Still in Haddenham, a very pretty village in Buckinghamshire. For the first time ever I’ve gone to a church where they’re ringing the bells to summon people like me to church. This is St Mary the Virgin in Haddenham. It’s 10.30am. It’s time for the morning service.
I’ve often thought about becoming a mystery worshipper for Ship of Fools, but have never actually got round to doing it. I know you shouldn’t rate churches, but I enjoyed this service. It had a good talk on prayer, and it was nice to go forward and kneel to take communion. But – and it’s a big but – the opening children’s action song was excruciatingly cringeworthy, and the five minute notice from the bearded PCC chap about how people weren’t giving enough money to keep the church going was no doubt necessary, but off-putting.
The reality is that, whatever the downside of the ‘congregational’ style (and there are many), at least notices like that are only heard by relevant people. If we’d been completely uneducated in church culture what would our perceptions of this really quite good church have been?
On an interesting note, the duck-pond outside the church, which is home to some very funky white ducks, is the same duck-pond that Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo fell into in The Great Muppet Caper. Strange, but true.