Welcome to the Pastor's Pen, where I hope to occasionally share reflections or thoughts or ramblings that I feel might be of interest to parishioners.
There is no particular order to these contributions. I share them simply as they occur to me in the hope that they provoke thought and reflection, just as they have for me. I offer them for what they are: one pilgrim sharing with other pilgrims where he has found nourishment along the way.
A Cathedral Welcome.
Over Christmas a parishioner very kindly sent us a welcome message that is often used in the Church of England’s Coventry Cathedral. Whilst the Cathedral acknowledges that the welcome isn’t original to them, they regularly print it on their service booklets and it has become synonymous with the Cathedral. We may not be a Cathedral. Nevertheless we extend this welcome to all who wish to be part of our community.
We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, straight, gay, questioning, well-heeled or down at heel. We especially welcome wailing babies and excited toddlers.
We welcome you whether you can sing like Pavarotti or just growl quietly to yourself. You’re welcome here if you’re ‘just browsing,’ just woken up or just got out of prison. We don’t care if you’re more Christian than the Archbishop of Canterbury, or haven’t been to church since Christmas ten years ago.
We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome keep-fit mums, football dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems, are down in the dumps or don’t like ‘organised religion.’ (We’re not that keen on it either!)
We offer a welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or are here because granny is visiting and wanted to come to the Cathedral.
We welcome those who are inked, pierced, both or neither. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throat as kids or got lost on the ring road and wound up here by mistake. We welcome pilgrims, tourists, seekers, doubters… and most of all, we welcome you!