Monday, 6 October 2014

80s Roller Disco Service

A thoroughly dispiriting attempt to make worship relevant and contemporary through the idiom of 1980s youth culture. 

In many ways, though, the Roller Disco Service was the perfect metaphor for modern liberal Christianity. We went round in circles, in rather dated clothing, accompanied by music from last century.

Of course, there were highlights. "I Feel Love" as a response to the reading from John 3 worked well. "Don't Leave me This Way" captured perfectly the feel of the Old Testament reading, the assumption of Elijah. And segueing into "I Will Survive" nicely captured the way we all felt Elisha would have responded as the cloak fell from the skies.

But "Come on Baby Light My Fire" as an epiclesis on the assembly just felt - I don't know, a trifle disrespectful?

Anyway, the whole thing petered out at the Peace. The idea was that, as we played Paul McCartney's "Pipes of Peace", people would weave through the Moot House, exchanging high-fives.

Of course, we hadn't allowed for ineptness. Beaker Folk crashed into other folk. People got knocked over. Other people ran over their hands. The bones that were crushed, thrilled - as they flashed under the strobe. 

And I've not mentioned the Elephant in the Room.

Where Marston Moretaine managed to find a roller-skating elephant, I don't know. To be fair to Nellie, she was defter than the numpties around her. But the sounds of screaming disturbed her, and she reared up.

Caught a laser beam reflection off the mirror ball right in the eye, and ran for the Summer Sunrise Door. Which has the tea light stand in front of it.

Tea lights flying everywhere. But of course the Beaker Folk were in liturgical wear. To wit, big hair and Spandex. Quite flammable, that. It was a few moments before the sprinklers cut in, leaving the Beaker Folk wet, blackened and bruised.

We had the debrief afterwards. What went right, what we could do better - never "what went wrong". On my list, I had the wearing of inflammable liturgical wear, the expectation that a bunch of people in their 40s and 50s could recreate their youth, and the unwise use of lasers.

What about the elephant in the room, asked Humfrei. The other elephant, that is. Not Nelly. The location of the tea light stand.

You see, after great arguments and over the (literal) dead bodies of several Beaker Folk - I had to wait till they died before they would stop complaining - I'd moved the tea light stand to that north east door. Humfrei pointed out that, if I'd left the stand where it always was - by the Winter Sunset Door - Nelly would never have crashed into it.

I've tried arguing that we had no way of knowing which way a panicking, blinded, roller-skating elephant would escape from a church service. But Humfrei was secure in the knowledge that, had the stand been other than where it was, everyone would have been safe. As he put it, "why can't you use 20:20 hindsight in advance?" 

So, frustrated beyond measure, I've decided that the best thing I can do is resort to prayer and worship, in the Beaker Style. So I've resorted to the Moot House, put on the appropriate effects, and I'm gonna lay it all before the Creator as St Brian of Roxy decreed in his Rule:

Now I'm in the dark, off the wall
Let the strobe light up them all
I close my eyes and dance till dawn.....


  1. Very ecumenical. The Catholics have been obeying Frankie's order to "Relax" for over a year now

  2. I have often thought the Moot House was the original Pleasuredome - especially when Burton Dasset is in residence.


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