Last Night – World AIDS Day Service

The AIDS Day service was very moving last night. It is troubling how much the organisers feel that they have to emphasise that everyone is welcome, “even though it is in a church”.

The choir stalls were taken up by a fabulous women’s drumming group which made me wonder whether the stone that was rolled away at Easter did so because the various Marys and so on had brought their percussion with them.

The most moving thing about it for me, which made tears start to fall, was the congregation being invited to anoint one another with fragrant oil on the backs of one another’s hands. The sight and smell of this action somehow brought back what we have lived with through these terrible 25 years. It took me straight back to first hearing about AIDS when I was about 18.

It is unusual and wonderful to find oneself in a church service and realise that it both does and does not matter that perhaps a majority of those around you are gay.

I’m glad that we were able to host the service and hope that those who were there decide to come back, “even though it is a church”.

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