First Church

Of all the churches I’ve been involved with, you’d expect my first one, where I spent most of my childhood until I went to university, to be one of the most influential. Having thought about it… it seems not!

It’s not that I dislike the church and its congregation or feel like I had a bad time there. I don’t really know why but I never quite felt like I fitted in. I started going to church there aged 7, when we moved to Bristol and Mum decided she wanted to go back to church. I went through Sunday School there and made friends with some of the other young people. Most of my friends gradually disappeared and I didn’t have an awful lot in common with the ones who were left by the time I was a teenager. I went through confirmation classes there but spent a fair amount of the time feeling that how I understood and related to God totally different to the people I was going through them with.

I think I could probably count on one hand the number of times when someone there said something I found interesting, inspiring or even relevant. The preaching (once I stopped going to the ‘young people’s group’ of the Sunday school) was for the most part fairly uninspiring, not usually anything I disagreed with, just not that interesting. Thanks to the Methodist system, there were a few interesting local preachers who’d lead worship once every few months but they felt like the exception rather than the norm.

Whenever I go back there now, I still feel like I felt about it as a child. That’s probably less to do with the church and more to do with me. There’s something about a group of people who’ve known you since you were a child that always makes you feel like a child. And that probably stops me being able to make a proper judgement on what it’s like now…

One thought on “First Church

  1. I forgot to tell you – we went there on Christmas Day. My Mum, with completely fresh eyes to the church, wasn’t particularly impressed. Family of four turn up on Christmas day, for the first time, you’d think that *someone* would welcome us, or at least say hello. SD walked straight past us with a big box of chocolates, and completely ignored us!

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