Far and near

In my travels this year I have noticed many places of worship.  Apart from the local church, where I sing in the choir, I have attended services at four others.  I went to the Women’s World Day of Prayer service at the Methodist church in this parish.  The next nearest I went to is in the neighbouring parish, where the style of worship is very different from the traditional Church of England four part harmony.  Occasionally it is the venue for a Saturday event, which I attend if appropriate.  I always meet friends old and new and feel refreshed afterwards.

Another church I have worshipped in is the one Mum attends.  She has been going there long enough for me to have become acquainted with some of the congregation and clergy.

This September I attended a meeting which was held in a church in central London.  I sang hymns which were completely new to me there.

My original idea for this post was to write about the cathedrals I have seen during the year.  The first was St Paul’s, which was right next door to the venue for the 1st UK Blog Awards.  I walked past a church with an interesting name between Blackfriars Station and the hotel.  The cathedral designed by Sir Christopher Wren is one I have visited a number of times.  On this occasion I decided to save my energy for the long evening at the award ceremony.  I arrived fairly early for an overnight stay with my “dress to impress” clothes rolled tightly into my small rucksack and used the iron in the room to good effect!  It was much easier to travel by bus and train without a trolley case.  I happened to notice another church, which I had learned about on Twitter.  I spotted it from the window of the train going and looked out for it on the way back too.

The next cathedral I saw was one that hubby and I had visited on a day trip several years ago.  (Our daughter was attending an open day at the university in the city.  For completeness I’ll mention that the first time I visited it was as a child.)  I was on a train from Newcastle to Darlington, when I spotted Durham Cathedral.

I might have forgotten about seeing Durham Cathedral, but my memory was jogged, when I saw a very much more modern cathedral from another train window.   On my way to meet a friend, the route passed Guildford Cathedral.  This is a cathedral I have visited more than once.  The first time I was taken there on a Sunday School outing, the building was not complete and some of us paid for a brick each.  A long time ago I went on another organised trip from a different church to a Festival of Praise there.   It is very likely that I also visited between those times with friends or family.

When I last saw the cathedral in the diocese where I live is a question I cannot answer with any certainty.  Somehow familiarity breeds forgetfulness.

One thing I can remember is having lunch in two different church buildings, which run coffee shops.  One is in a local town and the other is where I went with the friend I mentioned earlier.  I also have eaten lunch in the church where I belong.  We ate together after the Harvest Festival service.

I wrote a post Harvest in advance – on the actual day I went to choir practice, but left early to be ready to play my tenor recorder in the orchestra.  Several choir members are also instrumentalists and we wended our way out of the maze of chairs and music stands to join the rest of the choir for the anthem, “All Things Bright and Beautiful” by John Rutter.  Then we made our way back in reverse order to listen to the Bible reading  (Psalm 65) and all-age talk, join in the prayers, accompany the remaining hymns and to play the postlude.  The church was beautifully decorated with flowers, vegetables and other gifts of food.

Do you enjoy visiting/worshipping in churches and cathedrals?

5 thoughts on “Far and near

  1. I love worshipping in cathedrals as a total change from my local Baptist Church but I don’t get the chance to do it often. Thanks for your inspiring thoughts 🙂

    Like

  2. Durham Cathedral is lovely. We used to go and visit Durham when I was a child, and always looked round the cathedral. I also love John Rutter and his arrangements of hymns!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.