Goth Eucharist Cambridge

In this post I will put all of the information from the old thegotheucharist.org.uk site for the Rev Marcus Ramshaw lead Goth Eucharist that used to exist in Cambridge. I record this here, so it will not be lost.

The Goth Eucharist
St Edward King and Martyr

This is an exciting fortnightly service which seeks to find new ways of making the life of the Church meaningful to people from alternative, and particularly Goth communities. It takes place every alternate Tuesday at 8.30pm in the chancel of St. Edward’s Church and all are welcome to attend, whether or not you consider yourself a goth.. The service has been featured on the new Fresh Expressions Church of England website. This service has now been happening for over year and a half and has featured in the news, see here for links to some of the press reports.

There is a detailed article, explaining the background and philosophy of the Goth Eucharist available HERE.

The service lasts about 1 hour and most of the congregation go on to the Calling, a goth evening at the nearby Kambar nightclub. About 25-35 people regularly attend the service.

The service is candlelit with a specially written liturgy and uses a variety of modern rock and as well as classical music. The structure of the service revolves around the baptismal candle and reflects a serious engagement with the depressing and darker sides of our lives before moving towards a position of hope and happiness found in the empathy of the Lord Jesus Christ. While Rev Ramshaws contract has ended with St Eds he is still playing a vital part in the Goth Eucharist.Details of the music, themes and sermons (where available) can be found via the past service link on the side bar, or from here. Similarly the (revised) liturgy used can also be found via the side bar along with page devoted to a selection of the press reports we have come across.

Service times

The Goth Eucharist is held at 8.30pm for 8:45pm.

Next services:

Tuesday January 15th: Malcolm will preach on ‘David Bowie: Persons and Personas’

The service has a Live journal community goth_Eucharist this is used to post news and updates between services

Some more images of the Goth Eucharist can be found here, and a copy of the piece shown on the Heaven and Earth show can be found here Real player will be needed to view the clip. My apologies for the low quality of the clip, it was play off between acceptable quality and low bandwidth.

It is good that the Goth Eucharist has become so well established in Cambridge. It is a significant and important development, which is meeting a clear spiritual need.”

Right Revd. Anthony Russell Bishop of Ely

“An imaginative initiative like this, to reach people who would not normally come to church, is to be applauded.”

Right Revd. John Inge, Bishop of Huntingdon

“Christians are challenged to live and witness to their Faith in all parts of their lives and in every place. I am impressed that those of the the Goth Eucharist are working out this challenge; going where only few of the Church venture and seeking an expression of the Christian gospel in terms that are distinct and new.”
The full message can be found here.

Right Revd. Robert, Bishop of Whitby

Message from the Bishop of Whitby, October 2006

Goth Eucharist to be celebrated at 6pm in St Mary’s Church Whitby Saturday 28th October 2006

Whitby is one of the nation’s special places and the Church, along with the community offers a welcome and hospitality to many individuals, organisations and interest groups. Father David Smith, Rector of Whitby, together with his congregation, make the thousands who visit St Mary’s Church most welcolme.

Those of the Goth Community are regularly part of the Whitby life and scene. The Goth Eucharist is well established in Cambridge and the visit of members to Whitby and to St Mary’s Church is an important expression of their work and witness to the Christian Faith.

Christians are challenged to live and witness to their Faith in all parts of their lives and in every place. I am impressed that those of the the Goth Eucharist are working out this challenge; going where only few of the Church venture and seeking an expression of the Christian gospel in terms that are distinct and new.

I welcolme members of the Goth Eucharist to Whitby as being among the Fresh Expressions found within the life of our Church. My prayer is that their work and visit to Whitby may be Blessed by God as they worship in this place where the saints have trod before us.

+Robert Whitby

BEING CHRISTIAN AND BEING GOTH

a challenge for the Churches by Marcus Ramshaw

March 2006

A Christian Goth may initially seem to be an oxymoron. Goths, in terms of today’s sub-culture celebrate, with both an ironic and cynical attitude, an approach to life which is frequently both nihilistic and fatalistic. Christians, in contrast are associated with a joyful, faith-filled and positive approach to life, full of hope and a strong belief in redemption. The gothic view of life appears to be a stark contrast to the Christian one.

Modern day ‘goths’ tend to identify with each other through their musical tastes and dress sense, yet even then, there is less distinction made between a poseur, wannabee goth, more concerned with image and a real, committed approach to an outlook on life which is more authentically ‘gothic’. In reality, the ‘gothic imagination’ draws heavily from a variety of sources – literature, film, taste and philosophy, as well as music and fashion.

