Religion is a massive in London. Like, really, really huge. Churches are over-subscribed to the point that Sundays usually require several services, Mosques are huge and Fridays see outpourings of people which I have only ever previously seen at large events like football matches and to me, that is amazing. Religion, here, is mainstream. Not for the 'sad' or the 'losers' or just that place you go on Christmas Eve for midnight mass.
In Plymouth, those religious few really are just that - a few. They are the minority who are mocked by the rest (the non-religious population) and most churches and the synagogue are struggling to survive. Bearing in mind the fact that there is so little demand for a mosque that the only 'mosque' is essentially someone's converted garage, and you get an idea of how different it is here.
That's why I find it so amazing that everyone is so religious. I knew of the diversity before I moved, but the fact that churches are so over-subscribed here that some services attract upwards of 1000 people? It amazes me, it truly does.
Religion in general amazes me to the point of being almost jealous of those who are religious. To feel that strongly that there is an all-loving God who looks over them and their families and to have that to turn to when you need support or guidance must be a great comfort. I don't know what I believe, but I don't believe that. I don't believe that if there truly is an all-loving God (I am talking Christianity here, although it applies to all religions I guess), that he would just sit by and watch the awful things which happen in this world go on. I know he gave us all free-will, but if I were God and I sat upstairs watching a man rape a child and I were truly all-loving, I would take free-will back and kick some ass. Or I would at least have a cheeky flick of some clouds in the direction of Somalia. No-one would ever need to know, but suffering would end. Simple.
Which is why I can't believe in God. It's not that I don't want to, I spent most of my teenage years as a part of the local church community through Girls Brigade and Sunday schools, and whilst I strongly believe in the Christian values and ways of living (tolerance, patience, forgiveness, treating others as you would wish to be treated etc), I just cannot bring myself to believe the stories or the existence of God at all.
Or if there is a God, he's rubbish. If I were marking his work I'd be using a "Try harder next time" stamp. And therefore, I wouldn't worship him anyway.
So, religious people of London, enjoy your communities and enjoy your beliefs. You're lucky to have them here, and lucky to have it at all.