Sunday – to a very homely rendering of the nine lessons and carols in my home church in Paulton, followed by mince pies and mulled wine. We saw many people that we don’t normally see. Some people come to church just once or twice a year to keep in touch.
Today to Wells to hear a carol service and to take part in it. We were advised to arrive early for a six o’clock service, five o’clock to be precise. I thought we would arrive then just to be on the safe side, but to my surprise more or less the whole Cathedral was occupied. We grabbed some back row seats, a mistake as we were to discover.
6 PM approached and we were asked to stand while the bells chimed and the service started. I noticed a woman behind me standing with a young child. She was one of these ample middle-class ladies. It was quite clear that the child was not going to be calm. It is one thing I can’t cope with, and that is noise during singing. After I turned round and stared at her a couple of times she waved at me sarcastically and patronisingly. After about 15 min. she left and 15 minutes later returned. The child made noises from time to time, just enough to disturb me but not enough to be thrown out by the staff.
I think people who bring children under three years of age should not be permitted to enter. It shows disrespect for other people who want to hear untrammelled music. These people simply don’t care or are so self-centred that they think people just have to put up with noise from ‘my little darling’. As if that were not enough,the stewards of the back were talking together and I could quite clearly hear what they were saying.
The straw that broke the camel’s back came when walkie-talkies sprung into action behind us again down to the stewards and they either had no knowledge of how to turn them down or no desire. I realised that this event was regarded by them as just another event. The sensibilities of the congregation were not taken into consideration and I actually walked out of the service promising to meet my guests and Françoise after the event. I walked around the town of Wells. There was blissful quiet enabling me to clear my head from the impossible task of concentrating on the singing which was of good quality and trying to shut out the noise of the wretched children.