Friday, 20 July 2012

Restructuring Beakerism For a Post-Modern World

Inspired by the report into the future. Direction of the Church in Wales, we in the Five Knolls and Manshead Hundred Beaker Federation (Incorporating the La Tene Folk of Leagrave) have been giving some serious thought to how we should face the future.

Although here in the Husborne Crawley Community we've seen steady growth over the years, I feel that's mostly due to the nature of a coenobitic community. i.e. the creeping institutionalisation of the members leaves them with what I refer to as "Hotel California Syndrome". In the wilds of the Chilterns and the MK/Bedford former brickfields, however, this happy situation does apply. Either the looser association caused by people living in their own houses, or the lack of effective and frightening leadership, means we're seeing what might fairly be called precipitate decline.

So we're happy to publish the results of the survey, in a report we're calling "Wither Beakerism?"

1. Most respondents agreed there are too many moots. All thought that some should be closed, to allow more efficient use of resources. Everybody agreed that it was someone else's fellowship that should close.

2. People thought a greater involvement in worship-leading by non-Druids was important, to emphasise the importance of all Beaker People and take the load off the Druids. 100% of lay people were happy for laity to lead other people's services. While Druids were generally keen on lay involvement, as long as the Druids were in charge of everything and did everything.

3. There are too many Moot Houses. We should not cling to a past pattern of Beakerism, where every village had its own Moot House - the communities spend all their time fund-raising and no time on mission. However, people generally thought that their own Moot House was worth preserving, and in their local community putting a thermometer up outside the Moot House was a visible witness.

4. We need more young people.

5. We should recognise that simply wearing a pointy hat and a fake beard does not mean a Druid gets instant respect these days. Especially if your name's Eileen.

6. We need to realise that not everybody can appreciate worship that uses tea lights and pebbles. Some people prefer scented candles and voile. We've no idea how men would want to relate to God. Possibly by holding hands in a circle?

7. Generally a more informal form of worship was preferred. Some liked the idea of replacing the gendered and, frankly, patriarchal words "Father" and "Lord" for God with "Dude". When it was realised that would mean the Lord's Prayer started "Hey, Dude", only Baby-boomers in their 60s and 70s still thought it such a good idea. However, given that's 95% of the Beaker congregations, don't bet against it happening.

8. Everybody agreed the coffee's rubbish. However, faced with the thought of paying for decent coffee, even if it might be a decent form of witness, everyone agreed that the coffee's absolutely fine. (It's not. It's awful).

9. We should experiment with different service times. Maybe 8.45 or even 9.30 on a Sunday instead of 9am.

10. Above all, we must embrace the future through a radically conservative approach. That is, we must recognise the challenge of a changing world, and respond by remaining exactly the same.


  1. I can't wait for the post, post modern world to arrive..

  2. I knew I shouldn't have retired. The place falls to pieces the moment my back's turned!

  3. I'm never sure whether these blog posts are serious or not, because the victim mentality of the Beaker folk surely means that they didn't write them.

    I believe that the Beaker folk deserve better than to be led by a Woman Arch Druid, who is self appointed, unaccountable and whose directive leadership completely prevents the development of the laity and doesn't allow the recognition of their gifts.

    What is needed is the model of collaborative leadership often found within the CofE. Where meetings are held, the Vicar proposes someone for a role and they find very valid reasons to skive doing it, leaving the Vicar to do it, or it won't be done.

    As for their being to many moots, I note that their ownership is within the Archdruid's portfolio. And that significant rental income accrues to her from them - so, if they were closed, she would be impoverished - RESULT!


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