Monday, 30 June 2008

Six Degrees of Separation

So my mother was telling me that her church was going to be accepting new members which meant the service would be longer than usual.

"You mean they are going to be 'recognised', right?"

"Yes, they are."

Suddenly a thought occurred to me that I've never thought about before.

"Mum, was I ever christened?"

"Of course, you were christened at St Martin-in-the-Fields."

"You mean the St Martin-in-the-Fields near Trafalgar Square?"


"Isn't it Church of England?" I said.

"Yes, it's Anglican."

"Wow, I'm dead impressed that I was christened at St Martins!"

I'm not surprised that my mother christened my older brother and I at that church. I reckon if she had her way she would have had us christened at Westminster Abbey; alas, that privilege seems to be reserved for royalty.

Mum said she used to attend St Martin-in-the-Field in the sixties but when she took us to live in Sierra Leone she ended up joining a Methodist church so she could follow the family tradition of her mother, who was raised a Methodist; and her maternal grandfather who was a Methodist minister. She has since remained a Methodist. She now attends Methodist Central Hall, which used to be the headquarters of the Methodist Church.

Back to the church I was christened. Funnily enough, two years ago, a friend took me to the cafe in the crypt below that church. It was the first time I'd been in there. I wasn't curious about seeing inside the church though. Little did I realise that I'd already been inside it lots of times.

Later mum brought to my attention the tiny fork I've noticed among the rest of her cutlery. She said that fork and a knife (that's now missing) was a Christening gift. I was amazed that she'd kept that fork all this time. She also showed me an illustrated New Testament Bible she's always had with her, which was another Christening gift from the church. My name, the date I was christened, and the vicar's name is written in the front of the Bible.

It turns out that the friend who took me to the crypt has the same first name as the vicar who christened me. The date I was christened - 5 February - is the same birth date as someone I have a very strong connection with.

One thing I am very curious about is why I chose that evening - 28 June 2008 - to ask my mother about my christening. Why this and why now?

Out of curiosity I paid a visit to St Martin-in-the-Fields the next day. After sitting in a pew for a few minutes, I felt the scenery wasn't doing it for me so I took a booklet with me for my mother and I left.

One thing I did get from the information I gleaned from my mother was her love and good intention to share her spiritual beliefs with her children. In fact, I have found a lot of teachings in the Bible helpful in my life experiences. In that respect I am very grateful.

Still, I won't be converting to Christianity just yet.


Related articles: The Saviour; No Chance!; One Family, One Surname called Love; The Intention to Love and Be Love; Love Takes All Forms