Sunday, 22 July 2007

Lord Graciously Hear Us

It’s been a while I know, but the urge sometimes takes me.

I’m not a religious man, and as most of you know I believe religion to be a major cause of war, division and social exclusion. Those of you familiar with the Now Show will have heard this week one of the best put rants against religion ever – funny, but correct, and so observant in a completely ‘it’s there staring you in the face’ sort of way. For those of you who didn’t hear it I strongly recommend you go and listen again ™.

But even though I don’t like religion, I do love old buildings, history, peace, tranquillity and choral music. So seeing that I am 'live from Norwich, it’s the quiz of the week', sorry, channelling Nicholas Parsons there, so as I am in Norfolk I took myself for a day out in Norwich the culmination of which was evensong at the Cathedral.

It was lovely. The Cathedral choir are on some jolly somewhere so the visiting choir was the Thames Gateway singers or something similarly romantic sounding, but they put on a great show. I was even looking forward to singing the hymns, as I do like a good belt them out from time to time. Unfortunately they weren’t ones I knew, so I just did an ‘I’m being contemplative in lieu of singing your honour’ stylee of thing. (Note to self get copy of Hymns Ancient & Modern and learn them). But it was beautiful. Listening to choral music is the next best thing to going on retreat. It certainly hits the spot most things in life fail to reach.

So if I lived near a cathedral, would I go to evensong every week? Probably. ‘So where does that fit with your dirty lesbian we hate religion views?’ Well spiritual upliftment and religion are two very different things. And after all, the readings today were all form Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and his Technicolor Dream coat and the Archdeacon’s sermon featured a Pete and Dud sketch.

I don’t think it’s all a ridiculous contradiction. When I was going out with Luis, and accompanied him to more church services than is strictly necessary for a heathen, my fave bits were the singing and the chatting to the old dears afterwards over a cup of tea. I am sure these pleasures are also the reason many people attend church. Maybe you don’t have to believe in god or support religion to enjoy going to church!

So yes I’m down in the eastern country seat of the Godwinsons. Got fantastically soaked last night in a wonderful storm which came from nowhere whilst I was walking on the beach – absolutely beautiful. I like to commune with the sea. I don’t know whether that is also a form of spirituality or whether it’s the ozone, but I love to stare at the sea and watch it moving in and out, and hear it and just be at its edge, searching the horizon for distant adventures. Fantastico.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing - I should cocoa. I nearly didn’t get here at all, let’s just say I lost my switch card, new Barclaycard (replaced after recent 'Mr Godwin have you just booked a waterskiing holiday?' fraudulent use) didn’t work and I filled up with petrol knowing neither of these things!!!!!!!! It all worked out in the end, thanks to a girl at Sainsbury’s who lives on my road. But that dear reader is for another time.

In other news – bought loads of great white shirts in the sales, and have decided that they will be my uniform for the summer. Also am now hooked on alcohol free Cobra beer which is a pretty good move for an alcoholic (functioning).

All the best from the east

Your ex altar server friend WHGIII


Turning Into My Dad said...

I still feel the Church may eventually gets her clutches on you.....

Luis said...

I agree with 'turning into you dad', Will. Read 'The Hound of Heaven' by Francis Thompson:

or even some Jung. Already you know that should not be confused with religion, but remember God does still reveal her/himself through religion most particularly through the older traditions - like evensong!

On another note: am curious about those white shirts - not too blousy, I hope.

Will said...

No it's a crisp tailored look I'm going for. Am off to read the hound of heaven.

The Lord said...

Foxes have places to run.....