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I had to join RCs to find meaningful worship

by
31 January 2014

iStock

From Mr Gregory Thomas

Sir, - Our family considered that we were C of E, and I went to a C of E primary school, the annual carol and Harvest "services", and a once-a-month "family service" in the church; but, at the age of 12, I wanted to "put away all childish things", and was permitted to "escape" from all that.

At the age of 19, I went to university, and a friend invited me to something called "Fresh Expressions of the Church", which took place in a room above a café in the city. It was OK, but little more than Bible stories and worship songs, with tunes that can hardly be described as music.

Then I met my girlfriend, who was a Roman Catholic, and she invited me to come with her to their Sunday mass. There I became acutely aware of the living reality of God, and immediately gave myself to Christ and was received into the Church. It was a life-changing experience, and far removed from those dreary "services" and the bland and meaningless concept of "going to church".

Only later, when I returned to my parents' home in Somerset, did I realise that it was there in my C of E parish church, except on the first Sunday of the month, but I had never been able to find it, as it had been considered that the eucharist was not the best place for children to be.

That "Fresh Expression" was not a church, as it was connected to neither the eucharist nor the sacraments generally, nor the bishop. It had a C of E base, but was in reality a new Protestant denomination.

Herein must surely lie the root cause of the decline in the number of worshippers in C of E churches, but will they ever learn?

GREGORY THOMAS
High Gables, Pomphlett Road
Plymouth
Devon PL3 5ER

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