Thursday, 22 January 2015

Not Knowing What a Hipster Is

No, I didn't really mean this...

"2001 Low-rise jeans and thong whale tail" by Gates of Ale - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

I really meant these...
The thing is this - a middle-aged Church of England vicar who thinks he's a bit of a man-about-the-old-metrop told me he met another vicar, only a year or two older. And that other vicar - who lives in a decent sized town - we're not talking Much Mithering in the Marsh here - had never heard of hipsters. At least, not the example directly above this. He wasn't really sure whether his companion had any views on jeans that are so low-slung they require topiary of a totally different kind to Mumford and Sons to pass for vaguely respectable. My friend doesn't think his companion is a bad parish priest - he is clearly a very good one, eschewing all worldly knowledge in favour of ministering to his flock. Clearly a good man.

But my question is this. Being a church minister requires many things - particularly in an Anglican parochial setting, I suspect. Your typical minister will have a congregation often in its seventies or eighties. They will mostly be white. They will mostly be rural. They will often want to talk about the Blitz, or what it was like trying to hold candlelit carol services in a blackout. There is nothing wrong with these things. But if clergy don't break out of their parish circles occasionally, they can become like a minister who once told me "everybody in the village is talking about our Sunday evening service", when he meant all the people he met were.

Religious ministers of England - go to the pub. Drive into your big local town, whether that's Olney, Towcester or even Stow on the Wold. Surf the net. Grow a giant beard, buy a fixed-wheel bike and get into craft beer. But not necessarily the last examples. But go out and see something different, before you look in the mirror at a 40-year-old face, and think to yourself that that sugar rationing must have been pretty awful.

"2001 Low-rise jeans and thong whale tail" by Gates of Ale - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons -


  1. might struggle with the giant beard ;)

  2. Oh I think I could extend some pastoral care to the wearers of such sartorial items!


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