I'd never seen a Cornish pasty at a church service. Not like these ones, huge and tasty and from the terrific Pengenna.
Church bells rang as we hovered in the entryway, and were handed the hymnal. We noticed two men coming in behind us, dressed all in white and carrying great bins filled with baked, but frozen Cornish pasties. This caused a stir in the back of the church, everyone staring at these splendid things and trying to get a good look at them.
"What is this?" someone asked the Church Warden (I knew he was the church warden because he had told me so last year).
"Pasties! They're yours, if you want them. At the end of the service..."
I was amazed. Always, they have tea and biscuits at the end, but they haven't had what I would call 'real food' yet. You can't get any more real than Cornish pasties.
We took our place in the pew to listen to the prelude, and then rose for the processional. All culinary thoughts evaporated as the great cross floated down the aisle, followed by the candles, the choir, the incense, and the Vicar. The service had begun.
The entire service was exciting and interactive. I don't believe anyone felt like sleeping, not even with jet lag. And not even during the sermon. The sermon! Continuing last week's theme, the Vicar said that Heaven is filled with Light, not from the sun, or from electricity, but from the glory of God. He encouraged us to think about being ready for that kind of Light. It will be quite a contrast to the darkness of our fallen planet.
At the end, we were approached by some very nice people who wanted to welcome us and share a cup of tea. It's fun when they ask which part of the country we are from, because the mention of California always elicits a reaction - mostly about how warm they imagine it to be. "Oh, I would love to live there," they say. or, "What is Hollywood like?" Somebody once asked me about the Kardashians, as if I might actually know them. I took it as a compliment at first, and then reconsidered.
As we went back down the aisle toward the door, we snagged a couple of the pasties. They were astonishingly heavy, maybe heavy enough to last a month of Sundays. We came away smiling, and thought going to a Church of England service in St Ives Cornwall was a fine thing, a very fine thing indeed. It's all part of being ready for the kind of light you get without electricity.
See you along the Way!