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Reform Magazine | August 18, 2017

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Commitment-Phobe: Another tongue

commitment-phobe-cropHaving decided to move on from atheism, Commitment-Phobe is touring churches of all denominations to see if she can find God

A word of warning to newcomers: Trust a Christian if you will, but never trust their website! That message should be on the noticeboard of all churches.

On my continuing quest, I decided to visit an Anglican church. As I feel quite familiar with the Church of England (through friends and a stint at a CofE primary) I decided to avoid the morning service and go to an evening service instead. The website said a service of healing started at 6pm. I didn’t know what this was, but who doesn’t want a bit of healing?

There was some rescheduling on the day and I guess no one rushed to their PC to make sure the website was up to date. I suppose the healing ministry is a small group who know each other and are not expecting new people to flood into the chapel on any given Sunday. And, if they wanted to support a new initiative by a local Portuguese minister – who wanted to lead a Portuguese service – why not start the slot earlier, to support the local brethren of Portugal and Brazil? A lovely sentiment, of which I was blissfully unaware, as I made my way to church.

When I was ushered into the chapel, the size of my very small sitting room, I did not know just how very late I was (30 minutes) or that 90% of the words spoken would be in Portuguese. As it dawned on me rapidly that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, I was ushered to the only seat available – next to the altar, and next to the robed attendant assisting at the service. This allowed the congregation of 10, in this intimate Mass, to have a full view of my bravura performance of The Person Who Should Be Here, a role I improvised on the spot. A highlight of this dramatic rendition was the wide-eyed-rabbit-in-headlights-eyebrows-raised-to-the-ceiling-look, which I delivered upon realising the service sheet was actually entirely in a language I cannot speak…

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This is an extract from the June 2014 edition of Reform.

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