Who’d’a thought it?

For the last two years my church has been praying about, considering and discussing moving to bigger premises. Is it really only two years? Maybe three. It feels like ten. Or fifty. The constitution of the church calls for a vote on just about everything and there’s a high bar set for major changes… 99.9% agreeing (I exaggerate) before anything can change. So change is exceeding slow. In order to change, the old guard will have to die off, by which time the young guard will be the old guard, and so it goes on. Democracy isn’t perfect.

I suppose that we can seat about 120 comfortably. I use the word ‘comfortably’ very loosely. There’s little comfort to be had in the pews, no facility for people with disabilities, no area for children, the musicians are crammed in a corner, the balcony is at the same rake as the north face of the Eiger, and (oh, yes!) we have one inside loo. Apart from that, we can sit 120 comfortably. There’s parking for maybe 6 cars. All in all, the church building no longer serves the church body.

At Easter and Christmas, at Baptism services, carol services and back-to-church Sunday, the regulars are asked to sit in the vestry and listen via the sound system. The more details I give you the more bloody ridiculous it all sounds. Scuse the language.

And then came Covid19. The church building is empty. We are all in our homes. We are FaceTiming each other and zooming and Skyping, texting, emailing and phoning. There’s a care team and a help team. There are online Bible studies and a whole new website full of great ‘stuff’ has been made available to us.

The plans we had to move into a local school for worship during this Summer are shelved.

Today, for the second Sunday of lockdown, our sermon went out on our youtube channel and in audio on our website. Already, in just a few hours, the youtube version alone has been viewed 129 times. The audio version on the website? Some more, number unknown. Bearing in mind that most of our people are married, and will listen together, and that the children will be listening with them, and even some of us singles have grandchildren or others  living with us… I reckon that could be well over 250 pairs of ears tuned in to a great sermon on The Lord’s Prayer.

SO

today our church is full. It’s bursting at the seams. It’s bursting out into sitting rooms and studies, into bedrooms, it’s reaching the old and the young, the sick and the well, those who are afraid and those who give comfort. Today we are listening in the sunshine, in our gardens, as we walk down country lanes. Today our church is just the right size.

TODAY OUR CHURCH IS JUST THE RIGHT SIZE

Who’d’a thought it?

Enlarge the place of your tent,
    stretch your tent curtains wide,
    do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
    strengthen your stakes.

Isaiah 54:2 NIV

 

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Why did you join the army, Luce?

I was asked that yesterday and it would have taken too long to explain, and I don’t really do proper conversation. I can joke or listen, not actually say stuff with a beginning and a middle and an end. Then I remembered that I’d written the answer already, in my autobiography:

An excerpt from ‘The Amazingly Astonishing Story’

November 1965

After school I went to Benediction, which is still my favourite time of all, and when the oldest nuns came in, the retired ones who potter around all day getting lost and smiling, and drinking tea as pale as custard, I looked at them and something clicked.

On Wednesday morning I had a free lesson, being a fifth former now, and I went along to BX’s study and knocked on the door. I can’t say she was thrilled. She kept saying ‘Are you sure, Lucy? Are you absolutely sure?’ And I just nodded my head and said ‘Yes, Madam, I want to be a nun.’

………

The next weekend was my visit to Highgate Convent, to see if it’s the place for me. It was lovely there. You could hear the traffic, just over the wall, on Highgate Hill, but inside it was tranquil, almost silent. Just the distant hum of buses and lorries reminding you of how lucky you were to be in here and not out there. Marx lay under a stone slab somewhere nearby.

I had a lovely little room, overlooking the gardens, and a bible and a prayer book and a prie deux. It made me think of all the paintings and mass cards of Theresa of Avila and I wondered, just briefly, if I could ever aspire to sainthood, if I lived long enough. Haha.

I arrived on Saturday and we said The Rosary before lunch and after that, recreation. I was put with a novice, Claire, who’s nineteen and from Galway. I told her that my family were from Mayo way back but she said that she’s never been out of Galway, except for coming here. We did a jigsaw which she said has three pieces missing, and she didn’t know how many times she’d done it, but she guessed probably five or six. She said it with a soft smile. I think of Aunty Nelly calling Joe Grimshaw a soft lad, and I hope that if ever she falls through a tin roof, she’ll find a soft landing.

