Churches and outreach.

All happening my way. A cavalcade of hooting cars just passed by. Hope they’re protesting about the closing of estate roads hereby. Earlier in the day during the Corrie Omnibus I saw a whole gaggle of people slowly passing up the adjacent road and guessed by their hats that the Jehovah Witnesses were abroad. I decided I’d invite them in because Trump had said something vile about Jehovahs and I wanted to show my mercy.
I forgot about all of that as Tracey and her family came to blows. The doorbell rang and I said to myself that that must be the postie with my buttons from China. Caught I was as three devout Christians stood at my door with Sunday smiles on a Saturday and clipboards. I dreaded the call to prayer but stopped my nastiness and said I’s answer their doorstep questions. These visitors at my threshold were not Jehovah’s people but folk from the nearby singing church who were finding out about the community and would soon discover a high Moslem content. I know that soon I will get another call as they have my name and address. Bovvered? Not. I went into full swing with a captive heads bowed audience and stated that as a non-believer I saw the community value of the Church as a meeting point for everyone to come out of the cold and push away their loneliness and isolation and that a little singing with gusto and clapping brings joy.
Many seniors find company at their church and a couple of senior Moslems who join in Up Your Street activities delight in the joy of communal curry laden lunches at their mosques. Most church people I know enjoy finger-licking chicken peppered by their African congregations on a Sunday regularly. As long as people are brought together then communities have a chance to protect their own when the day arrives.
Churches accommodate craft fairs and art exhibitions and candle-making and sometimes meditative navel watching. They are usually huge halls with smaller rooms and corridors about. I went to dance expression at St John at Hackney and there we were stretching our calves on stone-cold floors in a tiled corridor. Crazy. The nest week I went to creative writing around a table in the same corridor. I was the only participant. Luckily I drowned my shock by visiting Sainsbury’s opposite to buy fig rolls for the bus journey back to sanity.
Last night seniors got together to taste Jerk Chicken, Pork, and the rest at Butler’s Bakery in Cann Hall Road. We turned out to be a group of twelve from all areas: Some came from Ilford and Romford, one from Walthamstow, a few from Leyton and Leytonstone and then those from Hoxton area and beyond. What a smashing time we had. One queen sent back her fish because it wasn’t big enough for her. Imagine. But nothing was really soured for the joy of coming together clouded everything else. Some of us stuffed ourselves to the brim. The food was that good at what is really a small bakery corner-shop. On the pavement outside the owner was dishing up Jerk Chicken and salads to punters coming back from work. Someone’s daughter came by on her bike just to wave hello to a group of women who don’t usually eat out together let alone empty their purses…but they will now. Some of the group are practising artists so were doing sales across the tiny tables measured for nine people only. Port and rum punch heightened the spirits.


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