Yesterday we rushed off to a local Anglican church wearing our T Shirts. In true and certain form I had managed to get the time wrong and so we arrived towards the end of the 09:30 service, and not the beginning of the 10:30 as planned. Creeping into the back I wondered if God ever has a quiet chuckle at some of my cock ups or if the list on ‘judgement day’ has already been scheduled to run into extra time! Arriving so late did have one benefit though, we were noticed and welcomed into this lovely church community.
After the service, as others stopped for the lemonade, Adele and I chatted to various people including the charming minister Rev Michelle Childs Ward and Rev Cannon Dr Andrew Sheldon.
What followed was a fascinating take on British Anglicanism from an educated Canadian perspective. That is not intended to imply it was adverse, simply that there are clear differences from the perspective of what I would assume would be viewed as a more liberal church culture.
What I don’t know, but may yet find out, is how much, if at all, the Canadian church culture is nearer to the early Celtic one? My general impression is that the church here appears closer to the average person in the street than I would see as being the case back in England. That may not be due to being more liberal or having wildly differing ethos.
Canadians live much closer to natural changes and extreme weather than we do in the United Kingdom. You only have to experience the multi-lane overtaking imported from the US to realise that they are potentially much closer to traffic accidents. We experienced a close shave with a lorry. It was so close that I had curled up in the passenger seat with my legs on the dashboard waiting for the impact, which thankfully didn’t occur. You can see many more churches that appear active and also, in most areas well looked after. There is a sense of civic pride missing from my home country and from talking to relatives it appears that many go to church but don’t necessarily have an abiding belief. At a guess that would place faith here at a similar level to my childhood and only time will show if Canada is making a true difference in its approach or if it has a decline in attendance to come. This particular muse has no conclusion, I will need to explore this further as and when time allows.