After that it was more prayers in the chapel and then tea which was bread and butter and jam and apples. The butter was margarine. A lifetime of margarine. That made me wonder about the whole idea, right enough. While we ate, one of the nuns read the bible, the book of Obadiah, which sounds like a name from Round The Horne, and I thought of Gruntfuttock, our favourite bit, and I felt a pang of homesickness for Beth, not for home. Bethsickness.

We were all in bed by seven, but we were up at five and down to the chapel again, for Mass. The priest was ancient and Mass took hours, and you couldn’t hear a word of it. When he lifted up the Host a nun had to put her hand under his elbow. Breakfast was horrible porridge and tea, and then we had fellowship, which is prayer but in the sitting room. I know that if I told Beth about it, she’d say it was dire. But it wasn’t. It was lovely. We all belonged there. I don’t know how else to put it.

After prayer we sat and had community, which is talking. The nuns asked about my family  so I started at the very beginning, knowing that when I got to the bit where when Mammy died that would make all the questions melt away in a flood of Irish sentiment. It did, of course. ‘God bless the child’ and ‘Rest her soul’ and all that, looking at me with such pity that I felt a terrible fraud. I said ‘It’s alright, I don’t mind’ but that made it sound like Mammy was no more to me than a bus driver or a shop lady. Or I was a cheerful axe murderer. I felt my cheeks burning so I went to an old blind nun who was trying to unravel a skein of wool and getting in a right state. If people would just not talk to me, everything would be fine.

After cabbage and bacon I had an interview with the Head of the Novitiate, a French woman, not just an Irish girl with pretensions. I was all ready to answer her if she asked about God. I’d rehearsed saying ‘Like Thomas, I have my doubts, but like the father of the possessed boy, I pray that God will help my unbelief.’ which seemed pretty good to me, if I do say so myself, and wide enough to cover a multitude of sins (literally) but she didn’t talk about God at all, she was more interested in my needlework and cookery O levels. I think maybe they’re a bit short of those skills in Highgate Convent, and the breakfast had been pretty rough right enough. I wanted to ask her if I could serve at the altar during Benediction but she was finished with the housekeeping skills and onto my periods. My periods! I only started them last year, the last one in the class, and beginning to panic that they’d never come and I’d be a hermaphrodite.  She said ‘Are you pure?’ I made a joke of it and said ‘Purely sinful, I am that.’ because her being so very French somehow made me want to be more Irish. I nearly broke into ‘Begorrah’ and ‘by Jaysus’ but I just stopped myself in time. Then she rang a bell and another older nun came in and Frenchie gave her the nod, a meaningful sort of nod, and she took me down to the garden and we sat there chatting for ages and it was lovely. She said ‘See how all the squirrels are playing around us?’ And they were. And she said ‘See the lovely gardens.’ And I did. Then she said ‘It’s beautiful weather today, is it not?’ And I said it was. Then she took my fat hand and she put it between her boney ones and she said ‘Sometimes it rains, and it’s cold, and miserable. And there are 48 women locked up in that house behind us, and they’re all trying hard not to kill each other.’ I wasn’t sure if she was joking. I thought of Mrs Murdstone and I looked up at the windows on the top floor but of course there weren’t any shadows, no one darting back out sight, no pale face pressed against the glass. She patted my hand and said ‘However bad life is, Lucy, this is not the place of refuge you’re looking for.’

They’ve said I can come to the novitiate for a few months to try it out, but they’ve made it clear that they don’t think I’m suited. And the thought of the unending rain and the monstrous regiment of murderous women has persuaded me. And the margarine. Two days was just right. Sixty years would be pushing it. So, what now? I still fancy a job at Bowyers sausage factory but when I phoned Pam she said I’d never afford a bedsit on a starter’s wage, and that, said Luce, is that.

I bought two 1000 piece jigsaws and sent them to Highgate to Claire but when I posted them off, I felt sad, and wondered if I’ve made the right decision. Not the jigsaws, the vocation. I had a letter from Martin saying don’t do it, Lucy love, do not do it, so Dad must have told him about the convent. He’d underscored the words and said he’d go AWOL and come home and drag me away if he had to. I wrote back, by return, to say false alarm.

