I’ve been reading a few parish profiles lately. It’s made me more aware than ever that churches just don’t know what to do with people like me. Most of these parishes proudly feature their work with families, their men’s breakfasts, the outreach to the elderly. None mention any kind of support for adult single people. By rights of course to fit into the church I should be married with a couple of kids so I can fit neatly into the Mums’ groups; but do all mothers only ever discuss children? Where do adult Christian working women get together to chat and pray about the challenges of being a 24/7 Christian? Not the existing groups, as they’re all held during the day.
Many meetings seem to be held at times that are fantastic if you work locally. But even the parishes that admit to having large commuter populations still have sessions starting at 7pm or 7.30: are they accessible to someone leaving their office at 6pm?
Churches are rightly concerned with their youth work. And the elderly. But many churches claim to be a ‘church family’ when what they really are is a church of families. From these sidelines it seems that if you order your church organisation around these family units, those that don’t fit fall through the cracks. Parishes seem to be able to recognise some kinds of people that don’t ‘fit’ – but us adult single folk are just left to get on with it.