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Notes from the congregation

St. Mary's Newchurch

“Would you write a column for the Parish newsletter?” “What me?” I asked. Feeling relatively new to ‘churchgoing’ I wasn’t sure I’d have anything notable to share. However the response was, “just write about why you go to church.” So here goes…

I’ve had fits and starts of attending church over the years. At one point to support the Beaver Scout group I used to lead, and on other occasions because it’s what’s expected when you have or seek to have your child attend a local church school. Yes – I’m one of those parents! It’s a contentious subject I know…

But what I’d like to share is that for some reason, the most recent stint has stuck. I no longer need to go to church to get the ‘tick’. Yet I find myself still going (most) Sundays. Because I want to.

I’ve made new friends, started volunteering for the PCC and genuinely feel part of the St Mary’s community – despite not living directly in the village.

I did get married at St Mary’s, so feel a special connection with the beautiful church. Plus, attending church strangely helps me feel closer to my late parents and grandparents, as church played a big part in their lives.

But yet, some friends have even asked me outright, why are you (still) going to church? And even more may have thought this. The honest answer is, even I’m not entirely sure.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had a tricky time over recent years (who hasn’t, let’s be honest) and am searching for something to believe in? Or maybe it’s because I was made to feel really welcome from the very first time I decided to try out the 9:30 service at Newchurch – all masked up in the post-covid era.

Either way, I enjoy attending Church. I get something from it and hope to give just as much back too. I hope for now that’s enough for my new friends who might read this column. Spiritualism is a journey.

I’ve no doubt that there are many others like me – who start attending church for reasons they’re unlikely to admit. I was welcomed with open arms and intend to follow this lead with others. Let’s see it as an opportunity, to welcome new people to our church, our community, our family of God.

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