Tuesday night was a classic example of what happens when you listen to fears more than to friends…Ever since agreeing to speak to holy joe’s, several months ago, I’d been building it up my mind, till it towered huge and black my diary…a gathering of dozens of cool people steeped in cynicism over all things churchy, who would with incisive wit and withering scorn demolish whatever I cared to put before them.
Never mind the fact that I knew at least 3 members of the group to be personally charming, kind hearted and not bent on the destruction of humanity...the rest of them would, I was certain, be deeply, deeply scary.
Except of course that they weren’t.
Cool, yes. Scary, no.
I maybe should have known when we went down the stairs to the wonderful space where they currently meet. The chapel is simply crying to be used for alt worship, and indeed the whole format was infinitely less alarming than the holy joes at Greenbelt scenario which had fuelled my fears…but by the time I realised this, it was rather too late for me to jettison my nervously prepared material and just talk.
So, poor loves, they experienced the curate taking a headlong dash through material that was far more formal than it needed to be – and emerging on the other side, white and shaking, but wondering what all the fuss had been about, and wishing I could do it again properly.
However, one huge good came out of this part of the evening in that Michael, marooned in London thanks to those infamous floods, nobly trekked across town to be there, - thus enabling me to introduce him to Steve, as I’d hoped to for a good while now.
I think their conversation, and those which happened generally around the table afterwards probably justified the damp squib (or should that be squid- habitually damp, after all?) that was my talk…And I’m very glad to have discovered that, as so often, I’d managed to make anightmare mountain out of a benevolent…(not molehill, no steve, definitely not a molehill) but a much more benign landscape than I’d imagined.
Sorry M. Sorry C. I really should have believed you!