Tuesday, 20 October 2009


Last week, at our Ministers' Conference, Roy Searle began the Communion with the theme music from 'Cheers', an Eighties American sitcom, making the point that in Celtic spirituality there is no sacred/secular divide. This became the theme song of a church Roy pastored in a challenging area of Stockton on Tees, back in the Eighties.

It's called, 'Where Everybody Knows Your Name'.

Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries,
sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go,
where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same.
You wanna be where everybody knows Your name.
You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows your name.

It reminded me of a song we sang regularly at the churches where I was the minister, 'Here we are, gathered together as a family'. This said something about the community that we were seeking to be.


Anonymous said...

Is church like an alcohol fuelled escape from reality? Old preachers when I grew up used to say "Hang up your hang ups before you come in." So people put on a smile and proclaimed that they were living in faith and victory while their world crumbled.

Surely we don't take a break from our worries but bring them in with us, share them in honesty with those who know our name. Real community and church doesn't give us a break from all our worries but confronts them and helps us through them

Geoff Colmer said...

I agree with your second comment entirely. Church should be an engagement with reality rather than an escape from it, and I have no truck with the pretence that everything is fine when it isn't. I struggle with church when our worship accomodates only those who feel glad, and not those who feel sad, bad, or mad! Pretence in church ought to be a contradiction.

What I liked about the Cheers song isn't any notion of escape, but coming as you are, and the sense of community where 'everyone knows your name, and they're always glad you came'. There's a naivete about it that's attractive.