Printed from WriteWords -

Fr Colin Regrets

by  Jojovits1

Posted: Monday, November 4, 2019
Word Count: 746
Summary: My first offering...eeek!

Fr. Colin Coleman always remembered the exact moment he decided to leave the Clergy.
St. Genesius’ Parish Church in Cheshire had never seen the like of Colin when he arrived.  When he was younger, he’d had a fairly cloistered upbringing but since leaving home and discovering a wealth of difference and life beyond his little village in the New Forrest, he embraced it for all it was worth.  Head long, he dived into every bit of sub culture he could find.  He was 28 and full of the ideals and inclusiveness that would help to shape the Church of the future.  His parishioners had not been quite so keen in the beginning and did question his credibility somewhat.  I believe some even wrote a letter to the Bishop.
First of all there had been the LGBT (it had gained a few more letters since then) church choir and the Reformed Addict’s “Stitch and Bitch”.  There was the Volunteer Home Help for the elderly, manned by about seven local prostitutes with time on their hands during the day.  Some of Colin’s ideas had been hard for his community to swallow but they did eventually get on board, although the WI were never that comfortable about the fundraising and found the whole thing a tiring, confusing crucible.  A bit of Battenberg just didn’t seem appropriate when all was said and done.
As critical as they were at the beginning, eventually Colin’s faithful flock would rally round and give him the support required, with a bit of a shrug and an eye roll.  He had a canny way of cajoling them into accepting his new ideas, at first reluctantly and then wholeheartedly, often ending up as part of the committee for yet another new venture.
So when Fr. Coleman said that he wanted wedding ceremonies to be less fussy, traditional and “churchy”, no one batted an eyelid.
Colin conducted ceremonies for the Dungeons and Dragons fanatics, the Lord of the Rings fans, the King Arthur and Guineveres.  He had dogs bring the rings on ribbons tied to their collars.  He had a Flash Mob sing Radio GaGa in the courtyard, outside the church when the Happy (Queen Fan) Couple emerged as man and wife.
And Colin had a Clown Wedding.
Trevor and Amanda came to see Colin one night in November 2014.   They were both clown fanatics.  Colin was fascinated.
The pair described exactly how they wanted their day to pan out.  The Groom would arrive astride a cannon sprinkling baby blue and silver sequins (the colour theme throughout) and the Bride would arrive, with all ten Bridesmaids, in a car that would fall apart just as it reached the church doors.
Colin was mesmerised by the whole thing.  There would be acrobats preceding the Bride, somersaulting down the aisle.  Seals would be ring bearers, one on either side of the couple and clapping their oinking clap as the rings were placed on fingers for eternity.
On the day of the wedding, Colin stood in front of the alter.  Trevor had dismounted from his cannon and was nervously shuffling in a sea of blue and silver confetti.  The best man was swigging from a hip flask every now and then, making the nose under his nose redder than the pretend one.
Finally, everyone heard the claxon on the clown card herald the arrival of Amanda.  The congregation stood, turned and smiled as she stood in the doorway, sunlight giving her a warm, almost holy, aura.   Over the sound system, Canon in D started to play and Amada took her first, shy steps towards her future husband.
It was at that moment, Colin knew.
The parishioners of St Genesius had a new priest now.  A more conventional man who kept the Stitch and Bitch (a couple of the WI with more than a passing acquaintance with a bottle of Chardonnay had also joined) and the choir.  He had dismantled the home help but had to reinstate it fairly quickly due to popular demand. 
And Colin?  He left the church that day.  After the ceremony, he packed up his things and disappeared.  He told no one at all that he was going.
When his housekeeper arrived the next morning she saw that the front room had a bare look about it.  She checked upstairs and saw that his clothes had gone and on the pillow on his neatly made bed was a plain, white postcard.  It said,
Gone to join circus.