In the beginning
Not that beginnning; my beginning. I’m really not sure of the exact time or date but it’s of no great moment, needless to say I starting taking a serious look at religion. My own in the Church of England to be precise.
It began when I was in the later part of my secondary schooling. I mentioned, in fact went into some detail regarding school assemblies in ‘Part I’ , we had similar assemblies in secondary school, same format only difference was we didn’t have to toddle off to some church hall around the corner. We had a beautiful school hall which we used week about having to share with the girls school. Same school but the south-west wing was for the girls and the north-east wing for the boys; on alternative weeks the assembly was held in the gym.
The good part about the school hall was the music played upon a glorious Blüthner Concert Grand. How on earth a school of the calibre of Park Modern Secondary School for Boys and PMSS for Girls came to get a magnificent piano like this is beyond me. I might get around to doing some posts on my times at school.
By the time I got to third year, I was the only boy from the estate still left at Park, the older ones had left and were doing their two years National Service, my brother had left and stated work in the city and there was next to nobody left, so I suppose in a way it was out of boredom that I thought “why not go to church”?
I didn’t have far to go. there was St Albans Church just around he corner not much more than 100-150 yards away, and a few years earlier I’d been a regular goer when I went there for the school dinners; so why not.
I let my mother know that I had decided to start going to church on a Sunday morning. I wasn’t allowed to do anything without letting her know.
For some reason unbeknownst to me she was quite happy, probably thought I’d changed and she wouldn’t have to worry about mothers of the young girls in the street calling around demanding that she controls me and stops my teasing their girls.
Come the Sunday morning I was up bright and early, had a wash (really don’t know why I’d had a bath before going to bed on Saturday night) got dressed, put on my tie, (I always liked wearing ties) made a cup of tea and took my parents a cup of tea in bed and told them I was off, my dad probably thought I had gone round the bend completely, he was a devout socialist the only song I ever heard him sing was “Comrades”. grabbed my bible and off I toddled. My mother had given me a penny to put in the plate. Mightn’t sound much now but that would have bought a loaf of bread back then just after the war.
And so it was, every Sunday morning I’d go through this same routine and I did this pretty much up until the time I left school, joined the workforce and had more to do with my time; besides having some money in my pocket.
It didn’t take long after I’d started going to church on a regular basis for my mother to confide in me that she was “High” Church Of England, naturally I had no reason to disbelieve her, she didn’t go to St. Albans because it was “Low” Church of England, I didn’t know such a situation existed, and looking back I doubt if she did either.
It was also around this time she tried to get me interested in the “Masonic” movement, her father had been some grand master or something; the head honcho of the lodge in Cape Town, South Africa when he was stationed there with the Royal Navy.
Apparently she still had his “Regalia” tucked away somewhere and she would let me have it once I became of age and became a Mason.
And on that note leaving you up in the air desperately waiting for Part III I’ll finish this blog!
(The picture of St Albans church clipped from Google Earth and cleaned up with Picasa3 )