I was a bit surprised and disconcerted that only one person turned up for the eight o'clock Eucharist this morning, until I remembered that there was to be a special 'do' after the Sung Eucharist following. Disconcerted because as was unlocking, a man in the street with a group of young people had asked if there was going to be an eight o'clock and I'd said 'yes', but he hadn't followed me into church.
A quarter of an hour later, as my sole communicant and I recited the Creed, I heard the sound of footsteps. When I turned around the man with eight teenagers had installed themselves in a pew. I welcomed then and continued with the service. Most seemed fairly familiar with worship and were very attentive. All came up and received Communion. As a result, this was the the largest number of eight o'clock communicants which I can recall in several years.
It turned out that they were a High School travel group from New Jersey, so I told them about our link with Rutgers College choir, and told them to look on You Tube for the video I posted of the choir singing outside church before their concert last summer.
We persist in offering services with a poor take up, and often I wonder why. Then there are moments such as this which provide reason enough. Even such a predictable routine event is capable of springing surprises.