This weekend St. Agnes’ was open for visitors (even more than usual, if that’s possible?) as part of Open Monumentendag – two days in the year when many buildings and structures in the country which have ‘Monument status’ open their doors to the public. For some buildings this is a real Thing as they’re not normally open. That’s not the case with St. Agnes’ as the church is open six days a week anyway! However, as it was advertised and everything, the parish made an extra effort to welcome people who otherwise probably wouldn’t step inside.
I was seconded (the technical term is ‘voluntold’) to help out this afternoon. The coordinator had a veritable army of people to help out in the church, tea, coffee, and cookies were provided in the garden, and so Fr. K sent me (holy obedience, lolzors) upstairs to look after the small exhibition of capes and chasubles which had been set up.
Great! Only I had no clue what I was supposed to say about all this vestmential splendour. ‘Don’t worry,’ says Fr. K, ‘say this and this and this.’ So I did. For nigh on three hours straight.
Now I’m not great at talking to complete strangers (really!), but this afternoon the gift of the gab was with me! I lost count of how many people I smiled at and welcomed, how many questions I took (a surprising number about the financial situation), and how many times I talked about the Church’s liturgical cycle and the colours attributed to each period in it.
At one point towards the end of the afternoon the Sacristan came upstairs to keep me company, at which point I sat down and realised how tired I’d become. But then it was only a little while to go before I ‘shut up shop’ and headed downstairs to hear other people who had helped out talk about their experiences. We all seemed tired, but hearing about the different questions and reactions posed and given as parishioners had explained various aspects of the church and it’s happenings was surprisingly encouraging.
I took a few photos at the beginning of the afternoon, which Dv I’ll add to this post later. In the meantime I’m just a happy person who’s delighted to be able to call St. Agnes’ her parish. It’s clearly one of the best in the world 😀