Trying to define a ‘modern day goth’ is a torturous exercise. Most goths themselves refuse to acknowledge the label. They continually debate amongst themselves what is ‘gothic’ and what is not. The two most obvious areas of group recognition – music and fashion are not, in themselves, as helpful as you might think. In music there are some obvious mainstream bands such as Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Christian death, Nightwish etc, though even with these there is some debate about their gothic credentials. However the gothic imagination didn’t simply start as a reaction to punk music in the late 1970s, it has a much older pedigree. In music what could be more gothic than the works of Wagner or even the music that originated from medieval plainsong?

In terms of fashion goths are stereotyped as the people who wear a lot of black and sometimes add white make up with black eyeliner. For goths wearing black is often the default option in their wardrobe. Many goths delight in luxurious rich colours, incorporating purple, red and dark blue. There is often a fascination with pre-raphaelite art which incorporates a vibrant array of colours. Gothic dress is more about making a statement which is invariably theatrical, rather than simply wearing black.

So what makes you a ‘goth’ in the 21st Century? I think it is principally a state of mind, an attitude towards the world, a way of viewing life and those around you. For the modern day goth this is a deep identity with the darker dimensions to our existence. They feel that they don’t fit in with conventional or ‘respectable’ society. They regard themselves as different and often misunderstood by the wider world. It would be too simplistic, however, to regard this outlook as an entirely bleak approach. There is a longing for something more from the world, though with little expectation that this will materialize. There is often a deep-rooted desire for a more inclusive and non-judgmental world. Nancy Kilpatrick in ‘The Goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined’ observed that:

‘…saying goths are lonely and morbid is misleading. The mainstream views Goths through a distorted mirror that sees only dreary music coupled with Morticia Addams fashions. Most Goths and kindred souls dispute that shallow reflection. Romance is at the heart of what it means to be Goth, and consequently tragedy is always a sigh away. In the modern gothic world, as in few other realms, the outward trappings of similarity belie fierce individuality. Every goth is an individual first and foremost, adamantly defending that position. Yet lurking within such independence is the intense need for community, which is glaringly obvious to anyone who cares to look ’

In a sense, a gothic mentality is one in which your dreams and desires are being destroyed by a harsh, unforgiving world. You are left alone and need to work out your response. You both give up and sink into despair or you accept your fate as a being misunderstood and maligned by wider society. The most important thing, whatever you do, is to be true to yourself.

There is a great deal of integrity and honesty in the gothic approach to life. The one characteristic goths seem to share with each other is a willingness to be open and frank about the darker side of their lives. Pain and heartache are taken very seriously. Many modern day taboos in contemporary society such as self-harm, suicidal thoughts, depression, grief, failure and fear will resonate with goths far more powerfully than most other modern sub-cultures would realize.

So what can Christianity offer? Caitlin Moran in ‘The Times’ made a comment on the Goth Eucharist which has been running at St. Edward’s Church in Cambridge for the past 15 months, a particularly thought-provoking comment. She wrote how:

‘…church services are all about a misunderstood man who got nailed to a cross. They are held in a looming, bell-towered, candle-lit edifice in the middle of a graveyard. Indeed if you go catholic, you get to burn incense and drink blood, as well. By contrast, playing a bit of Rasmus looks a bit, well, townie.’

There are some obvious parallels between the gothic imagination and the aesthetics of Christianity but perhaps the greatest is how both the Christian Churches and the gothic imagination have consistently misunderstood each other and viewed their relationship as both antagonistic and hostile. Goth culture is often dismissed as tainted with Satanism or Wicca, with outrageous excess and decadence, as unrespectable and even unholy. Goths who regard themselves as Satanists are, in fact, few and far between. Pagan beliefs are more likely to be found in goth communities, though only amongst a minority of goths. It is sometimes seem as an attempt to parody the Christian faith and expose its emptiness in face of the harsh realities of life. Goth culture in response has had a tendency to view the mainstream Churches as both hypocritical and judgmental, interested only with the an outlook on life which is wrapped up in the hymn ‘All Things, Bright and Beautiful’ – a patronizing response to the deeper psychological and emotional hurts that life can throw at you – a response to the world which is more triumphialistic than it is tolerant of others. From a gothic viewpoint Christianity is equated with middle class respectability. The words of Christ in Matthew’s Gospel:

‘The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”’

But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”, does not appear to be a message that contemporary Christians are willing to preach. It has, rather, become something of an embarrassment. Gavin Baddeley’s summary of the gothic world view is that:

‘Gothic is sophisticated barbarism. It is a passion for life draped in the symbolism of death. It is a cynical love of sentiment. It is a marriage of extremes such as sex and death. It uses darkness to illuminate. It believes duty is vain, and vanity to be a duty. It is the compulsion to do the wrong things for all the right reasons. It is a yearning nostalgia for the black days of a past that never was. It denies orthodox reality and puts its faith in the imaginary. It is the unholy, the uncanny, the unnatural.’

