Going to Church

Rat Catcher, Going Postal
St Peter’s Church, Hook Norton
© Going Postal 2018

As a nipper, I was brought up in what was a fairly typical, English family. Mum, Dad, siblings and normal sorts of stuff. We were what I call typical Church of England. We all went to Sunday school but never really progressed any further. We went to church for weddings and funerals and of course, were all baptised. I was made to go that bit further by going to Boys’ Brigade who went to church every Sunday. The Church was a fire and brimstone type and one night time activity where we sat in an empty church with very little lighting remains with me today – the shadows that crosses and statues of Jesus’ crucifiction threw terrified every single one of us.

As time progressed, like many others, Church and religion played a diminishing part in my life. I discovered science and this made life easier for me with respect to religion: I can’t prove it therefore it may well not exist. Black and white makes life easier and although sometimes harsh, it works. As I got older, this attitude became more entrenched but I don’t remember ever criticising anybody for having a belief. I could never however, call myself an atheist and feel comfortable as, being scientific, I couldn’t prove either way so I declared myself agnostic. This did cause me some belly laughs when I did jury service as, rather than swearing on a bible, I had to ‘really, really, honestly and most definitely promise to do the right thing’.. or similar. One thing that never stopped was the merest hint of jealousy. Jealousy of those that do believe in something but please don’t ask me to explain it.

Fast forward to more recent times. Attack after attack on what I consider to be my way of life by an alien culture based on what I consider to be an evil doctrine has taken its toll not only on what we do but also the way that we think and I’ve not escaped this. I’m not sure which murderous event triggered it but I felt almost compelled to go to church that Sunday. It was as though I had to make a choice – sit idly by or go somewhere where it felt as though I could at least confront what was going on. Eventually, I didn’t go. I didn’t go for a number of reasons including being able to overcome what had been a non-religious trait that had been laid down 40 or more years ago. I also considered what message the lily livered Socialist in the pulpit would be giving and, I decided that if I wanted that sort of nonsense, I’d switch on the BBC.

This thought triggered something however. Something that I couldn’t put my finger on until now which is this: I’m becoming more and more convinced that there is something in faith. Not necessarily religion but a faith of something bigger. This runs counter to all my learned behaviour and everything scientific which feels very odd and I’m waiting for the men in white coats to appear at my door but nevertheless, countering this, I’m feeling almost a tad of belonging simply for getting to this point. Belonging to what, I have absolutely no idea.

Do I believe in God? Well I’m not sure. I don’t like what I consider organised religion has become – in almost all cases I see it as a business and a political movement. That is not something that I could or would want to be a part of. If I wanted that, I’d join a political party. But I’m not unconvinced that there is something bigger and more powerful out there (even more powerful that the Donald). Is there one God or many and what exactly is a God? I have no idea so I suppose in that case, I have a faith.Perhaps it is just my age.

Thank you for reading.

© Rat Catcher 2018