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
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
Herein must surely lie the root cause of the decline in the
number of worshippers in C of E churches, but will they ever
High Gables, Pomphlett Road
Devon PL3 5ER