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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005
    Tea shop behaviour
    Frustrating. Can't find the words to that Philip Larkin poem which someone used around the table in Steve's chaplaincy this evening, an uneasy introduction to an unconventional sharing of bread and wine.

    The evening was a first attempt between strangers to share something loosely defined as inclusive worship. The poem was about how we behave among strangers - tea shop behaviour, Larkin called it; how in tea shops we revert to the formulaic (setting down the cup on the saucer, leaving a modest tip) as a way of hiding from the unusual, unexpected, the revealing.

    Funny to be part of a group struggling to do something new - with food and drink - this evening, while deeply aware of having brought all our tea shop behaviours with us. Funny peculiar.