Could this be a typical Sunday evening?

Inside of a cinema, showing seats and a screen
What we didn’t see this evening!

Hey, churchy people of the internet! Have you ever wondered what unchurchy people do on a Sunday evening who don’t have to sit in a cold building on a hard pew and listen to 1929-style Choral Evensong? Jane and I did some research this evening and found out. Obviously this report is based on only two people’s experience on one Sunday evening, and while you couldn’t exactly class it as scientific I don’t think it’s any less significant. Here’s what people do on a Sunday evening when they don’t have church to go to:

We decided that we wanted to do something special but also a little ‘escapist’ for the evening, and given that we’ve loaned our Harry Houdini Set to some friends that obviously was out.

“What about the cinema?” I suggested.

Jane looked up our local cinemas on the World Wide Web. But we couldn’t find them: our cinemas are nearer than that. So she looked them up on the Local Wide Web and sure enough there they were.

The only thing that grabbed my attention was the Steve Cougan and Rob Brydon film A Cock and Bull Story, which was on at the Vue cinema at the Omni Centre. My cousin Alan recommeneded it when I saw him yesterday.

So we jumped in the car and drove down to the top of Leith Walk, which co-incidentally is where the Omni Centre is located. We stood in the queue, soon reaching the front.

“Next please!” shouted the sales assistant behind the perspex.

“One and a student for A Cock And Bull Story,” I asked, somehow managing to pronounce the title of the film in italics.

“There are no student discounts on that film,” the assistant said, “it’s only on in the Gold Class screen, I’m afraid,” he said.

“Don’t be afraid,” I reassured him.

“What?” he asked, a little confused.

“I said, ‘Don’t be afraid.'”

He just looked at me.

“Right, well, that’s fine then,” I said. “Gold Class it is.”

“The tickets are £8.95 each,” he said.

“WHAT?!” said I.

What?! indeed. Jane agreed with my ‘WHAT?!’ and we walked back to the car. “Our lunch didn’t cost that much,” she said. So we just drove home. The long way. Via Leith.

But don’t feel sorry for us, because now we know that there must be thousands, if not hundreds, of people who face that level of disappointment each and every Sunday evening.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

3 thoughts on “Could this be a typical Sunday evening?”

  1. Cinema Owners Alamanac states:

    Gold Class.

    A film meets Gold Class standard when
    a) the film has been out more than 7 nights so viewer numbers may be low. Hype it up to Gold Class to maximise profits.
    b) you are not sure it’s actually any good, so just stick in there to con the punters and make as much cash as possible.

  2. Actually, I would prefer to be at Choral Evensong. But then again, I’m a member of an Anglican church choir, so it’s a slightly different experience for me than the rest of the congregation.

    To me, evensong is a really special service. When you sing it, you feel part of a very special tradition of daily observance (in our cathedral churches anyway) — one that is not only hundreds of years old, but uniquely Anglican. There’s also a marvelous selection of music written exclusively just for evensong, composed by church musicians over the ages.

    My favorite part of the service is singing the appointed psalm(s) of the day to Anglican chant. To me, that is a Gold Class experience!

  3. I used to love Choral Evensong at the cathedral in Inverness — once I’d settled into enough not to worry about what the choir would say if I sang a bum note or two. It was one of the few services that I could relax into and really worship God during, rather that worry about what was coming next.

    I was a bit tongue-in-cheek on that post, a bit frivolous. But there is an important observation: when us Anglicans are doing the beautiful, Choral Evensong thing — and even the Sunday morning thing too — there are thousands of people ‘out there’ not going to Church, and many of them I’m no doubt do have a spiritual longing. How do we reach them? And I do think that it is important that as Christians we venture into their world from time to time to engage them there.

    As it happens, last Sunday, we didn’t. Because it was too expensive. Hey ho! Next time.

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