Sunday, 31 July 2011

Dressing for God. Or possibly not

There are many pleasures to our badminton game in Luton on Sundays.
The obvious one, enjoying the game itself, was a little limited this morning because of the gap of two or three weeks since we last played. We were away, or the hall was unavailable - taken over on one occasion, we were told, for a wedding over the entire weekend - and getting back into the game had a certain purgatorial quality to it. Still, it was fun all the same, though my legs are telling me noq that it involved them in some stresses to which they had become mercifully unaccustomed.
But another of the great pleasures of our Sunday ritual is that it brings us into contact with three African or Caribbean churches.
Note that I didn’t write ‘Afro-Caribbean’. Two may well be Caribbean but one, our favourite, is definitely African, Zimbabwean we think. It’s the one where the congregation is all dressed in what I absolutely will not refer to as white sheets when they are obviously white robes. We come across some of the members regularly, particularly two of the women with young children who have to step out of the hall from time to time, and they are always heart-warmingly kind and friendly. This morning, one of them presented an irresistible picture, so I didn’t resist taking it.
Churchgoer and child
The other two congregations also display some pretty remarkable styles of dress, it should be said. In fact, one tall woman whose origin I would describe as Afro-Caribbean (see? The term can be useful, if you can’t be more specific) struck us both as we drove down to the hall. She was in a figure-hugging dramatic creation of yellow.
‘What a fabulous dress!’ exclaimed Danielle.
‘It’s great what people wear for an appearance before God,’ I commented, pretentious as always.
‘I expect the husband or lover is there too,’ replied Danielle, always much more pragmatic.
I’ll bet she was right too. Call me a rank unbeliever, but I can’t help feeling that the husband or lover was rather more likely to put in an appearance.
And call me a cynic if you want, by I’m not sure it might not have been a husband and a lover. It was a pretty dramatic dress.

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