Father James McCartney
St. John the Evangelist Church
South Parade
Wellington Wells

Dear Father McCartney:

It was so lovely to bump into you by the fountain the other day. I hope I didn't seem to distracted. I might have had a bit too much Joy that morning! You know how it is these days.

Has it really been so long since I was an altar boy in your choir? It feels like yesterday.

I have a favour to ask of you. It has been a few years now, if I remember right (which who knows anymore?), that I've felt out of step with the rest of the congregation at St. Michael's. More and more they argue about what Christ's forgiveness means if nobody can remember what they're asking forgiveness for. To tell the truth, I long for the old certainties I had as a boy. I miss absolution; I miss the body and blood. I miss going forth to sin no more. I want to return to the Church.

But I doubt Gillian would take kindly to my returning for the fold. Her knitting club is all St. Michael's. Her flower arrangement friends are St. Michael's. Our neighbors are all St. Michaels.

Is it wrong to want to convert in secret? And to take mass in secret? I suppose we did in the earliest days of the Church, didn't we?

I cannot remember the things I have done. But confession and mass wash all sin clean, do they not?

Would you have me back?

Yours most devotedly

Robin Willoughby

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