There are those who are ordained who shy away from wearing their collar in public, don’t get me wrong I understand the reasoning behind most of that and there are times when I will whip of my collar too. However, in doing so we miss opportunities, like the one that happened upon me this morning.
I haven’t had time yet since we came back from holiday to do a proper shop, so after Mass this morning I popped across the road to M&S (there is a M&S food shop virtually beside both my churches) to get something for dinner tonight.
I approached the till and after the hello I was greeted with a question.
P – ‘Can I ask an ignorant question?’
Me – ‘I doubt you are any more or less ignorant than me, ask away?’
P – ‘Er … that’, she points to her neck, ‘err thing, does it mean you are a minister.’
Me – Suppressing the temptation to say, well actually I am a priest. ‘Yes, All Saints, Scottish Episcopal Church, just across the road.’
P – ‘Oh! What’s the difference between that and the normal church?’
Me – ‘Depends what you call the normal church.’
We stood there as she rang through my shopping discussing the differences between churches, D on the next checkout joined in curious about why I wasn’t a ‘old man’, his words not mine. After a while other people started to arrive to pay for their shopping so D went back to his till and P told me how much my bill was.
As I picked up my shopping to leave P said: ‘I am a Catholic, haven’t been for a while, might give it another go.’
Me – ‘Good, let me know how you get on.’
Now she isn’t going to join All Saints, but she is maybe going to return back to her own church. Would she have even been thinking of doing that if I had whipped out my collar before popping in for something for dinner, oh and a maple and pecan yum yum?