|All Souls on Sunday night|
In the morning I was at Amersham Free Church, and after I preached I stood behind the table and led our communion liturgy; it’s always a very precious experience. I love nothing better than watching our Elders take the bread and wine to the congregation. We do it ‘our’ way at AFC – although we are a Free Church we are firmly within the liturgical tradition and our twice monthly Communion Services have a rhythm all their own.
Then came Sunday evening and a trip into central London with my eldest son as we joined the congregation of All Souls, Langham Place. The church was full, mostly of students and I felt slightly old. The music wasn’t really my cup of tea but the welcome and sincerity we found at the service was terrific. To be truthful Communion was slightly chaotic as eight hundred people made their way to various ‘serving stations’ – which meant we had to clamber down from the balcony! Yet none of this mattered. It was an immense joy to join the queue behind my son, cup my hands and receive bread, lift the cup and drink the wine alongside so many wonderful young people in central London.
I hardly know what makes Communion so special. It’s all about the presence of God coming alongside us and it’s certainly about remembering love at its costliest. I suspect it’s also about doing it ‘together’ – so much so that it sort of becomes a community proclamation of a truth that both binds us together and spurs us on in service. Whatever it is, I felt I experienced a double Eucharistic blessing on Sunday – firstly as a Pastor leading my own people and secondly as an anonymous worshipper in a crowd of hundreds at the top of Regent Street. These moments are precious and affirming – and for me, at least, moments when faith seems to come alive, and for that I give God grateful thanks.
Best wishes Ian
ps Blog holiday next week!