Watch as Sam talks to Jenny about her experience of returning to church after months of streaming from home. If you would prefer to read the transcript you can do so below.
- What was it that helped you decide to come back to church after the lockdowns?
It wasn’t an easy decision. I have really enjoyed the live streaming. I think it’s been brilliant. It’s been really good sitting here in the armchair with a cup of coffee and you can pause it if you need to. And I didn’t feel I wanted to go to church if I couldn’t join in the singing, talk to anybody or sit with anybody. It just didn’t feel right somehow.
But then, most of my homegroup had gone back to church and were talking about it and I started to feel that I was missing out on the fellowship of being in church. I also felt that I wanted to go and support the leadership team because they had done such a wonderful join in front of an empty church which must have been so difficult.
2) How was it the first time you came into the building and attended a service?
I enjoyed the whole experience. Getting ready to go out and walking to church. And as I got near to church, I could see friends congregating coming from different directions, all waving and smiling.
Then as soon as I got into the building, it was just like coming home. It’s hard to describe but I felt so emotional being with the church family after being away for so long. I mean, we’ve not seen our own families, but I’ve been at St Patrick’s for decades and it was just like coming back to the family.
I felt very safe in there. They have hand sanitizer and there is a one-way system, and the rows of seats are spaced out very well and so are the congregation. It felt like the right place to be. I’ve seen a lot of my fiends on zoom, but this was so much better. I was a bit worried about face masks for the whole of the service. But in fact, the church is so well ventilated that it was quite easy to breath. It was a wonderful experience.
3) How have you found worshipping the Lord again in St Patrick’s Church building?
It was strange, it was different. But we really can participate in the whole service. Although we can’t sing, we can clap, and we can do the actions. And listening to the music group without joining in was a very different experience. I was dwelling on the words more. It was almost like poetry. It was a different form of worship, but I found it surprisingly lovely. And of course, it is great to pray together. I’ve really missed that, it’s not quite the same on zoom.
One of the very special days for me was when the children’s groups started up again. Seeing all the children in church and watching them go out to their activities and come back with their artwork was lovely. Some of them have grown so much, it’s amazing!
For me, being back in church is like a slice of normality in a world that is still all scary and difficult and makes people anxious.