Over the past 50 years or so, a lot of thought has gone into making churches more comfortable for the worshippers. In recent years many churches have replaced their pews with more comfortable chairs.

What to do with the old pews? My own church, Marlborough Road Methodist, managed to dispose of some of ours to Ye Old Fighting Cocks, St Albans, where you will see them outside the pub so the customers can sit there to enjoy their drinks in the warmer weather. Rather a surprising destination for the pews given the traditional Methodist views on drinking.

There is a downside to all this. Increasing comfort can lead to drowsiness. I have occasionally found myself nodding off, something I never did sitting in the ‘uncomfortable’ pews.

Physically we have become more comfortable. Church is a place where we can relax in the presence of God, but it should also be a place of challenge, of disturbance even.

Whether we are sitting in comfort in our church, or in the even greater comfort of our homes, we should not become too comfortable. Comfort is an inappropriate response to many of the issues facing our world today.

In the 1950s Trevor Huddlestone wrote a book about apartheid which he called Naught for Your Comfort. Today there is little comfort for us in, for example, Climate Change, and the widening gap between rich and poor. It is too easy, too ‘comfortable’?, to say ‘there’s nothing we can do about it’.

Greta Thunberg, as a 15- year- old school girl gave us an example. She did what she could.

So what can we do?