The Methodists drank cordial

In the 1960s and 1970s a family friend of ours was a Methodist. As Catholic children we thought it was funny, even hilarious, that she and other Methodists didn’t drink wine or beer. We joked about the fun the Methodists would have had at church functions drinking lime cordial.

The local Catholic priests all drank beer, some smoked, and some gambled on the horses. Two of the local Catholic churches ran Housie (Bingo) twice a week with big jackpots where they had smokes on sale. Even in Primary School the nuns broadcast Australia’s biggest horse race the Melbourne Cup over the PA system. In my Catholic community adults drinking, gambling and smoking was natural it seemed.

At the time no one ever explained to me why Methodists didn’t drink, smoke or gamble. Nor tell me why didn’t the Methodist Church have a Tabernacle, nor why did the C of E have a spot where the Tabernacle should have been but it wasn’t there, nor why didn’t the Salvation Army have Communion and why did they have church on a Saturday, and what was with the pool under the altar at the Baptist Church? I guessed they were just weird.

But no, they weren’t weird at all. Christians, just different.

Living the dream, in Sydney.

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