This evening I am off to Polesworth Abbey with a group from our church Mother's Union branch and a few extras for a Quiet Evening.
The lady who has organised it has, to my great pleasure, asked some of the mums of our Father Freddie children's group attendees and they have accepted the invitation. All great so far...
On the school run this morning I was chatting to one of these mums, who asked the big question: "So, what does this evening involve then?"
To me, a Quiet Evening doesn't need to be defined. It's like a Quiet Day but in the evening and therefore a shortened form, I assume. I expect a talk (It is a led event), some time for prayer and meditation, and maybe some worship to close. If we are very well behaved we might even get a cup of lukewarm instant coffee.
However to someone who has never been immersed in church life, the words Quiet Day and Quiet Evening conjure up all sorts of different images. As I have a very limited social calendar I have many quiet evenings at home myself!
It got me thinking both about the importance of a personal invitation to these sort of occasions, and also the language we use in church. If these people had not been directly invited, would they have shown any interest in the event described as a Quiet Evening on the notice sheet, despite the fact that once the have experienced one they know the name is perfectly appropriate.