In the summer season at St Paul's Leamington Spa our numbers don't take a massive dip. Our regular morning 280 becomes about 200; evening 80 down to 60. But there are usually up to 50 different faces - people popping back to see family, tourists, other visitors.
Yesterday morning one of the visitors was a child aged perhaps 8 or 9. He was wearing an immaculate creamy white suit, shirt and tie. He came out the front and waved flags during the singing. In a short gap between two songs he heckled, 'Play the next song,' from right behind where I was standing. After the service he came and tried out the Reader's Desk (place where the church service leader sits) I had been using for size, as if planning to be doing that himself some day.
I had no idea who he was or whose he was.
Later, over lunch with friends, I discovered that this child had only been to church once before and that was to a wedding. When he heard that his family were planning to go to church he put on his wedding clothes, imagining that everyone else would too.
If you have only one experience of something it is very hard to persuade yourself that all parallel experiences are not identical. But go through a church door these days somewhere in this country on a Sunday morning and no two visits will be the same.
What do you imagine goes on in churches? (People with advanced imaginations may post to their own blogs.)
However, if someone wearing all-white starts hanging around near you be very cautious about your behaviour.