I’d not made it to the morning service this Sunday; the previous day had been the first anniversary of my ex-husband’s death. Whilst the day had not been quite as bad as I’d feared, it was draining nontheless, so I decided to go to the evening service on Sunday instead, which was Holy Communion.
The evening services are preceded at 6:30pm with free tea or coffee and biscuits, with the service proper starting at 7pm. It was very quiet and had a different feel to the morning services I’ve attended with my infant daughter, but quite a few people had noticed we weren’t at the morning service and came over beforehand to say how pleased they were that we’d managed to make the evening service (which given that we’ve only been going a couple of weeks is quite touching).
I’ve never been baptised, so I knew I wasn’t entitled to take communion; I think I must have been the only person who didn’t go forward. I did feel a little out-of-place just sitting there, but I wasn’t feeling particularly sad or anything – I was actually thinking about what the priest had been saying just before communion, about the prayer ministry being held after communion and thinking that perhaps something like that might be helpful to me; I’ve been doing my best to be Christian since renouncing Wicca a month ago, but as happened two years ago when I tried to convert, the more I pull away from the occult the more I find elements of the occult becoming an increasing influence in my life – everywhere I look there seem to be temptations to slip back into witchcraft, though I’ve been resisting them steadily. As I watched the others taking communion, I was thinking that before I ask about baptism, maybe I should speak to the couple who were running the prayer ministry and ask them to pray with me to help me renounce Wicca and the occult fully.
And at that moment I suddenly felt this intense sorrow wash over me from out of nowhere, and I realised I was actually on the verge of tears – which is incredibly unlike me. It persisted right through the last prayers and hymn, and got worse as I left the church; it only eased after I passed through the churchyard gate.
This Wednesday is the start of the “Just Looking” discussion group, hosted by David and Jackie Baker, aimed at those who are newcomers to the church and/or Christianity, designed to be a relaxed, informal way to explore things. One of the topics that will be discussed is the subject of possible courses the church is looking at running, one of which is the Alpha course.