Any attempt to define the relationship between modern day goths and modern day Christians can only be a generalization and, open to the accusation of being a simplistic one. Baddely is certainly more hostile towards Christianity than Kilpatrick is. Nevertheless a wide gulf has clearly emerged between contemporary Christianity and ‘gothdom’. Occasionally this is crossed by individuals, such as Anne Rice, a leading gothic horror writer who converted to Roman Catholicism in 1998 and wrote a biographical account of Jesus Christ as a young boy. Such instances seem, on the surface at least, to be quite rare. How might this gulf be crossed and how disenchanted has modern day ‘gothdom’ become with established religion?

The divide that has emerged between the goth culture and the Christian faith is not an unbridgeable one. The Christian faith has, historically, included a strongly dualistic element in which the reality of evil and despair is acknowledged. Christianity readily acknowledges a darker side to our existence in a fallen world. This engagement with the nighttime of the soul runs throughout the Bible and the development of Christian thought. The Old Testament contains numerous stories with which modern day goths would resonate with. In King’s the tragic story of King Saul raising from the dead the soul of Samuel, only to learn of his own death, resembles the imagery employed by writers of gothic horror. The Psalms, in particular Psalm 88, in which there is no happy ending, reflect the suffering and sense of loss which the human condition experiences. The Book of Ecclesiastes reflects a sense of despair and futility towards life. In Ecclesiastes life is full of vanity which can only lead to destruction.

In the New Testament the gothic outlook on life pervades the ministry of Christ, culminating, in its most dramatic form with Christ’s words on the cross;‘ My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken me?’ An engagement with the darkness and despair that attacks human existence is an underlying theme throughout the Gospels. The presentation of this faith by contemporary Christians, however, often places its greater emphasis on the Resurrection of Christ, whilst, largely, glossing over the extent of his suffering. This is perhaps particularly true of the Anglican approach, although even modern day Roman Catholicism has reacted against dwelling upon the Passion of Christ. Certainly, from the viewpoint of a modern day goth suffering in life is glossed over and not taken seriously enough.

It is also important to recognize the deep influence Christian culture has had on the ‘gothic imagination’. Religious imagery is frequently used in the lyrics of goth bands, the aesthetics of gothic architecture and design have heavily influenced gothic fashion, and the curiosity with the preternatural may be seen to stem from the hole left by the absence of Christian spirituality.

In January 2005 a new service was set up at St. Edward’s, King and Martyr Church in central Cambridge. Each alternate Tuesday, the Goth Eucharist used music from contemporary goth bands instead of traditional hymns, a specially written liturgy drawing on a dualistic approach to life, a vast array of candles, the use of incense and high church rituals to create a worshipping atmosphere which draw heavily on the aesthetics of goth culture. As the service developed between twenty and twenty five goths from Cambridge attend the service, all in gothic dress. The service includes both biblical and secular readings as well as a brief homily of 8-10 minutes which directly tackles issues such as anger, depression, doubt, grief, self-harm and suicide. On special occasions, such as St. Valentine’s Day, 2006, the service focused on ‘Broken Relationships’ and those attending were encouraged to walk and crush red roses, strewn on the church floor, whilst going up to receive Communion or a Blessing. The service began as a liturgical experiment but gradually established itself, formed its own internal worship committee and attracted a wide amount of television, radio and press coverage, both nationally and internationally.

The group of goths that attend the Goth Eucharist in Cambridge provides a snapshot of the relationship between contemporary goths and, in this case, the Anglican Church. Several surprising facts emerged. An unexpectantly high number of those attending the Goth Eucharist had been confirmed. More than half of those attending had formerly been regular church attendees during either their childhood or teenage years. The average age attending the service is the early-mid twenties. In several instances the service attracted people who had felt previously let down or hurt by their previously relationship with organized religion. In a sense, a significant number of those attending were not, in the words of the Gospels, the lost sheep from the Christian fold; rather they represented ‘the sheep that got away’. Most missionary endeavours from the Churches focus on attracting newcomers to the Christian community. Those who used to come, but do so no longer, are frequently forgotten.

A random poll of local Goths in Cambridge was carried out online via a ‘Live Journal Community’, entitled ‘Christianity and Goth’ in late January 2006. The community was the main goth community in the area – called ‘Camgothcalling’. The poll can only be regarded as a rough indication but the results revealed a higher number of those identifying with Christianity than many might have expected. 67 individuals took part in the survey. They were asked if they defined themselves as (i) Christian, a bit Christian or not Christian and (ii) goth, a bit goth and not goth. 23 individuals (34% of the total) defined themselves as either Christian or ‘a bit Christian’ compared to 58 of the same individuals (76% of the total) who defined themselves as either ‘goth’ or ‘a bit goth’. In summary, either one-third (or one quarter, if allowance is made for those who did not define themselves as goth is made) claimed an association with the Christian faith. The survey clearly refutes the idea that a ‘Christian goth’ is an oxymoron.

