Normally, the third Sunday evening of each month sees me heading down to the regular jazz jam at the Red Lion in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell. Tonight though I went in a different direction to sample the “Folk Eucharist” event at Holy Trinity, Headington Quarry. This was a communion service with a recognisable (although customised) pattern of liturgy, richly decorated with selections of folk music and poetry that fall outside the regular Christian repertoire. Writers like Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen don’t get to muscle in on many services.
I enjoyed and appreciated the creative choices of words and music, the invitation to participate through singing and movement through different locations in the church building and just the difference from what I have become accustomed to. Most of all though, I loved the way that the service drew on a broad selection of the local Christian community. As a visitor, I was in the majority and I recognised faces from a range of different contexts.
Theologically, I’m sure I could find plenty to disagree about with many of the fellow communicants, even more so than down at my regular home of St Clement’s. However, choosing to make time to come and share in a celebration of the Lord’s table takes the focus off differences and emphasises that we are people who feel drawn to commune together. Lots of churches, innumerable pet theories but one Lord, one faith and one bread.