Saturday, 25 April 2015

No Rota Way

I'm interested in Lesley Crawley's idea for a zanier church, where every Sunday the members of the congregation get to pick what their job for the day is. It sounds like it adds a spark of excitement, some equality, an idea that we are all children of God. However, I notice that the democratization of jobs is not complete. "Preach the Sermon" and "Preside at Eucharist" are apparently not included. Or, if they are, she's quite quiet about it.

This is in stark contrast to my childhood denomination, the Extremely Primitive Methodists. A hardy group, who believed in simplicity in life, dedication to the Gospel and the avoidance of modern conveniences. The only church I ever heard of where laying-on of hands for frostbite was a requirement from September to May.

The Extremely Primitive Methodists were radical exponents of the Priesthood of All Believers. And so their set of cards included the aforesaid roles, and many others - clean the toilets, scrape moss off the ceiling, wash the Beryl crockery, feed the lions . Ah, many is the service I've attended where a toddler, invisible behind the pulpit, preached from the text "I'm frightened! Where's Mummy?", while from outside could be heard the screams of another unfortunate discovering they did not have "the gift of Daniel" to calm wild beasts.

Then one day, a visiting Roman Catholic came along, took her pick of a card, and received the role "Head of Conference". At which point she declared the building unsafe and closed down the congregation.

Sometimes you can take an idea too far.

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