Bugger. Now what? In a week it’ll be my birthday and no one wants a 17 year old. You can’t go to teacher training college or nursing school till you’re 18 and anyway, I haven’t got bloody Maths, have I? So much for considering my options. I wish Aunty Nelly was alive. I could sleep in the parlour where Mammy died, and get a job at the peanut butter factory, or the pub. But she isn’t. They’re all keeling over like skittles.

Bugger bugger bugger. There must be somewhere I can go. I’ll be chucked out straight after Christmas and what will I do? Who wants a convent schoolgirl? No one.

Exactly two weeks after my 17th birthday, 16th December 1965, instead of catching the train to Bath, I cross the bridge to the London platform and, in my convent uniform with my homework under my arm, I catch the train to Swindon. And in Swindon I walk to the recruiting office where I am welcomed with open arms and they throw flowers at my feet and pile my arms high with money and chocolates and promises. Crackerjack!

Not quite. But they’re friendly and they don’t turn me away.

When I come home I tell Dad that I’ve joined the Army and he says ‘It’ll make a man of you.’

Where do we turn?

Already in the UK 1228 people have died with confirmed corona virus and worldwide the figure is well over 30,000.

In the middle of this plague, where do we turn but to God?

When we first realised what Italy was going through, seeing the lorry loads of coffins, the doctors in apocalyptic suits,  I’m sure we all had some moments of fear. I woke one morning early and lay staring at the moonlit night above my head (a skylight – I wasn’t sleeping in a ditch) and the reality hit me. Individually we are helpless. Entirely vulnerable. For all our technology and human ingenuity, all we can do to protect those we love is keep away from them. What a paradox.

In the middle of this plague, where do we turn but to the Word?

I had a friend, now dead, who underlined just about everything in her Bible! To me all those marks became meaningless and if she asked me to read it to her I’d find myself enunciating everything too carefully with undue emphasis, like a child in an elocution class. Or an aspiring actor at an Eisteddfod. Far too much emphasis liberally splashed around. I don’t make a lot of marks and underlinings in my Bible but there are a couple of pages that stick out like a sore thumb. This is a note I made two years ago, on Matthew 6. The whole chapter has been turned into a mess of exclamations and colours and scrawl and there’s even this, a tiny note stuck to the margin. It’s the only sellotaped note I have in the whole Bible and it makes me pause…..

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We’re half way through a sermon series on The Lord’s Prayer just now, so I read this chapter every day, and of course each day I come across the underlinings, the notes, the questions that we were asked in that sermon two years ago:

6:19 “..store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” Where is my treasure right now?

6:22″..if your eyes are healthy your whole body will be full of light”  Am I looking with God’s vision right now?

6: 24 “No one can serve two masters.” Am I serving God or self right now?

Here’s my answer for today, day 5 of lockdown (or is it 6? or 4?);  my answer may change tomorrow (my middle name is Fickle), but today,  in the middle of the pandemic,  today my treasure is God’s love, today my treasure is prayer, and a sermon given online, an email from a friend arranging a Skype call, a silliness sent from America, today my treasure is God and fellowship. As for vision, today when I look at the people queuing in Tesco, and when I see our exhausted Prime Minister and the NHS front line workers, my eyes see the love that God has for them, and His pity. Today when I ask God what I should do to serve Him in this strange unknown time, I remember to wait for the answer, because no one else has answers for any of this, and I am thrown onto His mercy. Good job too. That’s where I belong. Sometimes it takes something drastic to put me there.

In the middle of this plague, where do we turn but to surrender?

I know there’s a real danger that this will sound like Pollyanna, or even worse Patience Strong (someone shoot me)  but I believe that this pandemic is a huge bold slash of a marker in our lives, pulling us up, demanding reflection. Maybe it’s a gift. Yep. I really said that. In this hard time we can re-evaluate our lives and attitudes, to rediscover what we may have forgotten… that we are helpless and dependant, vulnerable and fleeting.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27

I’m reading the second book of Samuel now, and I’m still a bit dazed by all the battles and routs and slayings. It’s easy to forget that for every man or woman or child killed in these pages, there was grief and loss. It’s not just a story, it’s a history and we owe it more than a dum-tee-dee sing-song read-along, these are real people who lived and loved, sinned and suffered. Did God love them any less than He loves me or you? No. No.

