What now?

(12 Posts)
Handywoman Fri 27-Dec-13 13:18:55

I have had an eventful year, am currently dealing with the fall-out from separating from my husband and using the time as a period of growth and change. I find the idea of attending church increasingly attractive over the last few years just as a place of contemplation and relief from the constant busy-ness of everyday life, to do something more 'meaningful' and keep perspective and be less self-absorbed. Trouble is I have always been very skeptical and don't actually believe in Jesus Christ/God so would feel uncomfortable and a fraud and that everybody would just know. I was brought up with 'no' religion and my Mum had a Humanist funeral when she died. But Humanists don't have a 'church' or a 'practice'. So what now? Is turning up at church to simply use it for some peaceful/spiritual time out a no-no? Is there a church which focuses less on JC? I am basically at a loss. Don't really know the next step to remain true to myself. I have been practising mindfulness and meditation which i love but this but attending 'somewhere' still remains attractive. Anyone been in this position? Not sure what I'm asking. Just don't know what my next move should be. Ideas/answers on a postcard please....

DontstepontheBaubles Fri 27-Dec-13 13:29:33

Maybe you could attend an Alpha course as a start to exploring faith?

There's nothing wrong with attending a service as a non believer. There's some lovely services this time of year.

technodad Fri 27-Dec-13 13:34:19

Please don't attend an alpha course.

It sounds from your post that you are looking for companionship from a group of people, rather than to be converted into a religion.

Why not join a local choir, or something like that.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Fri 27-Dec-13 13:38:11

The general vibe at my church is that although most people there on a Sunday will be believers, a good chunk of people either don't believe, or haven't made up their minds.
Non-believers are often encouraged to pray/think about 'x' etc but there's no pressure or singling out.
Go along to your local church for a few weeks and see how it feels.

technodad Fri 27-Dec-13 13:44:07

But the OP doesn't even believe in God or Jesus, surely people can help her find what she is looking for without sending here to church.

Handywoman Fri 27-Dec-13 13:46:42

no, I don't want to go to choir! I am looking for a more spiritual and contemplative togetherness.

sunnyspot Fri 27-Dec-13 15:58:29

Hi Handywoman, There is often an assumption that everyone who goes to church has a strong, unwavering faith - that is so untrue !
We are all at different stages of our journey ranging from those with no faith at all, who are just looking for something more in their lives, to those with a strong faith. You certainly will not be made to feel like a fraud.
Like many others I have had times in my life when I looked elsewhere for meaning, but my faith drew me back, and gives me a great sense of belonging and fulfillment.
I sincerely hope you find what you are looking for.

NotDavidTennant Fri 27-Dec-13 16:08:43

Maybe the Unitarians would suit you?

ErrolTheDragon Fri 27-Dec-13 16:22:08

Or possibly quakers, or a Buddhist group.

>But Humanists don't have a 'church' or a 'practice'
There are a few places starting to hold 'Sunday Assemblies' but its not at all clear from the website when and where, unfortunately. There are various groups such as Skeptics in Pubs and Armchair Philosophers which can provide a meeting with others, but not exactly 'peaceful/spiritual' !(DH goes to some of these, I will when DD is old enough to let us both out in the evening).

I'm an atheist/humanist who was brought up as a Christian and I do sometimes miss the church - it was like an extended family. I've yet to find a non-religious alternative ... its one of the reasons people invented religions, the need for community and ceremony.

You could try a cathedral or maybe use this website http://www.achurchnearyou.com/ to find a C of E Church. Other denominations are available!

You don't have to sign up to a set of beliefs to go to church. Anything you don't want to say you don't say. As a preacher I'm aware that on any Sunday I have people who have been Christians their whole lives along with people who heard the sound of the bells and decided to pop in. I have the bereaved, wedding couples, homeless, artists, poets, scientists, engineers, people with autism, depression and learning difficulties as well as babies and children. All these different personality types, with different learning styles at different stages of faith all combine to make leading a service a bit of an extreme sport!

So give it a go and be prepared to try a few as there are differing styles of worship from the loud and exuberant to the traditional or the more contemplative styles. Until you try you don't know what feels most comfortable.

msmiggins Fri 27-Dec-13 18:20:20

Doesn't sound like you need a religious group.

Have you thought about yoga, or a study group? Learn massage.
I think part of being a grown up is to find your spiritual fullfillment from different sources and not rely on the childish model of religion which treats us like children. You need to grasp your spiritual path, not relinquish it to some external bunch.
Even the language that the church uses is a huge turn off to me.
I am not a child- I am a grown woman.

randdom Fri 27-Dec-13 19:20:32

As other people have said there is no reason that you should feel uncomfortable about going to a church just because you don't believe. No is going to say that you can't be there etc. If that is what you feel that you want to try then go for it, if you try and find that it isn't for you then you don't have to keep going.

As other people have mentioned it might be worth looking to see if there are any quaker groups that meet near you as there services tend to be more based on reflection etc which sounds like what you are looking forward.

Basically the only way that you are going to know if something suits you or not is to try and I don't see that there is any harm in trying.

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