Spoken words can be tricky at x-church, the acoustic can scramble them. Historically priests often preached in Latin and Greek confident that incense and ritual would make more impact, on what was possibly a mostly illiterate congregation, than anything they could communicate from the pulpit. It just is difficult to understand words spoken at any distance in the vast open space. We've all had to learn to come close to communicate, no bad thing!
Written words have always been important here. The very name x-church makes people think about what the x means. x marks the spot? But does it? x abbreviates ex meaning that this is an ex-church, a building defined by what it used to be. Accentuating the negative wonderfully illuminates the world of the positive, of all the things that could happen. We've never wanted to fix what happens. We love it when people come in and say "what a great space, we could do...x..y..z."
'What is Slumgothic?' is a long list of words that Marcus has collected over the years. These words serve as the diary that he regrets never keeping. They are strong words put down as markers but there are also many subtle words at x-church. Look carefully and you will find words cut and scratched cut into the plaster, wood and brick. They are not immediately obvious but they are there. Latterly we have encouraged people to write all over the place in chalk. Sometimes it is good to leave a mark even if it is subtle or erasable. STAP has often written and drawn all over the floor on Thursday nights.
Writer Amanda Whittingham spent some time in Gainsborough and with our youth project before writing the award winning BBC Radio 4 drama series D for Dexter. We hope Amanda will return one day to talk to our newly formed writers' group which meets every Saturday.