Friday, 13 April 2012

Tidying up the Friendship List

It's sometimes a fraught job, is getting the membership list of a faith community neat and tidy.
Where other faitth communities have Class Lists, Parish Meetings, Electoral Rolls or whatever, the Beaker Folk have the Friendship List.

The way I like to look at this is like this - the Church of England Electoral Roll is a list of names of people who at some point in the last 7 years may have worshipped in the parish in question. Every now and then they re-do the list, and if everybody on the list has either died or moved away, the vicar can understand why the church.has been so quiet quiet lately. The people on the Electoral Roll have the important responsibility of turning up at the Annual Meeting and agreeing that, since the number of candidates for the PCC is fewer than the number of vacancies, they might as well all be elected.

The Friendship List has nothing like this kind of power. As the name suggests, we want Beaker membership to be about friendship. And nothing works against friendship so much as giving people votes, which they might use in an unfriendly way by voting against me. That's why,regrettably, I have to ensure that the Moot is strictly advisory and the Druid's Synod made up entirely of ex-officio members.

The Friendship List has to be renewed every 17 months, and I've had the sad job of removing Olphin and Gormwell. When Gormwell died, he left instructions that he wanted his remains to be fired into space in a rocket. Which was fair enough and we were happy to oblige. But Olphin left the Moot House when we insisted Gormwell be cremated first. I mean, fair's fair. Young Keith had built the rocket and everything, but with the price of petrol as it is there's no way we could have afforded that payload.

And then there's Joffrey. I've not actually seen him at worship for a few months, but I'm hoping he's OK. And the standing orders keep being paid, so I'm guessing there's still money in his account. I've arranged for his room to be sealed up just in case. I wouldn't like anyone going in there.

All the new Folk have been invited to sign up for the Friendship List, and you'd be amazed at the suspicion it's generating. "Will it cost?" They ask me. To which I respond, "Yes of course. Anything of value costs. We are flitting creatures of dust, sparkling for a moment in a sunbeam. Time is precious, and love hurts. Every time we say goodbye, I wonder why a little." And eventually they stump up, to stop the flow of platititudes.

So the Friendship List is up to date, and I find we have 58 people officially in the Beaker community. Unless you discount Joffrey. And the word "discount" makes me wonder. Should I start a Junior Friendship list? Half-price and you get a cuddly toy? It should give young people more of a stake in community, and give the coffers a well-needed boost. And I'd have something to do with all those cuddly George Galloway dolls.


  1. It's interesting that in theory only those on the Electoral Roll can attend the APCM, and PCC meetings are held in private. Not particularly democratic.

    Time for change I think. If we had a 100 or so of your George Galloway dolls (@cost) we might get some interest in a Friends Group.

  2. Don't remind me. Two days to go and I can't remember a thing that happened in the Deanery Synod except that the Bishop of Maridi looks young enough to be my grandson and bishops without grey hairs ....well it just ain't natural.


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