A third aspect was that, several attending found the spirituality of the act of worship deeply moving and of pastoral value. A growing number of people make a distinction between being ‘spiritual’ and being ‘religious’. Although the Goth Eucharist is unequivocally orthodox in mainstream Christian theology, several worshippers were clear that they would attend this act of Christian worship but would not normally attend any other Church service.

A fourth, unexpected development, was the degree of interest shown in a T-shirt which was designed to promote the service. The design was a simple one, a long-sleeved black shirt with a quote from St. John’s Gospel divided between the front and back of the shirt. The front simply said ‘If the world hates you….’ And the back continued with ‘…..remember, it hated me first.’ The quote was taken from Jesus’ farewell discourse in St. John’s Gospel. The shirts proved to be remarkably popular, both with those attending the service and those who simply heard about it through the media. The ‘gothic sentiment’ expressed in St. John’s Gospel was the principal factor in the t-shirt’s popularity.

The Goth Eucharist remains an ongoing act of worship. As a regular service, it is unique in the Church of England. The Annual Christian Arts Festival at Greenbelt has, in recent years, hosted a goth Eucharist and Coventry Cathedral has been developing a ‘goth Ministry’ through its Youth Officers. The service in Cambridge is, however, the only regular ‘goth service’ taking place in a Church of England parish church. The service does highlight the possibilities that exist for the Established Churches to develop both a pastoral and evangelistic opportunity to connect with part of modern culture which, in the past, it has overlooked.

However, in order to do this, preconceptions and prejudices on both sides need to be challenged. For the Churches the Christian faith must not be confused with the appearances of ‘respectability’. The answer to serious emotional and psychological problems in life lies not with simplistic solutions to them but with an empathetic understanding and a willingness to meet people, with their own spiritual and religious doubts and questions, where they are. This is far more important than any attempt at ‘conversion’ Any effort made by the Church to build a relationship with goths must start from a desire to accept people as they are, rather than a covert attempt to change them. For the goth community there are, perhaps, fewer obstacles to be overcome. The greatest of these perhaps is a challenge to their perceptions of God and the Christian faith, to develop a greater appreciation of the dualistic strain that is inherent in the Christian world view and a willingness to accept that being a Christian and being a goth are not incompatible. There are, after all, Christian goths in their midst.

Details of the theme, sermon (where available) and music used at the Goth Eucharist

goth eucharist1 (724K)

This page contains a list of the music and themes used in the Goth Eucharist since the start of 2006.

2007

9th October

Preacher: Malcolm Guite

  • Leading into the service
  • Assemblage 23 – House on Fire
  • Diorama – E Minor
  • Before the Sermon
  • Clan of Xymox – Internal Darkness
  • During the Eucharist
  • Bella Morte – Winter
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Wolfsheim – Approaching Lightspeed

25th September

Preacher: Malcolm Guite- Veils and Faces

  • Leading into the service
  • Clan of Xymox – Innocent
  • fields of the nephilim – the tower
  • Before the Sermon
  • HIM – the face of God
  • During the Eucharist
  • VNV Nation- Standing
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Pink Floyd-wish you were here

11th September- Veils and Faces

Preacher: Malcolm Guite

  • Leading into the service
  • The Rolling Stones – Paint it Black
  • Mike Scott – Wonderful Disguise
  • Before the Sermon
  • Wolfsheim – underneath the veil
  • During the Eucharist
  • VNV Nation – Illusion
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Iris – Endlessly

14th August – Calling

Preacher: Paul Watkins

  • Leading into the service
  • De/Vision – At Night
  • VNV Nation – Chrome
  • Before the Sermon
  • Assemblage 23 – Divide
  • During the Eucharist
  • Cruxshadows – Winter Born (This Sacrifice)
  • Rotersand – Almost Violent
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Covenant – Call The Ships To Port

31st July – Being Christian and Being Goth

Preacher: Fraser Watts

  • Leading into the service
  • Joy Division – Isolation
  • Before the Sermon
  • The Mission – Wasteland
  • After the Peace
  • 2 extracts from Donnie Darko soundtrack by Michael Andrews
  • During the Eucharist
  • Bella Morte – Rain Within Her Hands
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Nick Cave – The Mercy Seat

17th July – Loving the Unlovable

Preacher: Ravi Holy (sermon)

