St. Mary’s Parish Church in Woodbridge has been very lucky for the past two years in having as its Curate Revd. Paul G. Hambling. We have watched Paul grow in confidence and stature. And seen him blossom as he has led services and preached interesting and often amusing sermons.
But, on ‘Back to Church Sunday’, 27th September, he displayed yet another talent. Read on to discover more!
This special day was designed to invite especially those who had never been to church before, or had stopped going, for whatever reason. The invitation read ‘Come as you are’: any age; any denomination; any doubters; any looking for a new start; any curious; any in trouble; just come and join us at our services on that day.
Many took the opportunity and swelled the regular large number at our 1000 Parish Eucharist which was led by Paul, who warmly welcomed everyone. Well-known hymns were sung with enthusiasm and a group of children from St. Mary’s Primary School gave us a beautiful rendition of a song, set to the theme tune of ‘Match of the Day’! As their Headmaster said, Saturday nights will never be the same again! And for me, to hear that familiar music played on the organ by our choirmaster, Mr. Bob Pegnall, was quite amazing. The congregation joined in the singing, and our Rector, Revd. Canon Kevan S. McCormack, may well repeat this offering if and when Ipswich Town, to whom he is Chaplain, win a match!
Then came a great shock/surprise for each of us. Suddenly, there appeared at the back of the Church a scruffy looking male in hooded top over long, black hair, shorts and dirty legs! He was shouting and creating mayhem. Two very brave gentlemen from the congregation jumped up to try to calm him and protect the congregation from this intruder. But they failed, and he pushed his way to the front. It was Paul! Some of the ladies had recognised the legs! So, we have now discovered a new talent in his repertoire: Paul is a superb actor as well as priest! And the message of his address was so obvious.
After the service, coffee and cake were served to all. But I must warn visitors that St. Mary’s services are not normally like this! But the warm welcome, wonderful music, interesting and amusing sermons and socialising over coffee afterwards are regular features of our Parish Eucharist. Why not come and find out for yourself? It would be lovely to see you there one Sunday.
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