When we read, in 1 Samuel,  of a hundred Philistines being killed we should pause and think about that – real flesh ripped apart, real blood spilt, women weeping, fathers distraught. What effect did their own brutality have on David and the Israelites?  When we read in Samuel 2 that Saul and Jonathan are dead, we need to remember that David was a man of passion and pride and action. A man of ego.  And yet, lost in grief, exhausted by battle, bloodied by slaughter, damaged by his own terrible sin, he ‘comes to his senses’ and humbles himself before God, in Psalm 51. Did the savagery of those battles, the enmity of an old friend, and the death of a dear friend, influence David’s state of mind when he committed adultery and then murder? Maybe. But he doesn’t offer any excuses. He doesn’t rail against the life he lives and the hardships he endured. He has no sense of entitlement, doesn’t demand a comfortable life and peace. Even when he was pursued by Saul, hiding out, hunted and in terrible danger, with just a handful of supporters, he prayed

I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
 I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me:
    let us exalt his name together.   Psalm 34:1-3

Maybe we have become too entitled, too comfortable to remember who we are, and who God is. Maybe that’s what we should be thinking about right now. What shall we do with all this time and no work to do?  “Glorify the Lord with me: let us exalt his name together.

When the virus has passed on, and we all come together again, I think that there may be a new awareness of God and a new humility as we come before Him.

Wouldn’t it be terrible if we came out of all this without anything changing in our lives? If we spend the months whiling away the time, doing crosswords, walking the lanes, hollow headed and empty hearted, without any desire to change and grow? If we learnt nothing at all? In just a few weeks we already see some unexpected results of this pandemic; the hole in the ozone layer is closing up, the water at Venice is clearing, fish are swimming where they haven’t been for years, air purity is increasing. But what a waste it would be if arrogant mankind came through this plague without finding a deeper understanding of God and life, a deeper trust and a richer faith, sacrificial repentance and a newly invigorated life of prayer and praise.

That’s my prayer for today; that we will all come out of this knowing God better, clinging tighter, loving Him more deeply, so that even this pandemic will glorify Him.

Oh, OK, Mr Spock… don’t look at me like that. I know. Terrible syntax. But it’s tea-time. Tell Captain Kirk to wash his hands and come to the table.

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Cabin fever? Me?

 

 

 

 

 

Weirdly normal

Did you think that it would take us weeks and weeks to adapt to the new social distancing and isolation ways of life? Here, in this little house, it’s quickly become perfectly normal. We don’t forget to keep two metres away from others outside, and we remember to wash our hands frequently, we wipe the handles and the light switches with disinfectant. We don’t much notice what the time is, or which day of the week it is (but Sunday still looms large) we eat when we’re hungry, and when we step outside for our daily exercise we just wander and wander and think and sing and while away the hours. When we see friends, a wave means as much as a conversation,  and the simplest greeting across the roadway or the beach is as loving and real as any hug.

It all feels strangely comfortable.

Our separated family has a three or four or five way conversation on snapchat and the girls still tease their dad, their mum is still funny and quick, and I’m in there somewhere. In normal conversation I lag behind a step or two because of my deafness, making up words where I’ve missed them….. and on snapchat I lag a a step behind because it’s snapchat and my fingers aren’t as quick (or my brain) as theirs.  So no change there. We are the same people having the same interaction.

Even the silent roads have become the norm. I had to take the car for its MOT today in an Industrial Estate, an incongruous area of concrete and metal buildings on the slopes of the beautiful Preseli Mountains (they’re not mountains really) and while I waited I sat in the sun, just thanking God for the Ministry of Transport rules that meant I had an extra hour outside. I have no garden, so permitted time outdoors is very very precious. VERY precious. And so a chore became a delight.

‘Give thanks in all circumstances’. Thank you, dear Father, for the sun and the fields, for this industrial estate, for these smiling mechanics, and for the MOT test (oh, and please could I get a pass certificate?)

As I write this sentence it’s just gone 8pm and we’ve all been out onto the village High Street applauding and serenading the NHS. Slabs of yellow light, spilling out of doorways, warming the night air, laughter and singing and applause, even piercing whistles shrilling up into the listening sky. Lovely. Thank you NHS, thank you doctors, nurses and carers, ambulance drivers, shop workers, supply drivers, all of you, everywhere.

But it ain’t all beer and skittles, and people are ill and dying. I don’t want to be a Pollyanna here at my desk, in a halo of light and a circle of smugness. The world is in chaos, and people are suffering.

