Last Sunday morning we attended worship at Holy Trinity, Stratford upon Avon –the place where William Shakespeare was buried along with other members of his family. It is a beautiful and very old space with small chapels to the sides as it is built in the shape of the cross. On arrival we discovered that this was a special service led by the bishop to celebrate 100 years of the Coventry diocese and the relationship they have with the Willows church school which is part of the community of the Cross of Nails –based in the original cross of nails made from roof nails found in the bombed Coventry cathedral in 1940 and seen as their call for seeking reconciliation. School children paraded a replica cross into the service and people shared how it was being carried around the various church schools of Coventry.
My favourite bit however was actually entering the church –for the large doors were closed and the entry was through a door within a door –a door with a very low lintel. So to enter church you had to bend down and lower your head. Here was this physical invitation to come humbly to worship.
At the conclusion of the service, I had planned to take a photo of the door as we left –however –to my surprise- the larger doors were swung open wide. No need to bend down now –forgiven and restored, we can leave with our heads held high –out into the community.
Postscript: When I told Reuben what I was writing, he quickly said “I didn’t have to bend down” And I realised yet again, the warm invitation of Jesus to children that requires nothing –and perhaps even calls us all to come as children...