CANON TOM KENNAR: Opening ourselves up to new possibilities

A Norman duke and his wife, played by Ian Munro and Sandra Haggan, present the St Faith's banner to the medieval parish priest of Havant, played by Graham Frost
A Norman duke and his wife, played by Ian Munro and Sandra Haggan, present the St Faith's banner to the medieval parish priest of Havant, played by Graham Frost
The fragment from the Union Jack believed to have flown on board HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Credit: Sotheby's

Flag from HMS Victory and Lord Nelson’s love letters up for sale at London auction

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Belonging to a church often takes me out of my comfort zone.

Churches – and many other community organisations – have a way of doing that.

For any community to function well, people need to be able to do things they wouldn’t normally do. And sometimes, the results can be both surprising and magnificent.

Last Sunday, for example, a group of church members from St Faith’s, Havant, put on a play about the life and death of our patron saint.

Faith of Aquitaine was only a young woman when she was tortured and executed by the Roman authorities, because she refused to bow to Roman gods.

It shows that terrorism is a very old tactic indeed.

To tell this story, during last Sunday’s service, a group of 20 or so parishioners found costumes, learned lines, rehearsed actions and put on a magnificent piece of drama, penned by our musical director, Geoff Porter.

The star of our show, young Evie Moore, was especially magnificent. She had by far the most lines to learn, as the title character, and she got them all correct.

The play was a marvellous coming-together of old and young – people from across the generations working together for a common goal.

By being willing to step out from the pews and into the limelight, new skills were discovered and friendships deepened.

Our congregation was enthralled and much valuable knowledge was gained about the girl whose love for God inspired her own people, as well as us.

The question I am left with at the end of the weekend is a personal one.

Perhaps we should all ponder this question from time to time.

Am I willing to open myself to new possibilities of the life of faith? Could I dare to step out of my comfort zone – dare to risk some embarrassment, or a little anxiety, for the sake of a much greater gain?

Perhaps if I spent a little less time belonging to the virtual communities I find in soap operas and a little more time immersed in the church community on my doorstep, surprising and magnificent things could happen for me too?

St Faith’s Church is in West Street, Havant. To contact Canon Tom call (023) 9249 2129 or e-mail tomkennar@gmail.com.