We are on holiday for a while. When we first went to this place, we found a church that did services in English for the 6 weeks of the holiday season. We liked it: being out of our culture, it was lovely to go to worship together without being a ‘professional Christian’. Then the agency that ran it stopped the funding.
Someone told us about a Roman Catholic Church nearby that had services in English once a month so we went, just to experience a church: if you get paid for going, sometimes you need to go when you don’t have to. I won’t say it was ‘vibrant’, ‘dynamic’, ‘praise filled’, kicking’ or any of the unnecessary adjectives that some apply to a church, just to show they are different- it just was what it was.
There was something about the frailty and honesty of the people, the liturgy and the after service wine and buffet (yes really) that was enough. It put the holiday in sharper focus- just to have a holiday without the chance to say ‘thanks’ with others makes it somehow ‘less’. The French RC bishops also have the sensible attitude that as there is no English protestant church for miles, anyone can have mass. That last bit for me also rendered the endless ecumenical meetings filled with hot air in Britain almost meaningless.
This Sunday, or maybe next, we will go again- the children will protest, but we will have an hour in the same place, with no electronic devices, no TV and experiencing the same thing.
I will love it..sometimes being away and being quietly thankful is enough..