Clad in black, heavily painted with pale make-up and dark eyeliner, the goth‘s way of life is not usually associated with a church service unless, that is, it is being conducted by the Rev Marcus Ramshaw.
The associate vicar at St Edward King and Martyr church in Cambridge, himself a goth, holds a 45-minute service complete with candles and a specially written liturgy for members of the goth community. There are no hymns but goth music is played instead, including artists such as Depeche Mode, Joy Division and the Sisters of Mercy, said Mr Ramshaw, 34.
“The service seeks to find new ways of making the life of the church meaningful to people from alternative, and particularly goth, communities,” he said.
“We’ve been piloting it for a year. It is a service in which people are encouraged to be truly honest about their feelings. I thought it could be one way of encouraging people into church that wasn’t Bible bashing and would show people Christianity can provide hope and support.”
After the service, most of the congregation go to a goth evening at the nearby Kambar nightclub called, appropriately enough, the Calling.
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