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Published:September 7th, 2011 12:02 EST

John Coltrane Church In SF, Amy Winehouse Church In England! Amen!

By Robert Paul Reyes

The Church of John Coltrane, located in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, recognizes legendary jazz artist John Coltrane as a saint. This church was founded in 1971, and it features the music and lyrics of Coltrane in its services.


Listening to Coltrane`s 1964 masterpiece "A Love Supreme" is a spiritual endeavor akin to reading the Bible or attending a performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. If I make it to heaven I don`t want to be welcomed by an angel strumming a harp; I want "A Love Supreme" to be playing in a giant turntable in the sky.

The John Coltrane Church is still grooving to the timeless music of the iconic jazz artist, and now there`s a church in England that`s rocking to the music of Amy Winehouse.

"A vicar is using the life and death of Amy Winehouse to relaunch a series of `Gothic` services which are aimed at people who have a `strong sense of the darkness of life`.

St Edward`s Church, in Peas Hill, Market, Cambridge, is holding its Goth Eucharist programme under a new banner - `On the Edge`.

Although continuing to feature a core of Goths, the Eucharist - one of the longest running "fresh expression" services in England - will be open to all, and instead of hymns during the proceedings, there will be songs selected from Winehouse`s platinum-selling album, Back to Black, as well as the Communion."

St Edward`s Church is my cup of tea, in spite of warm puppy dogs, smiling babies and double rainbows, I realize that this world is a horrible, horrible place. I am well acquainted with the darkness of life, in fact that`s where I pitch my tent.

Winehouse sings of love lost, depression and confusion, but the genius of her lyrics and the power of her voice gives us the strength to persevere as we march on to the abyss. We all need a refuge from the absurdity of life, and a church that features the songs of Winehouse is a solid port in a storm.

Coltrane was a heroin addict and Winehouse was a crackhead and a drunkard, but I would argue that they are holier than the apostle Paul or any of the popes. The music that these two legends blessed us with is more spiritual and life-affirming than the epistles and religious tracts left behind by the giants of the Christian church.

I`m listening to Coltrane right now, and thus well-equipped to deal with the trials and tribulations of life.

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