So the exploration began. As a complete Christian and Bible novice I decided that reading the Bible was the best way forward. I started at Genesis at the beginning of the Old Testament and read right through to the end of the New Testament – all completed in one month. I then found out that I should have started with the New Testament and can totally see that now! I found the Old Testament quite shocking and violent and sometimes wondered if I was reading the correct book… but now I can see how it all fits in and the appropriateness of it. But oh the New Testament is such a breath of fresh air!
Just before completing the Bible, I attended church for the first time. I was a church novice. Other than school and formal occasions such as weddings I had never been to church. So I went, on my own, to my local church of Anglo-Catholic denomination. It was here I had a huge shock. Not at the functionality or content of the church service, but at how few the congregation was. I suppose I had been aware of dwindling participants from the media – but really – as few as this? However the ‘few’ were friendly and made me very welcome. I also noticed the mature age demographics – where are the young people? No young people equals eventually no church – this worried me.
After around a month I started wondering what other churches were like… got a bit curious! So hit Google and researched a lot of local churches – wow there are so many! Anyhow thought I would try a Pentecostal style church… On reflection I could probably not have chosen such an extreme opposite to the Anglo-Catholic church I was attending. I was very impressed with how friendly everyone was, and I was welcomed wholeheartedly. There were also a lot of people - the place was full – and with varying age groups including children. However, horses for courses and all that and I really was not sure it was ‘me’. So the search continued. I then spied the local Methodist Church via the services of Google – and headed down on the following Sunday. This was far more inline with my Anglo-Catholic church but different at the same time… And if there was a competition for friendliness and inclusiveness, this church would win it! So my life was now slightly more confusing as I decided to attend both churches - every Thursday Anglo-Catholic Mass, and most Sundays the Methodist Church. This also involved attending all accompanying events at both churches such as Bible study, fellowship etc.. I was very very busy… but happy…..