Why Do We Like to Tell Stories

I was baptized as an infant and I was taught from my earliest years to say my prayers. But as a family we did not normally go to church—probably because my father was Roman Catholic and my mother Church of England, and in those days neither denomination looked kindly on mixed marriages. But for some reason, as I grew older, I did decide to go to church, and certainly my parents made no objection. I do not know quite what it was that led me first as a child to that strange pseudo-gothic edifice at the end of Gloucester Terrace, and later as a teenager to confirmation classes conducted by Father Walter Cole at Saint Mark’s, Marylebone Road. Nor do I remember much about the classes, save that we seemed to spend a lot of time talking about the atom bomb. Of course I believe that on one level my being drawn to the church was a work of the Holy Spirit, but that does not alter the oddness of it all on the merely human level.

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