I was at 2 evening prayers as part of the thy kingdom come initiative. I found it to be a useful exercise. It was a solemn experience. A great way to close the day. However I was the only non clergy. There were 3 of us in total.
On our way back home, I told the Mhinisteir that morning and evening prayer would suit rural areas very well. I personally feel that these should be given the same importance as a Sunday service provided that ministers are relieved of all other unnecessary duties. Equally important is for vicarages to be next to Churches.
I recently told the Mhinisteir that he will never find a position within the Evangelical wing of the COE even though our background is strict Protestant.
My reasons are as follows:
1. Almost all the Evangelical Churches that I have visited tended to have ministers who look like a boy band lead singer (Youthful and ultra trendy clothes).
2. Advertisements in the Church Times, often sound like these Churches are looking for miracle workers.
Sadly, the Mhinisteir with his head full of silver hair and wrinkly skin most definitely doesn’t meet either criteria.
Between Ascension Day and Pentecost, the COE encourages its Churches to hold services in conjunction with the Thy Kingdom Come initiative ( initiated by the Archbishops Canterbury and York).
Everyday for one week, there is morning and evening prayer at 8am and 4pm respectively. What is the point of these services when most people are out at work during these times? Traffic is atrocious at both times but then it is to be expected in a busy city like ours. More importantly, people are already struggling to attend Church services on a Sunday let alone during the week. Personally I would try to keep the third commandment (Keep the Sabbath Day Holy) instead of attending countless services during the week especially when the Church doesn’t really know why it is doing what it is doing!
I am afraid I am with Angela Tilby ( Church Times dated 27 April 2018). No doubt the Evangelical Brigade will be up in arms.
This year was my first experience of Holy Week. Lent lasted 40 days ago and I can’t say that I enjoyed the 40 days. It felt a drag.
Holy Week was particularly challenging for me health wise so I wasnt able to attend all the services but I tried my best to attend most of it. I was completely exhausted physically.
By the time Easter Sunday came I was completely fed up with Good Friday and Easter. My first thoughts were that never again am I going to celebrate Easter. I was so fed up because we were singing the same hymns and going through the same rituals day in and day out without knowing the reasons behind it. Nobody was able to explain to me why we did all these things. Even the Mhinisteir was baffled by all the going ons! All these rituals reminded me of the Roman Catholic Church. I wanted to scream “I am a Protestant”!!!!!!!
In Scotland, Good Friday and Easter are not marked by special services and I am afraid that is how I prefer to keep it.
Everything was just so bleak and mournful. I believe that we worship a risen saviour but in our circles it all felt very funereal and depressing. It all felt very dramatic too.
The Passion Play was a tremendous success. Not because the Mhinisteir was playing the lead role but because it was so well produced.
The play was held on two evenings (Friday and Saturday). There was no charge but the donations were in lieu of the local homeless charity.
The Church was full on both evenings. They even had some of their homeless friends attending.
As mentioned in one of my earlier entries, I was not at all keen for the Mhinisteir to participate. I went on both evenings just to provide moral support to the Mhinisteir. I came out of both evenings deeply moved by the whole Easter message.
I sincerely hope that other Churches will learn through events like these to enable people to have a meaningful Easter ( Please see blog entry dated 8 May 2018).
ps: The Mhinisteir took me to Scotts of Mayfair for a special meal to celebrate the successful completion of the play!