Friday, July 9, 2010

The church that was

I didn't grow up in a church, but when I was nearly sixteen I started going with my friend. It was within walking distance of home and I came to love the place, even though the building was nothing special. It had no stained glass windows and really its only concession to ornamentation was two wrought iron sculptures on the two feature walls, one depicting a city surrounded by the holy spirit and the other a meshing of the alpha and omega symbols.

But somehow none of that mattered really, because the people are the place and they became part of my extended family. Then when my Gramp died and my Gran moved house to live in the street behind the church, she became part of the congregation too.

I was married in that church, and my Gran's funeral was there. I became part of the music ministry almost as soon as I joined the youth group, and I continued to play until we finally left to change churches more than ten years later.

Now what was the vicarage is six or eight two-story units crammed together, and what was the church is a day care centre. And today for the first time I had occasion to visit that day care centre and the feelings that I had just walking around in there took me by surprise.

I don't know if it's because I miss that time of my life, or because I miss my Gran, or just the feel of the place that was such a big part of my growing up. But I'm sitting here crying without really knowing why.

I guess that's just part of life though, change. My Gran would be happy to know that the children who attend that day care centre all seem happy. It's a nice place with lots of bright colours, children's art on the walls and generally a nice feel.

Still, things won't ever be like they were.

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