Over the past months I have written about religion from a number of stand points, good and bad. As someone who is no longer a believer, when one sees religion that really works it can give pause for thought.
In our midst we have a man, a cleric, who is modest, worldly, in that he is not blind to human weakness, but accepts it with understanding, he takes the time to explain his message in phrases easily understood and cogent. In my experience he is a man apart from the general run of life, not just religion. All who attend his church, or have met him, respect him not only for what he is, but what he does. He is generous with his time and never ceases to surprise by his approach. He does not preach at you, nor instruct you, he reasons and explains. A man who can fill a church to the doors, in this day and age, is not only unusual, he is remarkable.
This man has now moved on, I believe, if someone of the same quality fails to replace him, to some extent those he has left behind could be left rudderless. I find it incredible that the Church per se has not woken up to the fact that the empty pews are as much a responsibility of those in the pulpit as it is from a lack of belief, or laziness by the masses.. Once I was a believer, but circumstances and a bad choice of clergyman combined to change all that. All my life I have been aware of two things, to many who are bereaved or lost in some way, religion is a prop or it fills the vacuum, but its main function is to teach how to live together in harmony.
We are told that the numbers attending church are falling rapidly. .When I worked for an estate agent, responsible for the conduct of church properties throughout the land, the amount of wealth was breathtaking. Today I believe those with ability, who could previously have been persuaded to join the ranks of the clergy or go into politics, and have the talent required, fail to do so because the rewards are so meagre. It is no longer enough to ‘have a calling’, when it was, the clergy had a virtual captive audience. I have known some clergy in my time who were trying to bring up their families to their own standards on a pittance. If the standards of the remuneration of the clergy are raised in order to attract people with the ability to communicate simply, answer intelligent questions intelligently, there might be a change. It is not enough to just quote text., those days are over, congregations are bodies containing free thinkers who are sceptical and need convincing, as well as help..
It would seem so logical and necessary. A small portion of the total outlay of the sect would not be missed for obtaining and then paying well, and educating those with the touch as well as the bent. I am not aware that it has been tried to improve attendance. .Commentators are constantly raising the matter of child lawlessness. In my day the church provided places for the children to be entertained, to entertain themselves, and to learn the rudiments of good behaviour. Need I say more.