Coffee and a chat over Christianity
Nelsonians have been invited to pull up a pew and sip a hot brew with one of Nelson’s clergy.
Reverend Gordon Taylor from All Saints church will be at Zumo Cafe from 11am to 12pm each Friday.
‘‘It’s an open invitation for anyone who wants to pop along if they’ve got any questions about religion, or just want to talk,’’ Taylor said.
‘‘I’m not saying I know all the answers but it’s a way, from my point of view, of us going out, rather than expecting people to come to church.’’
He said people often had preconcieved ideas about church, but having a coffee was an easy way for people to ask questions without having to go through the church doors.
‘‘I thought it might just be something fundamental where they think it’s not the place for them because their only contact with the church in the past is that you have to have all this standing and sitting down and reading books.’’
He was happy to answer questions about what happened in church services, or about Christianity in general.
Taylor was ordained as a deacon in the Anglican church ‘‘late in life’’.
He had a career in engineering in the UK before coming to New Zealand where he ran two businesses.
He was keen to keep some of his ‘‘normality’’ when talking about his faith, without getting too engrossed in jargon and procedure.
His decision to make himself available every Friday was a way for him to extend some pastoral care to the community.
He said it was a challenge to help the church be seen as relevant in a time when people led such busy lives.
‘‘People are busy getting on with life and they don’t think about the deep questions.
‘‘The meaning of why they’re here, what’s good and what’s bad, why is it good and why is it bad.’’
He said often it wasn’t until ‘‘the wheels came off’’ that people would ponder these issues.
‘‘Sometimes life has a habit of pulling us up sharp. I think if we can look at those questions before we’re in a crisis we’re often in a better space to think them through calmly.’’
As to the curly questions people might have about religion and Christianity, Taylor was ‘‘nervous’’ but keen for people to come with their queries.
‘‘People think Christians have it all sewn up and think they have all the answers, but to be honest enough to say ‘no we don’t’, we question, and that’s what faith’s all about’’
No topic is off limits for Taylor. ‘‘If they want to talk about the world and why it’s going down the plug hole in their view, we can do that as well.’’
He was even open to discussing the role of religion’s place in history, and in particular, in wars.
‘‘Often people want a soundbite answer. But if you sit down over a cup of coffee you have more chance to talk these things through.’’
Reverend Gordon Taylor is available for anyone who wants to have a coffee, on Fridays from 11am to 12pm at Zumo Cafe.
Reverend Gordon Taylor is inviting people to join him at Zumo Cafe for a coffee and to chat about church.