Doing it English-style

The British and the Germans are cousins.  Yet, we do things very differently…  Let me give you a prime example.

A Sunday evening in April.  Anglican (therefore, English-language) evening service in a city in Nordrheinwestfalien, Germany.  The trouble is, on turning up to the venue, none of the electronic cards will open up the storeroom where our bibles, service sheets and (English-language) hymn books are kept.

Had that been Germans, you could have anticpated expressions like:

Es ist eine absolute Unverschämtheit!

Das geht nicht!

Das kann nicht sein.

etc etc…

However we are the Brits, old bean…

The chaplain arrives.

Ginge in Germany:

Padre, we have a situation here.  We cannot get access to the bibles, service sheets or Mission Praise books.


Well, no worries.  I have a my book of prayer.  I can take on off-the-peg service out of that.  Do we have any German-language hymn books in the room?  If so, let’s sing in German.

A quick scan.  Yes, we do have German-language hymn books.

Problem solved.  Chaplain welcomes the congregation of ten, a mix of Germans and Anglophone expats.  He then explains that due to unforeseen circumstances, we will be singing in German.   The reaction: very British.  Shrug of shoulders and “fair enough.”

The singing was good, pretty good, I have to say.   The first hymn was Lob den Herren.  English-speakers may recognise the tune.

Have an adaptable day, wont you.


2 thoughts on “Doing it English-style

  1. Ahh yes adaptability and lateral thinking, how British 🙂

    • A standard German reaction would have been to exclaim, “Es ist eine absolute Unverschämtheit! Das geht überhaupt nicht…” etc etc.

      British reaction: shrug the shoulders and carry on.

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