Doubt is not something often associated with church but even saints struggled to believe on faith alone.
St Thomas, known as Doubting Thomas long before he was a saint, was a sceptic who refused to believe without direct personal experience, including the resurrection of Jesus until he saw and felt the crucifixion wounds, according to the Gospel of John.
Church Untamed, in Cromwell, recognised people often had doubts and is hosting a Festival of Doubt on Sunday.
Event organiser Tim Muller said doubts were often associated with shame — not just in religious contexts but also in political or other ideological groups.
But in any other situation the same thoughts would just be questions and seen as opportunities for growth.
‘‘With the Festival of Doubt we’re inviting people to share their doubts — anonymously if they prefer — and to think of them in the same way: questions that can bring us closer to the truth we’re all seeking if we explore them with humility and intellectual honesty as part of a supportive community.’’
The Festival of Doubt was an unconventional take on the Feast of St Thomas, who was less famously known for probably travelling to India later in life to share the story of the resurrection.
The event was an exploration of life’s deepest and hardest-to-unravel mysteries, through music, discussion and a panel question and answer session, Mr Muller said.
In recognition of St Thomas and his travels, the festival would conclude with a lunch of curries and Indian delights.
The event would be held at Cromwell College auditorium on Sunday at 10am.
It was open to sceptics, Bible-bashers and everyone in between.
People could share their doubts or questions for the panel discussion beforehand at www.churchuntamed.nz