Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Vicar's Sofa - Faith for the Faint-hearted

I seem to have found myself in a rather difficult business. What I'm selling, a lot of people just ain't buyin' and I spend an awful lot of time wondering why that is so. Perhaps it is just out of fashion. There are a million and one things to do on a Sunday not to mention the sweet temptation of a lie in with the Sunday papers so why on earth would people go to church?

Perhaps it is the church itself, old fashioned, not for the young, stuck in the past as if we are all still in the 1950s frolicking about the green and pleasant land humming 'Jerusalem' to ourselves. Perhaps God really is dead and we have all moved on to more rational views of the world. That faith is just pie in the sky when you die and we are done with that, thanks very much.

But then moments happen to me like this week as I walked home from work. Someone stopped me, said he had never been into the church but he needed a prayer. More than that, he needed God. Some guidance...or something. And this happens all the time these searching people who do a double take when they see me in a collar or cross the road to ask me a question.

And then I have my own story, the reason that I am wearing a collar in the first place to be sopped in the street. That overwhelming experience that took me from agreeing with all of the above to being not just in church but at the front leading the flippin' thing.

I routinely find myself wondering what on earth I am doing. I haven't lost my desire for a lie in. I haven't become immune to some of the truly naff bits of church. But I have found something, under all that, that has given me life. There isn't really any other way to put it than that. It is like my spiritual heart has started beating, loud and true, right in the centre of me and it is giving life to every part of who I am.

And sometimes I wonder if the naffness and the difficulty and the plain obscurity of a lot of what the church does is part of the problem. The church has thousands of years of tradition and history and my goodness that is truly a wellspring of life if you dig down into it. It is riches beyond measure.

But it means that this is a great hulking ship that takes a long time to turn. Our society is moving on at the rate of knots and the church, quite frankly, is not keeping up. What scares me, deep down, is that people might be missing out on this joyful and life giving spiritual life that I know Christianity has to offer not because they don't want it but simple because the church is failing to explain itself in words that people can understand.

So that's why I want to write a new series for this blog. To do a bit of decoding, a spot of translation, to offer you something of what have been transformatory for me in my own words. And then, well, you can take or leave it. It is yours to reject or cherish. But if you are one of those people wondering about life, the universe and everything, well, I hope you will find something for the way.


  1. gosh. Someone has definitely directed me to your blog today when I needed it.

    I've been struggling lately with many things, not least my belief. I wish I had a vicar like you close by to go and talk to, to help through the difficult times.

    Even though I'm not going into details, I would so appreciate it if you could prayer for me, just a little courage and strength would be nice.

    Funny isn't it. I've been questioning so many things lately, even though deep down I don't blame God for my problems, and then by sheer chance, I've found your blog today. Or been directed to it.

    Thanks for reading. Sorry for rambling.

    1. Hi Sadie,

      Thank you so much for your comment! So glad this was helpful in some way and hopefully the rest of the series will be too, let me know! Will certainly pray for you this week.

      Nicola x

    2. thank you so much. I genuinely appreciate it. Tomorrow is going to be a tough day, I need to be strong.
      I shall return. Your blog was so helpful to me, at just the right time.
      thank you :O) x