This morning, Ken Ashton – the new curate who started at St.Mary’s a year ago – was ordained along with 5 others as priests by the Right Reverend David Hawkins, Bishop of Barking and Chelmsford, at St.Mary’s. I haven’t been attending services recently, just the Bible study group round at the Bakers’ (a little quiet discussion of theology and exegesis with a small group being about as much as I felt up to handling really), but I felt I ought to make the effort to put in an appearance, despite misgivings.
I didn’t get even halfway through the service before I felt very strongly that I’d made a mistake and I didn’t belong there. I would have walked out, except I didn’t want to disrupt the service. Freda got a bit restless, so I took her to the soft play area in the South Porch. She at least was enjoying herself. I, on the other hand, spent the whole time sitting there watching her and thinking to myself, “This is a big mistake; I don’t belong here. I shouldn’t have come.”
I joined in with the singing, but somewhat lost my voice for the prayer responses, and when the time came for Communion I just shook my head at the usher and stayed in my seat. At the end, I made my escape with Freda at the first chance – and it really did feel like escaping.
I don’t think I was ready to go back, particularly to such a crowded event. Touching the Divine whilst trammelled in by stone walls is, at present, near-impossible for me. I think I need to seek and find Divinity elsewhere.