Saturday, 22 May 2010

Community service

    The village church I was christened in back when trouser legs were a lot wider has started to look a little neglected of late. Ivy out of hand, moss on the path, some of the vegetation out of control. So they organised a work party this morning and in the company of a load of village residents I spent part of this morning shifting stuff and doing some painting.
    As an adult, I've never really "got" religion. I attended a Church of England primary school in a village where there probably is honey still served for tea and the church clock might well be stuck at ten to three so I received the full Anglican indoctrination as a kid, but beyond a moral compass and sense of right and wrong it didn't really stick. I'd thus characterise myself as a "Harvest festival Anglican", because all I get from my infrequent visits to the church is a sense of the familiarity of the community I grew up in rather than any spiritual benefit. I chat to the vicar from time to time when I see her, but if I'm still tenuously one of her flock then I must be one that wriggled through a hole in the hedge years ago.
    It felt good to be involved and do something with the rest of the community though. It seems to be a rare occurrence in that particular village these days. I realised as I came away that among all the people there, I was the only one born into that village, and I don't even live there any more. Some community.

4 comments:

  1. Here in the Us, "Community Service" is when they send you to pick up trash along the highway as a penalty for misdemeanor criminal offenses. For a second there, from your blog title, I thought you got busted :-)

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  2. You just gotta love Jamie! She's so real! I love her. I just wish she would allow us to comment on her blog.

    I to am a lapsed Anglican, who in turn was once seduced during a moment of emotional weakness, by a very charismatic Baptist preacher. That lasted about 3 months, and then I returned to my senses. I haven't been back to church in over 30 years, but if I ever do go back, I will probably be back as an Episcopalian, since they seem to have the most sense. My dear sister belongs to an Episcopal church, and sings in their choir. She is no blind religious fool, yet she seems to get a spiritual lift from it. Her choir by the way, has been to your country a couple of times to sing in some of your cathedrals and abbeys, and I think they are scheduled to go back again this summer.

    Melissa XX

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  3. Can't help thinking of John Mortimer's words: "When I was at school I was introduced, in the Chapel, to the Church of England God, a well-intentioned old gent who doesn't care too much for religion."

    Cat XX

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  4. @Jamie: Someday the mountain might get me but the law never will :)

    @Melissa: I kinda envy people who get something from church, not because I feel I should get religion but because they obviously feel they get something special to them and I just can't see it.

    @Cathy: That just about sums up the whole experience, doesn't it.

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