Winter is the most intimate of seasons at Christ Church because we gather in Mockridge Hall every Sunday at 10:30a.m. Built in 1921 and situated adjacent to our Church, this modest little building has buttressed life at Christ Church for almost a century. For decades, it has provided accommodation for clergy and musicians in residence along with their families. It has always been the centre of congregational social gatherings.
Until a few years ago, the Church was heated on Sunday mornings for winter services but left unheated for the balance of the week. Recognizing that this practice was hard on the church building, the congregation decided to worship during the winter (except for Christmas services) in Mockridge Hall.
We gather in the living room, a fine oak table serving as the altar in front of the granite stone fireplace and a wooden cross on the mantle above. To the right of the fireplace is the reed organ. Chairs accommodate about 16 people, with ample room for more in the adjoining dining room.
Every Sunday morning at about 10:00am, early bird angels arrive to ready coffee and most delicious after service snacks. The rest of us drift in to the aroma of freshly brewing coffee. Lighting of the Epistle and Gospel candles on the alter signals the beginning of the service. The organist pumps the organ and we sing quite lustily, familiar hymns led by strong voices. Our Minister Mal Binks leads the service with spontaneous informality appropriate to the setting, yet he leaves us with a nugget of the Christian message every time.
Somehow the service is more intimate than in our beautiful church building, maybe because the elements of our experience - words, music and message - are closer to us. It's warm and welcoming and that is as it should be in winter.