I think our daily, banal enemy now is lethargy and depression. It’s hard to be energetic and purposeful when you just have a couple of things to do, instead of the usual dozen. And it’s pointless being efficient when you have all day to do them in anyway.  And if it doesn’t really matter if you don’t do them until tomorrow, or the next day, why not put it off?  It’s even more of a slippery slope for those who live alone… who will know if you make you bed or not…. And a marmalade sandwich probably has as much good in it as a salad. Just different. And who cares what you wear if no one is going to see you?

I am blessed just now to have a grandchild living with me, but I have been alone for many many years and I know the dangers, the soul destroying bleakness, of living alone, and of being lonely.  Loneliness is a boulder that weighs you down, pins you to your bed, blocks out the light, crushes your heart. You forget that there is love, and that you can be loved, that you can love.

So, listen, you know what I think is important now? I think it’s important that each and every one of us reaches out to someone else at least once a day.

I may be wrong. I’m often wrong. But just now, in this instance, I don’t think I am.

As I sat in the sunshine on that  Industrial Estate, one of our church blokes came for a 2 metre chat. He read a verse to me, from Isaiah, and it was startlingly apt. The men (who like to keep these things to themselves, among themselves) had been sharing the verse online and he accidentally let it slip to me. Tsk. He’ll be in such trouble…..

Go, my people, enter your rooms
    and shut the doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
    until his wrath has passed by.

Isaiah 26:20

But with the internet and phones and fine weather for walking out, we can hide ourselves in plain sight, plain sight to those who need to see us, and to be seen by us.

 

 

 

 

 

Bare feet and damp hair. 7.20am

We all have a first moments routine, don’t we? A prayer we say as we wake, a thought we have, tumbling from the bed, glancing at the day outside, thanking God for the blue sky or the lashing rain, padding into the shower…. all those things shape themselves into a pattern. Your pattern will be different. When, a few minutes later, damp and fragrant (!) I walk into my kitchen, the coffee goes on and then I grab my medication and my coffee and go to sit at the table. Ahh. A moment for prayer, peace and for revelation. So as I open the Bible I pray, nothing long and fancy, this is just me putting myself where I need to be. In a teachable state of mind. I pray for the day ahead and thank God for the night that’s gone.  And for an obedient spirit (I don’t have much of that) and that teachable mind (I think I have loads of that). I do love that first still moment. Only it never is, because I’m so impatient. Even now in this first ‘still’ moment, there I go, fiddling with  the foils of tablets, sipping my coffee, and flipping open my Bible, trying to do three things at once. Oh, and pray. Four things then. Tumbling over themselves.

I can’t wait for the words, the story, what’s Samuel going to do today? What’s the point of all those warring Philistines in the Bible? What do I take from this? Shall I go back and read yesterdays’ chapters to see if there’s a deeper thought I’ve missed?

And then, peace.

I read a great book last year and its lessons have become part of my day . It’s called “Shaped By The Word” and my morning prayer is always that my day will be shaped by His word. The few moments at the table with coffee and a fresh mind and an open Bible are the moments when I devote the day, put myself where I belong.

This morning, there was a real blip in my routine… the coffee was gurgling,  the sun was streaming through my windows (how do they get so dirty?) and so I grabbed my medication and coffee and then….  my feet took me to my computer! To my computer! I stopped halfway across the room. What was I doing? I was going to check on the news, on the Corona Virus. Before anything else I was going to check on the news.

Wowser. That’s not right. That’s so not-right that it’s  very wrong.

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6

So I turned on my heel, went to my creaky chair at the table, and opened my Bible.

And guess what? Not knowing the latest news didn’t do me any harm at all. It didn’t change the course of the pandemic, it didn’t impoverish my understanding. And it absolutely DID  put me exactly where I belong, slap-bang in the love of Jesus.

I still haven’t checked the news. God came first, the blog came second, and now I can have a quick gander at the virus, knowing full well that God is sovereign.

Sending love to you all, whoever you are, wherever you are.

 

 

 

 

Dogs, friends, sunshine, joy

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We talk very glibly about gifts, the gift of painting, or baking, or music, the gift of a wonderful voice, or facility with words, the gift of teaching, the gift of  … oh, all of ’em. Fill in the dots yourselves. But for me, today, the just about greatest gift (God first, obviously) is friendship.

