My dad is a frustrated pub goer, frustrated in the sense that he doesn’t go to pubs or drink but can sense some kind of friendship and freedom in the local pub which is missing from his church experience.

There is a phrase which he often repeats concerning the Presbytery meeting which he sometimes attends. “Och, you’d get more fellowship with a bunch of chimps” he says and goes on to repeat that you would have more fellowship down in the pub.

There is a profound sadness in his words which I can relate to. It is hard to connect with someone in a bare church hall over a polystyrene cup of Maxwell House while mainly concentrating on not spilling it over some child running underneath you. That is assuming that your church goes with the sexy option of even serving tea and biscuits after morning worship.

I can’t figure it out. Why does church feel so uncomfortable and unwieldy, like we can we never quite open up or relax, or have what feels like fellowship when in a pub or over a coffee we are more likely to do so?

Is there something about the actual physical church buildings, the way the space is used, the architecture of the seating, the colour of the paint and carpet that alienates us?


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