Hell is people looking for heaven, or so I thought


Hell is people looking for heaven, or so I thought

At a midnight mass after a lifetime of avoiding church, I got a glimpse of what the point of it is

When I was small my family briefly became religious, and every Sunday morning made me put on my least attractive clothing and bumble along to Sunday School in a hall that smelt of floor polish, cardboard and dust, adjacent to the main church of St Margaret’s Presbyterian congregation. 

I never enjoyed Sunday School much – the prettiest girls from my school seemed to be Methodists, and I was stuck there with the Renyard twins and the innumerable Kemp children with their permanently running noses – but supervision was gratifyingly lax (I don’t think Presbyterians have very high expectations for the souls of their small children) and there was a good climbing tree behind the hall. I always assumed the real action was happening inside the church with the adults. That, surely, was where deep feelings were being felt and powerful experiences shared. 

This illusion lasted until my first Palm Sunday, when the kids are allowed into the main service with their parents...

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