Friendship. Some people are good friends. They simply are. They don’t have to work at it, or weigh it up, or reason it out. They simply are. Friendship pours out of them. They have that gift. They may not have it for everyone, indeed they can’t have it for everyone,  but when they have it, they have it FULLY. Others may love you, they may desire the gift, and maybe they are approaching it slowly and steadily and in their own way, but they don’t have it as a natural part of their being. They measure it out, inch by inch. They do their best, and we can love them for that.

See this dog? He has the gift, freeflowing and unmeasured. See the bloke holding him? He has this gift too. Together, with another dog (matching in colour but not in size) they define friendship for me. They constitute a delicious, mouth watering, wonderful friendship. They make the day warmer.

We don’t meet often. We certainly don’t live in each other’s pockets. We are very very different. For starters, this one’s a corgi and I’m not. You may have noticed. But even the bloke holding said corgi is very very different from me. I’m an elderly woman (so Boris says) and he’s a (much) younger man. I’m uneducated and he’s too clever by half – he’s read the books when I’ve not even seen the films… he can quote long dead blokes from Greece (and he does). I’m straight and he’s gay.  I’m unposh and he’s very nearly posh.  He has a fluency of speech that I lack. He has style and I have none.

But we just get each other.  He has freedom and honesty, a generosity of spirit. Today I am thanking God for him, for the dogs (his and mine) for the wild conversations (today we touched on Scousers, sin, love, temper, forgiveness, Les Dawson, too-much-information, judgmentalism and old blokes who won’t reverse down narrow lanes) and for his rollicking laughter.

What will bring us all through this difficult time? First, again, God and His love, and our dependance and trust in Him. But between us, you and me, today, what will bring us through? What will console us when we just want to weep, when we feel disoriented and uncertain? Friendship. Connecting. Generosity of spirit. Walking under the sun (being two metres apart does’t limit conversation, see above), and maybe – when it comes – trudging through the rain. Being outrageous. Being kind. Dancing ridiculously. Putting up with each other’s flaws and foibles (you lot have many, I have none). Being present even when we’re apart.

There are terrible sights in the world, awful moments of shock, and they will keep coming, we know they will; Yesterday I saw a photograph of a huge gymnasium turned into a hospital, and photos of lorries carrying away the dead, I read of people dying alone, today I read about a priest phoning a parishioner and saying “I am standing by your husband’s coffin, so that we can pray for him together and you can say goodbye.” These things move us to tears. Of course they do. Of course they do. The other side of love is pain.

But let’s not forget that the other side of pain is love. Love for each other. A balm.

Today I am thanking God for love, for friendship, for a corgi and a labrador, for two small white dogs, for conversation and blue skies and laughter. I’m thanking Him for my family, for all my friends, for the love I feel for them.

I’m thanking God most of all, most of all, that He loves me.

I’m thanking Him for family and church.

And for Les Dawson.

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I wonder if….

… you’re feeling as disoriented and alone as I am? Not afraid, not anxious, just sort of disassociated from life, in a limbo with a million other unseen and distant souls.

I was feeling very unsettled, almost tearful, outwardly calm and capable and smiling but inside just a mass of uncertainty. No emails, no phone calls…. am I the only one feeling so desperate to hear from another church member? My church family? Is there anyone out there at all? But we had been promised an online sermon (our sermons always go online but this one is special, going out at the time we usually have our worship service) so I waited (im)patiently for 11am, the due time, sitting in the sunshine at my desk. At 10.30 it wasn’t online… at 10.45 it wasn’t online…. patience, Luce…  and then, 10.59… surely now, now…. My granddaughter cosied into the sofa, all was quiet… and then the dear familiar tones of our pastor filled the room and there was connection. Connection.

Try it. You may find that in the spoken word there is companionship and encouragement.

Try putting cardigan.church into your browser. It will take you to our church website, click on sermons, and pick any one that takes your fancy. Today’s is wonderful, current, very special, a sermon for our first Sunday away from the church building. It’s a sermon, it’s a conversation, it’s teaching, reaching out from a study in West Wales to the whole world.

*****

PS; added later. In case you’re wondering – I’m not just sitting here expecting people to email me and doing nothing on this end to contact them. I’ve emailed 20 people this morning alone.  With one,  one word reply.

‘It’s all about connection.’ ???

Apparently not!