Cead Mile Failte
In the reasons that we don’t invite, I may need to add another, for in last night’s feedback someone suggested that inviting to church was not part of Irish Culture. My mind went immediately to St Patrick who invited the Irish people to take a closer look at Christianity. I was reminded however that St Patrick was in fact Welsh! So is it true that invitation to church is not part of the Irish culture? One obvious thing to say is, how did all the people end up in church, were we not all invited? Secondly IRELAND REMAINS among the friendliest and most welcoming countries in the world for foreign visitors, according to major new global research. A study by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has found that Ireland ranks 9th on a global list of the attitude of its native population to visitors. As the publicity says wherever you go you will be met with a smile. In other words Irish people invite people into Ireland. My experience tells me that the reason given last night is not the real reason we don’t invite. It is the fear of being rejected that continues to be the main reason that we don’t invite. But perhaps we can as a Irish church start to address this by reflecting on the phrase Cead Mile Failte, a hundred thousand welcomes which encapsulates the spirit of Ireland to the outsider and then begin to invite the outsider to experience the welcome of Christ and his church.