Today i went to the Parish Church of All Saints, Trull, where Shawn and family have been attending for about 2 years now. It's a Church of England Anglican church, what to me is a properly English looking church. ;-) You know, brick, stone, graves, castle-y bits at the top. As we arrived, an overwhelming onslaught of church bells was ringing. i looked at Jon and said, "i wonder if this is what cacophony means," and made a mental note to look the word up. i just did, and it means "a mix of discordant sounds; dissonance," which i'm not sure quite fits. But the thesaurus said "clamor" and "din." That fit--i mean, it wasn't exactly discordant ("disharmonious") but it sure was a DIN ("a loud commotion.") Bells and bells upon bells, all ringing at once!
This drawing on a wall in the church was of the sanctuary--maybe the architect's drawing? Anyway, it gives an idea of the stone arches, and carved (but incredibly uncomfortable!) pews. Straight backed, flat and shallow seats, one is left to perch on the edge like a bird on a windowsill. But, in all fairness, the building has beginnings in the 13th century, with additions over time. To see more photos and information about their church, follow this link. It's pretty interesting.
i smiled seeing how the teen girls at the front playing the flute and violin were so much the same as i would see at home: a little giggly nervous, nudging each other, and secretly proud to be performing up front.
Their vicar, Adrian Youings, is an approachable, kind humored man, his wife the same, very welcoming. Shawn and Jon have enjoyed their friendship along with that of some others in the church. After a long couple of years without this type of church family they've got a place to belong, and oh how they've enjoyed it! So far the friends i've met have been what i'd call "real"--no illusions of grandeur, no pomposity, just people living out Christ's message of loving others, even on a hard day.
i think that's what i look for in people, and in a church: that approachable-ness that says i don't have to be anything special, just me, to be accepted and loved. Not brilliant, or talented, or beautiful, or have really great hair that doesn't turn into a big puff in the drizzle. It was a comfortable place to be, emotionally as well as physically. They have real weather in England, as opposed to the constant mildness of the SF Bay Area. The parishioners dressed comfortably and practically. For heaven's sake, when the rain is coming in sideways on a rainy Sunday in Trull, rubber boots (i mean "wellies") just make good sense.