Yesterday left me feeling calm and happy. I chose to go back to Chapel for the first time in 3 years and it was just what I have been needing. My Chapel is the Unitarian Chapel, Mill Hill, in the heart of Leeds. A place where all faiths, skin colours, sexualities, genders, etc are welcome.
The pastor has changed since I was last there, but like Paul, Jo is friendly and welcoming. Yesterday’s service focused on not only Fathers’ Day but the Summer Solstice, one of the prayers was a translation of a Navajo prayer, hymns were sung, and the readings were well thought out. There was an opportunity to light candles for father figures in our lives (I lit one for my Grandad) and there was an overall feeling of joyful peace to the service.
I sat down with Jo after the service and we talked briefly about my absence from Chapel and my mental health and job hunt and he gave me his card, reassuring me he’s always there to talk and inviting me to Wednesday lunchtime’s service. The thing I love about Unitarian ministers and services is the lack of pomposity. Just like their congregation, our ministers are still evolving, still learning. No two belief structures under our roof are the exact same but there is a respect for that which I have found lacking in the traditional churches.
I feel like I’ve come home again by going back to Chapel. And an old friend, Tony, greeted me with a warm hug that left me knowing that the feeling is right. Our congregation may be small, but there is love and support there. And did I mention that Mill Hill is the first religious place of worship in the Leeds City Centre to be approved for same sex marriage services?