The Usual Suspects (or, a practical theology of receptive ecumenism in Cork)

The usual suspects,

plus a few.

We smile.


It is another way of saying

we are among friends,

(which with our history

is no small thing).


Methodists in blue skirts,

make room at the back.

The C of I in linen and beads

provide a table of home baking.


Collars set in grey and pink and blue;

a gentle enquiry;

a meeting of minds;

worn light.


David pulls the curtain.

The setting sun

spills in

on either side.


(It can’t be fixed

and Seán is in the limelight.

Florence provides the shade.)


Welcomed, we

reach for our glasses.

Varifocal, we

sing the hymns.


The cotton of a summer evening;

hibiscus in the churchyard.

The usual suspects

settle down to word.

Author: realmofsparks

Anne Francis is a Pastoral/Practical theologian and spiritual care practitioner. She has a Pastoral Supervision practice and is author of 'Called: Women in Ministry in Ireland.'

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