Friday Walk of Witness

Scan 132450001-1 - Version 2You might think I am a week early, what with Palm Sunday not even happening yet….and certainly it isn’t Good Friday today. But I am that particularly blessed Rector, with one church, one village (town), one closed graveyard (except for additions to existing graves) and a cemetery owned and beautifully maintained by the Parish Council. And so this gorgeous sunny afternoon I interred some ashes – of a man whose life was long, full of love and zest.

The cemetery is a five minute walk at a stately pace from the Rectory – down the lane, over the road, past the pub, up the slope and there you are. There isn’t anywhere to robe, and so it was I found myself walking through the village wearing cassock, surplice and purple stole (much too warm for a cloak today) and carrying my service book. As people go, I wasn’t inconspicuous. And I decided that the pace needed to be reasonably stately, because rushing about wearing that lot (a) looks daft; and (b) would have made me even warmer.

I tend to speak to people whenever I am on foot, but somehow, wearing robes which ought to have been a barrier, I ended up speaking to even more people than usual. My darling daughter was doubled up with laughter as I left, but as she said “at least they’ll definitely know they’ve got a vicar!” I certainly won’t be adopting full clericals as a matter of course, I’ll stick with my collar thank you, but I’ll walk with a little more confidence next time. Because being visible, being approachable, being part of the community, all matter. Every person who is greeted with a smile, a word, and who then chats, may just find the church a bit less scary when they need it, wherever they are. Even if it is wearing robes.

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6 responses to “Friday Walk of Witness

  1. not adopting them the practice a rather high friend here recounts from curacy of not been allowed out of the house on “work-days” without a cassock on 🙂

  2. A blessing in it’s own way. Uncomfortable in the sun, but what’s comfort when God’s grace walks alongside you and brings people to speak.

    And sometimes as you say, it might just be the brief contact that makes that connection that brings another lost sheep into the fold.

    God doesn’t miss a single opportunity does he? 🙂

    • I think anything that increases goodwill is good – and if people are brave enough to walk through the door, then brilliant. 🙂 one step at a time.

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