  • Leading into the service
  • Bauhaus – Bela lugosi’s dead
  • Before the Sermon
  • Crass – Mother Earth
  • After the Sermon
  • New Model Army – Vengeance
  • During the Eucharist
  • The Damned – Curtain Call
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • The Sex Pistols – No one is innocent

3rd July – God: Beyond Father and Mother

Preacher: Fraser Watts

  • Leading into the service
  • Face to Face – The Devil You Know
  • Endo – Simple Lies
  • Before the readings
  • Sisters of Mercy- Cry Little Sister
  • During the Eucharist
  • New Model Army – In The Rose
  • The Church – Under the Milky Way
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry

19th June – Androgyny

Preacher: Fraser Watts

  • Leading into the service
  • Assemblage 23 – Bi-Polar
  • Beborn Beton – The Color of Love
  • Before the readings
  • David Bowie – Lady Stardust
  • During the Eucharist
  • U2 – If god will send his angels
  • The Mission – Butterfly on a wheel
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Wolfsheim – Blind

5th June

Preacher: Fraser Watts

  • Leading into the service
  • Joy Division – Dead Souls
  • Portishead – Roads
  • Before the readings
  • Depeche Mode – Stripped
  • During the Eucharist
  • Wolfsheim – The Sparrows and the Nightingales
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Iris – Guide on Raging Stars

22nd May – Acceptance

Preacher: Malcolm Guite

  • Leading into the service
  • Psychophile – Isolation
  • Depeche Mode – Walking in my Shoes
  • Before the readings
  • Ministry – Every Day is Halloween
  • While the table is prepared
  • Caccino & Pritchard – Ave Maria
  • During the Eucharist
  • Pearl Jam – Man of the Hour
  • The Cure – Love Song
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Seabound – Every Last Grain
  • Smashing Pumpkins – The Sacred and Profane.

8th May – Vulnerability

Preacher: Malcolm Guite

  • Leading into the service
  • The Prime Movers – Strong As I Am
  • Before the readings
  • Hope of the States – Me Ves Y Sufres
  • During the Eucharist
  • Depeche Mode – Damaged People
  • Portishead – Wandering Star
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Sisters of Mercy – No Time to Cry

24th April – Empathy

Preacher: Malcolm Guite

  • Leading into the service
  • REM – Everybody Hurts
  • Gary Jules – Mad World
  • Before the readings
  • Over the Rhine – Gentle Wounds
  • During the Eucharist
  • Evanescence – Give Unto Me
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Seabound – Contact

20th March – Insiders and Outsiders

Preacher: Fraser Watts

  • Leading into the service
  • Hole – Dying
  • REM – The Outsiders
  • Before the readings
  • Nick Cave – As I Sat Sadly By Her Side
  • During the Eucharist
  • Smashing Pumpkins – Crestfallen
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Sisters of Mercy – Walk Away
  • Joy Division – New Dawn Fades

13th March – Wounds and Well-Being

Preacher: Malcolm Guite

  • Leading into the service
  • Rolling stones – Dead flowers
  • Wolfsheim – Scars Remain
  • Before the readings
  • Gram Parsons – Love Hurts
  • During the Eucharist
  • Smashing Pumpkins – Galapogos
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • The Cure – Fight

20th February – Servants and Masters

Preacher: Fraser watts

  • Leading into the service
  • Jeff Buckley – Mojo Pin
  • Before the readings
  • Depeche Mode – Master & Servants
  • During the Eucharist
  • Depeche Mode – Higher Love
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Sisters of Mercy – Alice

13th February – Integrity and Conformity

Preacher: Paul Watkins

  • Leading into the service
  • Talk Talk – Today
  • Intra-Venus – Innocence
  • Before the readings
  • VNV Nation – Fearless
  • During the Eucharist
  • New Order – True Faith
  • Cruxshadows – Winterborn
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • God Module – Perception
  • I feel – (I’m free!)

30th January – Love and Hate

Preacher: Rev Andrew Swindells

  • Leading into the service
  • Velvet Underground – Venus in Furs
  • Arcade Fire – Crown of Love
  • Violent Femmes – Kiss Off
  • Before the readings
  • The Cure – Love Song
  • During the Eucharist
  • Tindersticks – Tiny Tears
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Nick Cave – The Rider
  • Nick Cave – Nature Boy

16th January – Ends and Beginnings

Preacher: Rev Dr Malcolm Guite

  • Leading into the service
  • Namambulu – Memories
  • Code 64 – Leaving Earth
  • Before the readings
  • God Module – Ever After
  • During the Eucharist
  • Assemblage 23 – Let the Wind Erase Me
  • Angels and Agony – Don’t Be Afraid
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • VNV Nation – Perpetual

