Saturday we went to Feltwell and looked at sofas. The furniture store doesn’t have heat, so it was interesting, to say the least.
Sunday we went to church in Cheveley. It is supposed to be a United Reformed Church, but they are part of the Church of England parish. I’m not sure how that all works out. Either way, they are “without a Vicar at the moment” and so they just “muddle through” the services (according to the lay leader). This was ‘family day’ at Cheveley – they alternate weeks with the church in Wooditon. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We thought about walking, but the weather kept looking worse and worse, so decided to drive. It took about 2 minutes, so we were a little early. Arriving just ahead of us were the bell-ringers. They rang the bells for about 5 minutes; very nice custom, I think.
So then we got out of the car and walked through the graveyard to the front door, entering a large room with rows of benches, and a large area in the back covered with toys. A young man greeted us and said they meet around the corner. Almost to the corner we met his mother; she greeted us warmly and showed us in.
“Around the corner” was a small room with 3 benches against the wall, a dozen folding chairs in front of that, and about 6 electric heaters. I don’t know why they bothered with the heaters; we could see our breath all through the service. They were all very nice and glad to see us, and the service wasn’t bad, but a little liturgical for our tastes. And though the prayers were said, and the Bible alluded to, not one scripture was read. Afterwards they served coffee and biscuits, and we got to chat a bit.
One elderly lady lives on our street. One woman has 4 children and 3 dogs, and invited me over for coffee sometime. One couple lives in Wooditon and actually follows the family service around the parish. They all know or had known someone from the base, but said not many Americans have lived in Cheveley. There was one family, across from the shop, and they were very mysterious – kept their curtains drawn all the time. Nice folks, but Bob was right; the meeting wasn’t quite our style.