Bullying At The Church
I was a newcomer to my local church and everything was fine to start with. I had only been going to church for a short while, having been invited to go along by a friend.
We had a female vicar who I was friendly with, she was so nice but sadly she left recently and we were replaced by a new vicar and his wife, both evangelists.
It wasn't long before things started to go wrong for me. The new vicar was rude with me in front of my friend. He seemed to do his best to not speak to me. In fact he seemed to want to avoid me, but I could see him watching me out of the corner of my eye when he thinks I wasn't noticing.
Then the other week I learned (through the grapevine) that my name had had a 'cross' put against it on the Church Roll, along with two other people. I never saw the Roll for myself, but I wondered who would make such a thing up anyway if it was not true!
Despite that, I attended one of the evangelical services, having been talked into it by one of the group, and I went along. Again I felt this sense I was being ignored. At the end of the service, as I was chatting with someone over a tea, the vicar approached and walked past me and planted himself next to us two, with his back firmly to mine and 'seemed' to want to talk to a group of people.
I decided at that point I would be careful what I said to this woman I was with, as I wondered if I was being listened to. He was close enough to pick up on anything we might say.
The vicar and his wife has still not come around to see me, although I had heard they were visiting their new flock.
In the vicar's first sermon, he told us he had been abused and bullied as a young boy by one of his teachers, or I am wondering if he just made that up in order to get sympathy from the congregation; in the end I just don't know what to think.
I have left the church, having grown wise to how bullies operate and I don't intend to let this happen to me again.
My friend is disappointed and seemed suspicious when I spoke to her, but I have not told anyone about what has happened. I don't think it will get me anywhere; my experience has taught me that it won't in the end.