Cof­fee and a chat over Chris­tian­ity

The Leader (Tasman) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - HAN­NAH BARTLETT

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.

MARTIN DE RUYTER/ THE LEADER

Rev­erend Gor­don Tay­lor is invit­ing peo­ple to join him at Zumo Cafe for a cof­fee and to chat about church.

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