Yes I went into a church. I cannot decide if I am not agnostic or atheist, however I can clarify that going to a church is total anathema to me, it goes against my beliefs. I agreed to go for a family member who is seriously ill, as I thought it was the right thing to do.
Said family member is seeking and receiving comfort through the church. And I am pleased about this. I am not someone who thinks religion is the source of all evil and war, as some atheists will tell you. I am more of a pragmatist and understand that religion and faith can be a source of healing, warmth, comfort, belief – whatever. It does help some people. It probably helps many people.
You can have your church, as long as I can have my nightclub.
I hoped that we would just be there for 20 minutes, watch the thing we were there for and then go to the pub. I feared we would be there for the whole service, possibly an hour. I expected it to be intensely boring and possibly patronising.
It beat all expectations.
2.5 hours we were in there. Most of which was a service, followed by a renewal of wedding vows (this bit was ok, I don’t mind weddings). It was easily the most boring thing I have done all year. Christ, it was dull. Recently I’ve been getting bored at work. This week I am just thankful for small mercies.
It was annoying when you had to get up and down. Then people sang dull hymns. Not to mention the praying. I, of course, joined in with none of it. Except the standing up and sitting down bit, as the benches were uncomfortable so it often suited to rest my bum from the hard wooden bench. Why do they not provide leather sofas?
It even went all happy clappy at the end.
But I found a way to amuse myself. Thank God for mobile phones and the internet.
I spent most of the time on Facebook, Twitter and reading the news. I read a lot of news. And a lot of commentary of the news. And opinion of the news. And then tweets about the opinions of the news.
My mother wasn’t impressed. I really should have brought my Surface. At least I resisted putting my earphones in.
Then we went to the pub. See, in Hull, on a bank holiday Sunday, most pubs are standing room only by 4pm, with loud music blaring out. We found a quieter pub with a pair of ladies’ shoes discarded outside. My abiding memory is of a very overweight woman grabbing a man’s backside. At 630pm.
Thankfully there was a family after-party at a house with the world’s longest garden, or Hull’s longest garden anyway. Please don’t ever tell me public sector workers are hard done by!
I actually got talking to the vicar, and he was nice nice with a good sense of humour. He told us all to be careful as he had excellent powers of converstion (meant as a joke), my dad told him that he’d have no chance with me. The vicar insisted that he could, to which I told him I was a muslim.
Cue dropped jaw and a short silence.
Booze and food was supplied at the party, and I went to look at the food. There was a large tray of mushy peas, and a very large bowl of gravy.
All for me. The gravy, that is.
Later on, pies turned up, a lot of pies turned up and then more pies turned up and there was still some gravy left so I had pie and gravy. One cannot argue with that. Was it worth my earlier sacrifice? I had two pies just in case. Ahhhh. Hull.