Thursday, 16 April 2015

Meet and Greet

Every Wednesday it is my great pleasure to sit at the 'welcome' desk near the entrance to St Mary's.  A somewhat chilly post on many days since both the outer and sometimes the inner doors are wide open.

Nevertheless my 'meet and greet' partner and I thoroughly enjoy our weekly exchange of views, personal chat and deeper discussions, interspersed with visitors of all kinds.

Some scuttle in, heads averted so as not to catch our eyes and manage only the barest nod in return to our "Good Morning"s

Others drift up to the desk and linger and chat about their own churches, or sometimes their family stories, while some, just a few ask deeply interested questions about the age of the church and which are the bits to look out for etc.

Occasionally we get musicians who have heard that our accoustics are particularly fine and want details of concerts etc.
We have visitors from Australia, America Germany, Nederlands and many other countries, as well as coachloads now and then from all over the UK.

There are days when no-one crosses the doorstep and days when there are endless trickles of couples, groups and single callers.

All are grist to our mill, and the chance to have a really good chat about our various 'treasures' is really welcome.

Best of all is when someone on leaving says."thank you so much for making our visit so interesting"

A couple were on their way to the door last Wednesday when I remembered that they were particularly interested in old wood and I had neglected to show them our (four) misericords in the choir stalls.

I apologised for delaying them but said I hoped seeing these hidden carvings would make up for it.
They were so effusive in their thanks that I still had a smile on my face half an later.

Volunteering can be dull and sometimes seem a thankless exercise, but it can be such a source of joy too.

Oh dear, I sound like Pollyanna.  I'd better go and lie down. :-)


  1. A very worthwhile thing to do, Ray. I do wish more people volunteered to do things and wish I had more time to do so.

  2. Time is what I have in abundance and were it not for the three mornings a week, plus choir practice and Sunday service I spend in St M's, I really have no idea what sort of life I would live.
    Just now and then I think wistfully how nice it might be to have a 'lie-in.'
    On the rare occasions I can do so I get very bored and miss the contact with people.
    Volunteering is a two-way street. "it blesseth him that gives and him that takes".

  3. That sounds like a very worthwhile task to volunteer for, Ray. I love visiting churches and it's always lovely to have someone who knows the building show me its treasures. Sadly it's quite a rare treat.

  4. There's a team of us Perpetua, and we work on a rota system, but as I am around most of the time I often get asked questions when people spot me.
    Every time I talk in depth to anyone about certain features I learn more and the detail; becomes more firmly fixed in the gap where my brain should be.