Soul Food at the Soul Service, Holy Trinity

I've been to church this afternoon. No really! I have! And I'll let you in to a little secret too, it's not the first time I've been and probably wont be the last either.  The Soul Service at Holy Trinity is an event entirely designed for people like me. Those with little or no faith (or indeed, those with an entirely different faith).  The idea is, you can go to the service in order to find a little space for reflection, perhaps a wee small voice of calm.  

I admit, I was a little sceptical the first time. On that initial occasion, Father Nick The Vic welcomed people, as he still does, and shared that part of the idea is to give people "permission" to be there.  Or more specifically, to be there in the church building. It was at that exact moment that I was so glad to have gone.  Of course I have been in the church before, but always with a guilty conscience.  And always worrying that I might actually meet someone in there, and God forbid that someone be the Vicar!  But I also feel that a church is a symbol of community, and it provides a sense of history, continuity and context for our modern lives - and that's what I like. 

So here's the deal.  You arrive and take a pew for real (be warned, there is nothing comfy about a pew and you need to dress warmly). Once Father Nick has welcomed everyone, he and his God make themselves scarce.  The moment of "mindfullness" led by Emily Tomalin is my favourite bit. You have to concentrate on your breathing and try to avoid thinking about what you are going to have for supper. Of course, I can't. Today I decided on lasagne.  But something seems to happen, because when Emily rings a little bell to rowse us from our "falling awake" state, it takes a moment to reconnect. The readings are always charming. We've had The Big Friendly Giant, The Valvetneen Rabbit and today, Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. Funny how children's books seem to be the source of adult comfort. And then there is always some music. Steve and Renee sang today, three songs more beautifully than anything I have heard on The Voice. Not a hymn in sight. Now I'm not gonna lie, the Big Man Upstairs occasionally creeps in, but I'm OK with that because you can take it or leave it - and after all, it's his house, his rules. And since the whole thing is washed down with a glass of Prossecco at the end, I find myself remarkably easy going anyway.

So if you've caught yourself giving The Soul Service even half a thought, I would encourage you to go. It might not be for you BUT equally, like me, you might find that for 45 minutes once every few months, you get to feel like it's OK for someone like you to be in church. That it's your church too.

More information on the Soul Service here and Holy Trinity here.


  1. The Soul Service team love this write up, it embodies everything we hoped to achieve with the service. Thankyou. If you would like to come to a service our next one is on 24th September at Holy Trinity Cookham... more bubbles on offer...!


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