I was slightly ill over Christmas, possibly with the dreaded 'Coughvid' since work colleagues who still (why?) test for it and who had similar symptoms did have that ailment. Basically, a nasty cold - no fun but hardly the end of the world. But it meant I didn't go to church on Christmas morning for the first time in many years.
I'm afraid to say I was quite relieved not to have to do so. When my parents were still alive and I spent Christmas with them we would go to a small country church in Wiltshire. St Martin's in Bremhill was originally built around 1200, though not much is left from those days. It was altered in the mid 19th century but still has a 14th century tower and some Tudor stonework as well. The font is even older. When I went there, which was most Christmases between 1986 and 2006, the service was the traditional Church of England one using the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible. The vicar was a grey haired, red-cheeked ex-tax inspector (there is a good precedent for that) whom we would sometimes join for a drink in the local pub after the service. The atmosphere was cheerful but reverent, and the congregation was a mix of local country people plus a few outsiders like me. It was the sort of thing you might have seen in England for centuries. Most people there were probably not full believers but they respected and maybe even loved the tradition. They may not have been able to give themselves to it whole-heartedly but they knew it was better than anything that came after it.
Now, in the Church of England tradition is dead and most people think we are well rid of it. Of course, there are self-conscious attempts to maintain it here and there but that is completely artificial, and even many of the people involved still think that modernity is better. They would just like the cosmetic aspects of tradition but they are fully on board with the innovations, women priests, blessings for same-sex couples and all the rest of the dreary capitulations to secularism. Both the churches around where I live go in for all that stuff and consider themselves enlightened for doing so. Both were completely compromised during the 2020 lockdowns. Every time I have been, and I do only go at Christmas and Easter, I have felt dispirited and almost ashamed at contributing to such a desecration of true religion as these spiritually collapsed bodies provide. There is a Catholic Church near where I work in London, a beautiful 19th century building, and I go in there sometimes at lunchtime to pray and contemplate. That still has the old feeling of actually being a house of God that the C. of E. ones just do not have but even there I find that feeling is stronger when there is no service going on. Modern worship rarely adds to the sense of sanctity in a church. More usually it actually detracts from it.