Thursday, 9 February 2012

Aden: Random Memories 11: Choose a Church and Carol Singing

My family wasn’t the most religious. What level of faith my parents had I really don’t know. We did however go to various churches. Priests were always called Padre. It’s an Air Force thing.
The family’s approach seemed to be of the “pick and mix” variety. Before we went to Aden, I don’t remember church going as part of the weekly routine. I may have been packed off to Sunday school, mainly to get me out from under my parent’s feet. For whatever reason, after we arrived in Aden, we tried a few churches here and there. My mother was particularly unimpressed with the Church of England in a gloomy building, where later I was to meet the Archbishop of Jerusalem. We settled on the Church of the Rock and the minister was Padre Hurl (I’m not sure of the spelling here). I am not sure, but I think it was a Methodist church. No matter which denomination it was, it was a jolly cheerful place.
One aspect of church going meant we were press ganged into carol singing one year. The nautical association is apt. This was carol singing, but with a difference. I don’t know how many people have sung ‘Away in a Manger’ and other carols at Christmas while dressed in summer clothes bobbing about in a harbour in a small boat among the large ships. To my childhood imagination they appeared to be lit up much more brightly than usual that night. Possibly they were.
Christmas is now a rather more mundane affair, not to mention colder!

© 2012 Gwailo54

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