Saturday 10 July 2010

The priest, the treasurer and the sparrow

The last day of school term, children now broken up and celebrating their freedom. A few of them lurking cheerfully on the steps of the church, down on the front. They smile hello as I step through them.

I'm waiting in the church to have a business-like meeting with the treasurer, about the treasure I suppose. I'm fiddling with the amp that gave us an a cappella eucharist the other week (mass setting and all!)

The doors are wide open (I always like to leave church doors wide open) and I love the snippets of conversation and comment that float in. "Where are you, Kenny?" from a mobile conversation. "What's in there?" and "Is there anybody living in there?" the comments on the usually closed doors. No time for debate on the real presence and the slightly dodgy reserving practice.

But the highlight, and lowlight, is the sparrow. He or she has got in somehow. S/He would quite like to get out. He is flying up and down the nave, resting on the sanctuary light chain, then back to the windows above the cracked gallery (some treasure needed there.) She seems to be able to see out of the coloured glass windows, and wants back out. I stand like a slightly foolish Francis impersonator, with my hand out, making encouraging noises. He looks like he might. But she doesn't. For a while it's me, the sparrow and God. None of us seems too upset about it.

The treasurer joins me, with scones. We both try to encourage the reluctant worshipper out. But decide that leaving scones is more likely to succeed. But he, or she (the sparrow that is, not the treasurer), vanishes, probably back through the hole that she, or he, came in (more treasure there, no doubt).

We have a useful meeting. But I can remember more about the snatches of conversation from Victoria Street and the worry and enjoyment of getting to know our little sparrow. It seems obvious: treasure and business matters. The people passing and an accidental bird matter more.

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