CRUEL SEA guitarist and keyboardist James Cruickshank is deepening the mystery of faith through a very unlikely communion.
The renowned musician who has called the Northern Rivers home for 12 years has for the past year been the pipe organist at Sunday mass held at St Kevin's Catholic Church, Bangalow.
And the experience has proved to be spiritually nourishing for the man who is more used to pubs and clubs than churches.
"It's a congregation of people having an esoteric communion with God," James said.
Although he is not a Catholic, he sits through the mass and said he often found answers to questions in parish priest Fr Anthony Lemon's sermons.
"You can bring something that is troubling you and you might hear that the answer is forgiveness," he said.
Shortly after taking up residence in the church refectory, a residential space for artists, parishioners asked if he would consider playing the organ as the church had been without an organist for some time.
After agreeing to the gig, he was told to always remember he was playing to a congregation and not an audience and with this in mind the experience has been both humbling and illuminating.
"The first time I was terrified," he said.
"But when everyone is getting into it...I have had some beautiful musical moments."
James said he often felt "inexplicably lighter" after the Sunday service.
James will be performing music from his recently released album Note to Self at Bangalow Bowling Club with multi-instrumentalist Christian Pyle on Saturday, June 2. The gig is billed as a four round boxing match between the two north coast musos. Entry is $20.