A pleasant Sunday morning with a quiet and faithful congregation – and then off to Glasgow to visit our youngest child – and because of the impending house move a quick – quick? – visit to Ikea. Have you seen the Ikea car park at 3 pm on a Sunday afternoon? Enough to bring on an attack of agoraphobia. No wonder the ‘Turning the Tide’ figures suggest that there aren’t many regular churchgoers in Scotland – they are all in Ikea.
And to make it more interesting … on our last visit, one of the staff cheerily said to Alison that the Ikea catalogue was the second most popular book in the world after the Bible. A comment reminiscent of John Lennon’s suggestion that the Beatles were better known than Jesus Christ.
But how did the two experiences compare?I was hoping you weren’t going to ask that question. But two things did strike me. The cafeteria to which we retreated after surviving the car park was full of parents and young children having Sunday lunch because it is cheap and very child friendly. A painful reminder that young parents and their children are not in many of our churches. The other was the experience of being surrounded by people but with an almost total absence of human contact. No chance of sharing the Peace in the bathroom section, I think.
Which will last longer? If it doesn’t sound like John Lennon’s hubris, I think I’ll back the church.