Another day

I was reading earlier, that according to a poll 3 out of every 10 people attend regular Sunday worship at a church, with almost half saying they attend a Christmas service of some sort.. Without sounding too derisive (I hope) who did they poll? Did they poll people as they were leaving church, or did they poll them on a midweek morning, when people were too busy to take any real notice of what they were being asked?
Up until a few months ago, I was one of the people who called themselves a churchgoer, even though I wasn't really. Maybe visiting a church to look at the building, or the stained glass, but never actually attending a nuts and bolts service. If someone had asked me whether I was a Christian, I would have answered them "of course I am" without ever really considering what exactly it meant to "be a Christian", likewise if they had asked if I attended church, I would have answered yes, simply because I had, once, and knew that I should do so again, so therefore that counted. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of other people were the same. The other point about it is, if 30% of people really attend regular worship on a Sunday, where are they hiding? Behind the organ, loitering in the vestry, hanging out in the bell tower? I know this probably sounds as if I am being a little holier than thou, given my recent lack of churchgoing, but why do they publish figures, that for the most part, anyone can see are a load of nonsense. Imagine the local church, if a third of the entire parish turned up of a Sunday morning, in some parishes that would mean thousands, or at least hundreds. Not the tens (if the church is lucky) that usually show up. Why do they continue to hide the fact that churches are failing to attract large congregations?
By telling British people "dont worry, the Church is doing all right thanks, in fact we're thriving in some places", all it acheives is to send out the message "if you don't come to Church, dont worry there are plenty that do". Entirely the wrong thing to say. The Church should be doing all it can to encourage more people into Church, let everyone know that churches aren't doing all that well, have different types of service to encourage different people. Have activities that are open to large numbers of people, but most of all, let them see what the church is like, and what being a Christian is like. Let them see it isn't all hell and damnation, fire and brimstone, you don't have to live like a saint, and you can have fun.
Just spread the word, even if it doesn't conform to some Victorians prim and proper idea of Christianity, so long as it gets people involved in the Church community, and however it manages to do it, it is a success.
People want things lively, they want to be entertained, and even to learn something. What they dont want is to be told how bad they are, be bored to tears, and spoken down to. People like me want to know what we can do to make things better, for ourselves and other people.
Back to today.
Well, what can I say about today then? As I have had a day off work, it has been a nice quiet day at home.
On Sunday as we left church the one lady (I really dont know her name) handed us the annual report for the parish, to read through. It was quite interesting reading about all the people who help the parish keep going, aswell as the vicar. As I read it I tried to put the names to the faces that I see each week in church, I think I have figured out a couple of them, but certainly not all of them.
When I was reading, and seeing all the people who contribute both time and money to the church, I began to wonder if I could ever fit in there (to be honest I have wondered for a couple of weeks now). I originally thought (well, hoped) that I could slowly get involved with the church, and get to know the people there, and hopefully have them affirm what I have felt, and what I believe. But looking at the list of people there, everyone seems to have their place, and everything seems nicely sewn up, and also leaves me wondering whether it is the right place for me to be at this time.
I know that that probably seems a little melodramatic, and perhaps even over the top, but it is a feeling that is in me, and one that I cant seem to shake. This has left me feeling quite sad, as I had got to like the church and the people we saw each week.
Having re-read what I have just put down, it does seem a little over the top, but it is a feeling that I have in my gut. I will continue going for a few more weeks, to see how I feel about it then, but I'm not entirely sure my feelings will change. I sincerely hope they do though.
On a lighter note now. I am officially on the t'internet. I have a domain name all of my own, and hosting to take care of me too. Only problem is, I have no idea what to put on a website. I may just take the easy way out and link this blog to it.
One thing I would love to do though is to create a website listing all of Herefordshires churches, along with images and history of them. Somehow though, I think it is a little too ambitious a project for me to undertake, being as I only know the basics of putting together a website, having forgotten most of what I learnt on a course I did.
But, you never know.. so watch this they say.

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Herefordshire, United Kingdom
Born in 1975 in Brixham, in glorious Devon. Spent most of my youth in grimy birmingham. As soon as i was able at 18 I moved to beautiful Herefordshire. Where i remain to this day. Work at Locks Garage, famous for our ice creams. Generally wonderful place.
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