Sunday, 15 July 2018
Messy Communion v2.0
You may not realise it at first glance at this photograph, but the children at Messy Church yesterday were chalice-making. This was because we decided to have a go at doing Messy Communion, a form of liturgical abuse we first trialled nearly four years ago. At that time I was painfully aware how many rules we were breaking but having mentioned it in passing to our current bishop a few months ago and receiving barely a blink in response, let alone the coughing and choking and going red in the face I might have expected, I was emboldened to go for it this time and wear my proper kit, and do it all in the proper way, albeit a truncated one. There was only one child there who was present at the 2014 celebration, but once again the youngsters astonished the grown-ups with their attention, their reverence and their sense of focus. They may not really have known what was going on, but which of us truly does? I spoke afterwards to Jackie, who lives just round the corner but sings in the choir at All Saints' Margaret Street which is a proper Anglo-Catholic church. 'It was interesting to see all the motions the priest does, most of the time you don't really pay attention to that', she said, 'and George [her son] said the wafer was "yummy" '. I thought that was not the point, nor, probably, true, but at least he was happy.