Monday, October 31, 2005


This evening our Cathedral was full of noise, light and excitement as the Diocesan Youth Officer and an army of young people and leaders from all over the county came together to reclaim Halloween, and stage what Wonderful Bishop described as "the best party in Gloucestershire". Being a bear of very little brain, I had managed to double book myself, so had to be content with delivering LoudBoy and helping to set up (running into all sorts of wonderful people as I did so) while casting covetous glances round at the amazingly creative range of stations that groups had producedon the themes of Inspirations, Saints and Jesus. I then had to flee, Cinderella like, before the evening really began...but I managed to shoot over to the parish, lead a meeting, and get back to the Cathedral before I turned into a pumpkin, so all was well.

Our group had produced one of the "Jesus Zone" stations, which included a graffitti board for the young to respond to the varied images of the Lord (taken from that wonderful resource "The Christ we Share", which never fails to challenge and disturb me) and I was struck by one comment "Jesus is the best at being Himself". My alternative committment (an annual social for the "Church neighbours" scheme, this year focusing on bereavement), left me considering the many layers of protective pretence that we so often adopt, so this hit me fair and square. Jesus is the best at being Himself because He is totally at home with his own need, and no room, for deception or aspiration. Perfectly Himself, in perfect integrity.

When I returned worship was under way...Fantastic atmosphere, and the visual impact of several hundred glow sticks being held aloft while we sang "Light of the world, you stepped down into darkness" was simply stunning. So much genuine enthusiasm and love about the really was a light blazing against the backdrop of some rather silly, and even sinister Halloween revellries which were much in evidence as I drove there and back. Thanks be to God!


Songbird said...

Halloween is pretty gentle here, but I can appreciate the scene you describe. Especially love the image of the glowsticks.
I also love the comment you relect on here. Best at being Himself, at being absolutely authentically who he is. Isn't our salvation in doing just that, too?

Lorna said...

Kathryn, it was so lovely to read this.

Songbird I think that one reason why Hallowe'en is so disliked here in europe by Christians, is that it isn't a part of our culture. For centuries nothing happened at this time of year.

And now - dare I say it - the worst of the hallowe'en culture has been adopted - the demons and goblins. A couple of years ago one local school here had fortune telling, a room of evil and all kind of nasty stuff.

And I hate it.

I love what Kathryn's bishop has successfully done here.It sounded - yeah lovely !!!

Carolyn said...

excellent post. thank you for taking the time to share this great event.

yeah for your Bishop!

this is one day of the year that i have great trouble with. it is celebrated with gusto in my area of the world. the images and symbols are sickening.

your post and your parish have given me a great idea for next year. thanks so much. we will reclaim this time.

SpookyRach said...

Glad you had a great Halloween! I did, too.

brother terry said...

Wow Kathryn!


serena said...

Kathyrn, this sounds superb. I would love more cathedrals and churches to try this kind of thing - I've become quite alarmed at how prominent Halloween has become even as I've grown up, so to see somebody really make a stand and offer a reclaimation of All Hallows' Eve is fantastic :)