2006

19th December – A Gothic Christmas

Preacher: Rev Dr Malcolm Guite

  • Leading into the service
  • Joy Division – Twentyfour Hours
  • Sisters of Mercy – Gimmie Shelter
  • Before the readings
  • Marylin Manson – Coma Black Eden Eye/The Apple of Discord
  • During the Eucharist
  • NamNamBulu – Trapped
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • HiM – Voice of God

5th December – Demons and Deliverance

Preacher: Rev Dr Malcolm Guiter

  • Leading into the service
  • Renholder – Falling through the sky
  • Wolfsheim – Leave no deed undone
  • Before the readings
  • HiM – Sweet Pandemonium
  • During the Eucharist
  • Sisters of Mercy – Marian
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Rotersand – Angels Falling
  • The Cranberries – Zombie

21st November – Disabilities

Preacher: Dylan Turner

  • Leading into the service
  • Haydn – Insanae et vanae curae
  • Before the readings
  • Depeche Mode – Walking in My Shoes
  • After the sermon
  • Andrew Lloyd-Webber – I Don’t Know How to Love Him (from Jesus Christ Superstar)
  • During the Eucharist
  • VNV Nation – Arclight
  • VNV Nation – Standing
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Apoptygma Berzerk – Love Never Dies

7th November – The Living and the Dead

Preacher: Rev Dr Malcolm Guite

  • Leading into the service
  • Joy Division – Eternal
  • Before the readings
  • David Bowie – Soul Love
  • During the Eucharist
  • The Cure – The Same Deep Water as You
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Pink Floyd – The Great Gig in the Sky

24th October – Why the Church Should be Inclusive

Preacher: Rev Dr Fraser Watts
Sermon avaiable here.

  • Leading into the service
  • E Nomine – Mysteria
  • Giulio Caccino + Paul Pritchard – Ave Maria
  • Before the readings
  • Nick Cave – I Let Love In
  • During the Eucharist
  • Depeche Mode – Waiting for the Night
  • Covenant – Still Life
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Depeche Mode – Macrovision
  • Joy Division – Atmosphere

10th October: A Gothic Imagination

Preacher: Rev Marcus Ramshaw

26th September – Speak No Evil

Preacher: Rev Dr Malcolm Guite

  • Leading into the service
  • Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence
  • Before the readings
  • Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
  • During the Eucharist
  • Simon and Garfunkel – Sound of Silence
  • Simon and Garfunkel – Seven O’Clock News/Silent Night
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • The Cure – Untitled

12th September – See No Evil

Preacher: Rev Dr Malcolm Guite

  • Leading into the service
  • Deftones – Change (in the House of Flies)
  • My Ruin – Beauty Fiend
  • Before the readings
  • A Perfect Circle – Three libras
  • During the Eucharist
  • Eels – Beautiful Freak
  • Eels – Spunky
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Marilyn Manson – Lamb of God
  • Deftones – Minerva

29th August – Hear No Evil

15th August – Dreams

Preacher: Rev Dr Fraser Watts

  • Leading into the service
  • Bella Morte – December Dreams
  • Faith and the Muse – In Dreams of Mine
  • Before the readings
  • Mark Collie – In Time
  • During the Eucharist
  • Seabound – Watching Over You
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • The Cranberries – Dreaming my Dreams

1st August – the 7 Cardinal Virtues

Preacher: Rev Marcus Ramshaw

  • Leading into the service
  • Before the readings
  • During the Eucharist
  • Final song – After the blessing

18th July – the 7 Deadly Sins

Preacher: Rev Marcus Ramshaw

  • Leading into the service
  • Depeche Mode – Question of Lust
  • Before the readings
  • Pet Shop Boys – It’s a sin
  • During the Eucharist
  • Radiohead – Creep
  • Depeche Mode – Sinner in Me
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Iris – Hell’s Coming With Me
  • Sisters of Mercy – Temple of Love

4th July

Preacher: Rev Dr Malcolm Guite

  • Leading into the service
  • Leonard Cohen – The Butcher
  • Leonard Cohen – A Thousand Kisses Deep
  • Before the readings
  • Leonard Cohen – That Don’t Make It Junk
  • During the Eucharist
  • Leonard Cohen – Anthem
  • Leonard Cohen – Sisters of Mercy
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Leonard Cohen – Villanelle for our Time

20th June – What is Goth?

