Driving into Laird Street in Birkenhead on Sunday, we felt an all too depressing feeling of familiarity. In many ways, we could have been in Openshaw.
We had written a reflection based upon the demolitions which have now started behind my home - and as we drove round the block to get back to the overshot car park, there we found demolitions which had started behind the church.
We began the service with our prayer "Grumpy Old Church" - a reflection on the fact that we do get cross sometimes - even cross with God when we believe that we have been faithful, but don't seem to receive any reward.
And the good folk of Birkenhead seemed to respond with a very loud "Amen!"
We moved into an all-age activity, based upon the idea that we - and God - have many, sometimes contradictory faces. As we were doing it, one older member of the congregation approached me, "We don't do this sort of thing in church," she said, apparently disapprovingly, before adding with a grin, "You've moved us on twenty years in five minutes!"
We came away with the feeling that the minister had invited us because he is frustrated at how worship does not reflect the reality of the context in which they are worshipping - and that the church welcomed us because they desperately wanted the opportunity to worship in a way which reflects the - very tough - reality of the context in which they are worshipping!
Perhaps there is a god after all?
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