Somewhere else

August 6, 2011

The Lure and the Lecturn

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — waltersdaughter @ 7:25 am

The Lure and the Lecturn

Originally written June 6th 2011

Mr. Anyould and I thought it might be nice to share with the two Anyould lads still here after a family wedding at the weekend, one of our favourite local haunts. With bacon rolls, Wolds sausage pies, home-made pastries, tarts, cakes and scones as a lure, the Methodist Chapel Hall took on the semblance of the place to be on a Monday morning and the lads came meekly along.

Last time we were there, we had commented that the impressive plumbing work going on would interest Tom. A regular helper with this weekly market-day coffee morning is our young friend, Jack, who has special needs. I printed off a couple of photographs I’d taken of him in his formal suit for his job as usher at the wedding and we looked forward to seeing his face light up when he saw them.

The first hint of things not being as they should be was when the main chapel doors were open as a welcome, rather than the door down the side alley.

“They’re putting a new floor down in the hall,” said the lady waiting at the bottom of the steps for a hand up with her baby and buggy, “It’s tea and coffee in the chapel today.”

I could see the look of consternation already appearing on the boys’ faces, though trustingly, they climbed the steps, taking one end of the buggy each.

We followed the red carpet up the aisle and joined the snaking queue to the teapot. Just biscuits today – no bacon rolls, no sausage pies, no pastries, tarts, cakes or scones.

Young Jack was nowhere to be seen either;

“Health and safety regulations meant he couldn’t stay today,” we were told when asking after him. 

Instead of chairs set around tables laid with gingham cloths, there were pews.

Before taking his place next to us, Tom went off to find his way through to the hall at the back to inspect the plumbing (not a euphamism!) and Harry followed.

In their absence, an elderly lady practised a hymn tune at the piano, hymn books were being passed along the pews, and the best clue of all as to what was to come next was the arrival of a minister. My atheist sons returned just in time to take their place in the congregation for a short service!

It was a thought provoking service on the theme of the environment – “The church has come late to accepting its need to take responsibility for the environment along with everyone else,” he admitted. He read an entertaining but poignant poem by Richard Stilgoe about the first and last music, read a passage from the Bible, lead us in a few prayers and we sang two hymns, one I knew and one I had to pick up (good job hymn tunes are fairly predictable!)

By way of recompense for their missed food and unscheduled immersion in Christian worship – “Twice in one weekend!” Harry reminded us – we took them to our favourite cafe for a late breakfast. The discussion over the meal included the role of the church in a rural community and in larger society, and Health and Safety!


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