the person who complained at the unfinished aisle. It was possible to laugh because I felt so relieved at the completion of the journey, and because I know there is still so much to be done. It was possible to laugh because we are no longer in danger of falling through the floor or being wiped out by the condemned electric circuits. It was possible to laugh because from the very first phrase of the very first hymn I knew that the acoustics were a dream, making singing a joy and speech wonderfully audible.

And it was possible to laugh because the prayers of the faithful from the past 160 years still saturate this building, because when we sang "O Lord, hear my prayer" after communion it no longer felt like singing in the wilderness, where the notes would be swept away in the wind. Truly, God is in this place - but if we forget to listen, if we can't hear God for the sound of our own voices, there is no point in any of it.

Importunate widows, spiders - they were all there with one message today. The gospel, the sermon, the hymns - they all said it. I for one found it exciting.



  1. It sounds like it was as wonderful as I'd hoped for you. Good acoustics make an immeasurable difference. The finishing-off will all happen in due course but at least you;'re home again.

    1. Partly, Perpetua, I wrote this with you in mind. Thanks for caring!

  2. Helva6:55 PM

    Point your moaners to David Cloake's (the Vernacular Vicar) latest blog re gratitude - it might be salutary! Your restored church looks magnificent,and how wonderful to have decent accoustics and a proper choir.

  3. Helva6:58 PM

    Sorry - not David's last blog - the one before!