The session ended at ten, but not before the group had arranged a meal, to be hosted at George and Beryl’s house the following Sunday.
CHASSE BACKWARD AGAINST LINE OF DANCE
Saturday 2nd April At Steve’s house
On Saturday morning, Steve was standing in his living room, with a half-full cup of cold coffee in his hand. He was looking out of his front window, but seeing nothing. A plate of buttered toast lay untouched on a coffee table. His mind was elsewhere. He’d looked in his diary and noticed that he was due to be on sidesman duty at St Philips tomorrow for the morning Holy Communion service. It wasn’t that he had planned to do anything else at that time, it was rather why he was still doing it that was bothering him.
He lived in Vicarage Crescent, a group of eight, 1970s brick built, semi-detached houses, which were all on one side of the arc, and faced a grassed semicircle. On the far side of the grass, Eastway led away from the Junction where the High Street became Croxton Road. It continued on the far side of the junction as Westway, passing an industrial estate towards a motorway junction. St Philip’s church building, with its imposing spire, stood on the corner of the High Street and Eastway, next to the entrance to the Crescent.
Looking at Steve, he was obviously quite fit for his age – the result of both dancing and regular country walks. Quite tall, at six-foot or so, he was also fairly broad shouldered and slim-hipped. He still had a good head of dark hair – though streaks of grey were starting to appear – and he kept himself and his house in good order. All-in-all he was thought by many of the ladies at the dance sessions to be good looking, and his mild manners attracted general approval.
He’d been converted to Christianity in his early forties – before Marjorie had left him – and had been keen to learn and adopt its tenets and rituals. After attending services regularly at St Philip’s for a while he’d become drawn into activities such as house groups, sidesman rotas and church council meetings. It was partly his enthusiastic adoption of his faith – plus a feeling that he was no longer showing as much attention to her – that had triggered Marjorie’s looking elsewhere. She had never shared his conversion experience anyway.
His duties as a sidesman were light, consisting mainly of greeting people as they came into the services, and handing them any books or newsletters they might need. However, eighteen months ago, the Vicar had approached him about becoming a Reader. In the Anglican denomination, that meant training to be a lay-preacher and minister. He had time on his hands, no-one else to please and he had accepted the invitation, which was quite an honour, but it required him to attend classes and undertake assignments. The classes had included topics such as bible studies, liturgy and church history.
He’d really learned a lot from the studies, but even though he was only part-way through the course, he’d started to have doubts. His eyes had been opened to differences between the Bible knowledge that he’d previously understood, nearly all of it from the sermons that he had heard from the pulpit, and that which he’d now gathered from his course and from detailed expert commentaries. His faith had been challenged at a fundamental level. He still felt that there was a credible core in which he could believe, but he realised that there were aspects of his previous faith that needed to be considered and reviewed in the light of his, now, deeper understanding.
The photo of houses at the start of today’s post is to represent Steve’s house. These are some of the many styles of such 1970s build semi-detached houses in Northern England
The featured photo is of an open Bible, something that Steve might well have been looking at earlier to guide his thinking.
I took this shot with my Pentax K-1 MP full-frame dslr camera using a Pentax 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens tripod mounted by candlelight.
EXIF data were: 30 seconds @ f/8 and 31 mm. ISO was 6400.