Next Saturday, 28th June, there is the very enjoyable Summer Garden Party at St John's from 2pm to 4:30pm. All the usual attractions will be laid on and maybe one or two new ones.

This occasion is a much needed fund raising event. I hope that all of you willl contribute by way of donating prizes or running a stall or even attending the event.

The church is central to the culture of Brooklands and has a continuous history in Brooklands since the middle of the nineteenth century. Everbody who hails from Brooklands owes it an awful lot.

I have found it to serve my tastes very well. But the congregation is an enigma. It is really two congregations: one quite large and one quite small. There are two services on a Sunday morn. At 10:30 there is a service with all the trimmings but no Eucharist; at Noon there is a short service of the Eucharist but no trimmings.

The bulk of the worshippers attend the service with the trimmings and the tiny number attends the Noon day one. Taken at face value, the bulk of the worshippers opt for the one with the trimmings. This has perplexed me because, of the two, Christ really wanted us to follow Him in celebrating the Eucharist.

If I were to use the analogy of the theatre, I would say that the Eucharist is the Grande Finale, the triumphant conclusion to the performance, but the director misses his chance to bring down the curtain. Instead he steps forward and makes some rather crass annoucements: this theatre will be used for bingo on Wednesday; bring a friend".

Then he tells the the entire cast to go through yet another sing-song while they parade up and down the aisle. By imperceptible degrees the satisfaction just fizzles out. The euphoria has been swept away by the chill wind of banality. Or, put another way, defeat has been snatched from the jaws of victory.

I find it very perplexing and it doesn't cut much ice if someone advises you to ignore the bulk of the worshippers and do your own thing. At this rate, how can we be set apart from Druids or Bhuddists when we are singing from different hymn sheets.

Click here to return to the front page.