Some of you may recognise this church but two in particular will. This is St Leonard’s in Clent where Joss & Abi are getting married 1 Sept. A good idea I thought, to play out my next act of kindness. So up I got on Sunday morning and attended the Sunday service. I did ask my dear wife if she wanted to accompany me but she kindly reminded me this was my kindness act not hers!
It’s a really nice small, quaint church and it soon became clear I was obviously going to stick out like a sore thumb. I was given a warm greeting by Jan (think that was her name) and made my way to an empty row of which there were many at that time. A number of people came to introduce themselves and I was asked if I would like to stay for coffee afterwards. Now the old me would have dashed out the door as soon as the service was over and justifying to myself that not liking coffee would be a suitable excuse, however, I seem to be looking on this as an opportunity to get to know others…..yes this is Tony writing this!
After the service the very charismatic/engaging female vicar asked us all to form one big circle whilst holding hands, again this is not me, again I had no problem. Without boring you with the details of why we were doing this, I would say it really did give a sense of one community.
At coffee time I think I was speaking to the churchwarden who was a lovely woman and came across as well educated. During the conversation I mentioned the upcoming wedding and she immediately asked where I was from, omg I thought, although not too far we are not from the immediate area, however, not being 100% about the protocol I thought maybe I’ve managed to cancel the wedding because of my little act of kindness…..errrr…… errrr….. I’m from errrr Hayley Green, sensing I must have come across as not knowing where I live. Thinking I said something wrong I then said but my son has recently moved out. Oh where is he living now she said……errrr…….errrr…….errrr. This is now going from bad to worse as Stourbridge is even further from the church. I am now feeling like a little naughty schoolboy in front of the head mistress. ‘Stourbridge’ I said with my no doubt red face. Where does his fiancée live? I am now thinking ‘taxi for one’. Luckily the guy who was also in the conversation and who also made me feel very welcome indeed (name forgot again but get used to it as it will be a common theme) bailed me out and said he is from Halesowen and his son got married there 10 years ago and he has been helping out ever since. I’ve just had a thought; maybe that is what I have to do?
So, although I wasn’t expecting it quite so soon, that was defiantly my first act of discomfort if not fear!!
BTW Joss & Abi a nice lady called Rosemarie knew who you were as she coincidently had just put your names in the book that morning.
I almost forgot, the act. The idea was to place a gift in a bible as a little surprise for someone. Not a life changing amount as it’s more a gesture of giving, something to hopefully make them smile. If it does help I did give a reasonable amount to the actual church collection.
As a side note, if I were ever to join a church St Leonard’s would be my first choice. A great church with wonderful warm people!