Churches can reopen; so there I was, kneeling on the floor. Training for ministry never covered this, I told myself. Not that I needed training to use a tape measure to lay strips of masking tape on the floor of a church 2 metres apart.
Being there on my hands and knees brought back a memory from my student days in South London, where I first became involved with the Church. The then Bishop of Southwark lived in the parish and would sometimes invite himself to take part in services at the church where I had become an altar server.
Positioned centrally in the church was a plinth. On this stood a large altar upon which, at the appropriate point in the service, the bread and wine for communion would be placed.
It was at that point on the day in question that the Bishop, flanked on either side by a server, approached the altar. Suddenly, there was a resounding crack. The wooden surround to the plinth gave way beneath his right foot and for a moment Bishop, robes and accompanying accoutrements seemed destined to land in an undignified heap in front of the altar. Miraculously, the servers intervened and somehow retrieved the situation.
Then I remembered my own narrow escape at a funeral in a muddy, rain-soaked churchyard. While in full flow, I found myself sliding sideways down the bank that I had been standing on and surprised myself, not to mention the mourners, by somehow staying upright.
I stood up and looked down at the floor. Memories are strange things - what will people say about me in years to come? I asked myself. Do you remember Reverend Brian? How he used to stick masking tape everywhere….?