  • Leading into the service
  • Johnny Cash – Hurt
  • Before the readings
  • The Cure – Disintegration
  • During the Eucharist
  • Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s dead
  • Sisters of Mercy- More
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • The Divine Comedy – The Happy Goth

6th June

Preacher: Rev Andy Swindells

  • Leading into the service
  • Strangelove – Sixer
  • The Veils – The Leavers Dance
  • Before the readings
  • The Cure – Plainsong
  • During the Eucharist
  • The Smiths – Last Night I Dreamt…
  • Suede – My Dark Star
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Arcade Fire – Neighborhood no1 Tunnels

23rd May – Encountering Hostility

Preacher: Revd Dr Fraser Watts

  • Leading into the service
  • Iris – Hell’s Coming With Me
  • Marilyn Manson – Coma White
  • Before the readings
  • Cranberries – Zombies
  • During the Eucharist
  • Evanescence – Give unto me
  • Namnambulu – Trapped
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday

11th May – Vanity

Preacher: Revd Dr Fraser Watts

  • Leading into the service
  • Gethsemene (maybe Peter Gabriel – Passion)
  • Evanescence – Where will you go?
  • Before the readings
  • David Bowie – Bring Me the Disco King
  • During the Eucharist
  • Queen – Show Must Go On
  • Namnambulu – Guardian Angel
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • AFI – Now the World (Excerpt)

25th April – Anger

22nd April – Self Hate

Preacher: Revd Marcus Ramshaw

Held at St Mary’s Whitby

  • Leading into the service
  • Ave Maria (Donnie Darko Soundtrack)
  • E Nomine – Msyteria
  • Before the readings
  • The Hope of the States – Me Ves Y Sufres
  • During the Eucharist
  • Covenant – Invisible and Silent
  • Depeche Mode – Waiting for the Night
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Sisters of Mercy – More.

28th March – Self Hate

Preacher: Revd Dr Fraser Watts

Sermon available here

  • Leading into the service
  • Nightwish – Wish I Had an Angel
  • Pain – Save Me
  • Before the readings
  • Hope of the States – Me Ves Y Sufres
  • During the Eucharist
  • Covenant – Invisible and Silent
  • Emerson, Palmer and Lake (excerpt)
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Sisters of Mercy – This Corrosion

14th March – New Directions in Life

Preacher: Revd Ravi Holy.

Sermon available here

  • Leading into the service
  • Sabbath Bloody Sabbath – Black Sabbath
  • No Rest – New Model Army
  • Before the readings
  • People are Strange – Doors
  • I just can’t be happy today – Damned
  • During the Eucharist
  • More – Sisters of Mercy
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Black Angel – Cult

28th February – The Fallenness of Creation

Preacher: Revd Dr Fraser Watts

  • Leading into the service
  • Lisa Gerrard – Human Game
  • Before the readings
  • Lisa Gerrard – Sacrifice
  • During the Eucharist
  • Creed – whats this life for?
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Depeche Mode – Macrovision

14th Feb 2006 – Love and Self-Sacrifice

Preacher: Linda Duckers

Sermon available here

  • Leading into the service
  • Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
  • Nightwish – Where Were You Last Night?
  • Before the readings
  • HIM – Funeral of Hearts
  • During the Eucharist
  • J. Buckley – Hallelujah
  • U2 – Love is Blindness
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • U2 – If God Will Send His Angels

31st Jan 2006 – Doubt

  • Leading into the service
  • Led Zepplin – Stairway to Heaven
  • Before the readings
  • Evanescence – Fields of Innocence
  • During the Eucharist
  • Depeche Mode – Waiting for the Night
  • U2 – One
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Joy Division – Atmosphere

17th Jan 2006 – Miracles

  • Leading into the service
  • Ave Maria
  • E Nomine – Mysteria
  • Before the readings
  • Depeche Mode – Suffer well
  • During the Eucharist
  • Depeche Mode – Damaged People
  • Seabound – Watching Over You
  • Final song – After the blessing
  • Depeche Mode – Nothing’s Impossible

Goth Devotions

This page serves two purposes, first of all it is intended as a help in your own private devotions and concerns, secondly it is a place to share your own spiritual thoughts, from whatever perspective. If you have any personal favourite prayers, meditations, readings, or simple quotes which you think would help other people please do send them to us through the CONTACT US on the website. This may be stuff you have written yourself or which you have drawn inspiration from the work of someone else. Some of the material which appears on this page will be used during future Goth Eucharist services. We look forward to hearing from you.

Some Prayers during times of depression or abandonment

Lord Jesus Christ, I feel so alone
Words cannot express the emptiness of my feelings
But my desire to be with you fills all of my being.
Be with me Lord in my loneliness
and make your presence known to me.
Grant to my heart that peace which the world cannot give
But which can only be found in my life with you.
So, strengthen my faith and my trust in your promises.
I know that you will never abandon me,
Sustain me with your grace that I will never abandon you.
Merciful Lord, help me in my time of need.

