As a Baptist from a very young age, the move to the Church of England at Okeford Fitzpaine was not a seamless or an easy experience. There are considerable differences between the two denominations and inevitably the ways and traditions of one occasionally conflict with those of the other. In trying to “get into” the CofE approach, I have found the simple sharing of the Peace to be a really comfortable and appropriate experience. It is a very inclusive action, which for me, produces a feeling of being part of the congregation, whether or not the recipients are strangers or fellow parishioners.
The importance of the Peace is evidenced by the need for Lydia to “call time” on the exchanges on numerous occasions! I hope that other members of the community who do not find it easy to come to Church, may discover this simple act to be helpful in making them feel at home in our midst.