We got up, got dressed in our smart clothes, had breakfast and then my older brothers and I would walk to the local church. My Dad would already be there, as he was the leader of the local cub’s group. My grandparents were church wardens, so they would be there, too. My Mum would stay at home, preparing the Sunday lunch. There would be a service, followed by Sunday school, then the walk home, and a family lunch.
As a parent myself, I have mixed feelings about the whole business. On the one hand, I think church is a brilliant way for kids to build relationships with adults who aren’t their parents, and learn about things like honesty, faith and kindness. On the other hand, many churches are unfortunately filled with bigots and snobs, and I’m not entirely sure I’m what you’d call a ‘believer’ these days.
As with so many things in life, we’ve ended up with a half-arsed compromise. We go to church for Easter, harvest festival, Christmas and so on – and we also attend a lot of social events at our local church. Flea plays with the vicar’s children, and she’s very comfortable in that environment. But I’m not raising her within the faith.
This amazingly well-thought out parenting strategy possibly explains the following conversation between Flea and our local vicar, Andrew, at the church Easter Eggstravaganza last week:
Flea: Did God really make the world?
Andrew: Yes, He really did.
Flea: How exactly?
Andrew: Well, God does all sorts of clever things. He makes the world and all the animals and people in it.
Andrew: Yes, all the people.
Flea: (shaking her head) I don’t think he did.
Andrew: Why do you think that?
Flea: Because people are hard. It’s hard to put things on them, like arms and noses.
I think I need a better approach to the whole “God” thing. Any tips?