Grant to me father, integrity of heart and mind
That my soul may be truly open to your Holy Spirit.
Guide me in my calling to serve you and your people.
Help me to love my neighbour as myself and to love you above all else.
Take from me my thoughts of self that I might grow in my love for you.
My selfishness is ever before me,
my sins are greater than my pride will permit my knowing.
Father, hear the prayer of your child, forgive me and cleanse me with your grace

Lord Jesus Christ
Remember those who work in vain, who see no reward from their labours
Whose days seem empty and whose perseverance runs dry.
For all who suffer from disillusionment and disenchantment with their lives.
For those who seek work but who are unable to find it, For those who crave a release from the dreariness and drudgery of their daylight hours.
Teach us all to remember that our greatest work is in loving and strengthening our brothers and sisters in Christ, that by our very existence in their lives we may bring comfort, hope and strength to many and so enrich our world by your love made manifest through us.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, help me in my grief
My heart is rent asunder, my soul in pain
And tears cloud each morning.
Open my heart to receive your comfort and help me gain eternal life
In the paradise of your kingdom
Where there is no pain, no heartache, no grief or sorrow
Where every tear is wiped away from every eye
And where all that is precious to us in our lives will not simply remain, but, by the twinkling of your eye will be transformed into something finer still
Where my soul will be stripped from every imperfection and cured from every blemish, through Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Friend. Amen.

Dear Lord,
Sometimes my fears get the better of me,
my anger and my pain destroy me,
Father, I don’t want this to happen, so please help me,
When my anxieties mingle with moments in my life, will you remain with me?
I crave your peace, your stillness, and, above all else, your re-assurance.
Be with me Lord, take from me my fears.
Give me peace in my heart, and strength to overcome every setback,
so I might sit in your presence.
In the name of Jesus Christ. Our Risen Lord and Master. Amen.

Some Prayers during times of Confusion

God has created me to Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission – I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place while not intending it – if I do but keep his Commandments.
Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what he is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me – still He knows what He is about.

John Henry Newman.

O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shades lengthen and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work done. Then, Lord, in Thy mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

John Henry Newman.

Some Prayers for Confidence and Courage

Loving Lord,
You alone are my heart of joy,
You alone are my love of life.
You alone are my source of strength.
Yet sometimes I doubt, sometimes I am wearied, sometimes I give way to despair.

Loving Lord,
Embolden me in your service
Give me the courage to be a witness to my faith and to myself
So that the joy of my belief,
may seduce others into a love for you.
Through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen

O Lord, help me in my life to advance your kingdom here on earth. Give me a vision of your righteousness in my world. Help me to help the poor, the weak and the suffering, so open my eyes to see and my heart to grasp the pains of those around me. Shake me from my complacent thoughts and my wants of self. My most precious gift is myself, my greatest temptation is withholding my time from helping others. Help me overcome my weaknesses in your service and enflame my heart with a passion to purge your world from all evil and malice which blinds your people from knowing you.

All the prayers above, unless otherwise attributed are by Marcus Ramshaw

Some Readings which may be helpful

We tend to think that the Scriptures do not show much understanding about how destructive depression might be. The Psalms talk a lot about feeling alone, about the loss of all hope, but the writer always finds, in God, a resolution to his anxieties. There is, however, one Psalm, in which this does not happen. Psalm 88 reflects, more than any other passage in the Bible the feelings Christ experienced on the Cross when he crued out `My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’

Psalm 88
O Lord, the God who saves me,
day and night, I cry out before you.
May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.

For my soul is full of trouble
and my life draws near the grave.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
like a man without strength.
I am set apart with the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
who are cut off from your care.

you have put me in the lowest pit,
in the darkest depths.
your wrath lies heavily upon me;
uou have overwhelmed me with all your waves.
You have taken from me my closest friends
and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape; my eyes are dim with grief.

I call to you, o Lord, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.
Do you show your wonders to the dead?
Do those who are dead rise up and praise you?
Is your love declared in the grave,
your faithfulness in Destruction?
Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?

But I cry to you for help, O Lord;
In the morning my prayer comes before you.
Why, O lord, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?

From my youth I have been afflicted and close to death;
I have suffered your terrors and am in despair.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.
All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me.
you have taken my companions and loved ones from me;
the darkness is my closest friend.

Goth Eucharist

The Goth Eucharist was featured on BBC1 TV ‘Look East’ on January 18th, during both their lunchtime and evening broadcasts and on the BBC Heaven and Earth Show on the 2nd April. Live Radio interviews have also appeared on BBC Radio Five Live Drive programme, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, BBC Radio Three Counties, BBC Radio Glasgow, Radio Dublin, Austrian FM Radio, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio Sydney, and Croatian Radio

There has been a feature in The Church Times, The Church of England Newspaper and forthcoming articles are due to appear in Chat Mgazine, Rock Warriors Magazine and Terrorizer Magazine. Below is a list of some of the press reports we have had.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s