Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A Handy Guide to Some Hidden Church Meanings

You know how it is. You want to say something but you can't.

Maybe it's because you want to be rude, but don't want to hurt the other person. Or maybe it's because you're a bit worried that the other person might come back at you. Or you want to big up your own position without all that tiring "thinking through the argument" that you might have to do.

So, for those on the receiving end - ministers or ministees - here's the low-down.

What is saidWhat is meant
I reckon you've got a gift for children's work.Somebody's got to work with the children. Since the Sunday Club folded they've been driving us up the wall. And I reckon you're the most gullible. And - bonus! You're a young mother! So 30% of it is your job already!
That sermon raised many theological issues for me.I  thought Ministerial selectors claimed they worked under the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
This church is not meeting my spiritual needs Neither could the other seventeen churches I've been a member of over the last twenty years. If only I could work out what the common element is.
What we need is a strong leaderOne who agrees with me.
 I'm doing fine, thanks.I cried all last night because my life seems like a total waste. The children appear to be possessed by demons. My useless husband spends all evening playing "GTA5". My mother's not talking to me because my useless husband insulted her hat. And the leaking shower fitting has resulted in the entire house smelling of mould.
There was never any mention of removing the tea light stand in Father Bunwicke's Day.Bunwicke hated that tea light stand with every fibre in his body. But we told him that Father Darlington had loved it in his time.
I'm doing fine, thanks.I'm doing fine, thanks.
The lead guitarist seems very enthusiastic. All those instrumental breaks! He must have worked very hard at those. Is he in a band? If he played acoustic I'd smack him over the head with it. But a solid-bodied electric may be an offensive weapon within the meaning of the act.
Does the worship leader write down all those introductions to the songs, giving us the theological insights that he has gained from them and the way he sees echoes in them of his personal walk of faith? Does he pray extensively about what he's going to say before the service, hoping that he will receive exactly the right words to say?Or does he just have a natural talent for drivel and self-promotion?
I have always stood for maintaining ancient church traditions.Jesus stood for the oppressed, the poor, the outcast and outsider. Which is why I am determined we will have the right coloured candles in Advent.
But, when we try to relate the faith of the First Century to the modern world, what do we find?Let me tell you what I read in the Guardian on Saturday.
There will always be a place for you in the choir.Nobody else could possibly fit your cassock. I mean, who else is that shape?
No, really. I've got a soft spot for the Churchwarden. It's that boggy bit at the North side of the churchyard.
As Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians, the Lord loves a cheerful giver.Look, at the Deanery Synod we missed the Parish Share by more than any other parish. It's embarrassing. Just 50p a month more per person, and we'll overtake Little Tremlett.
Some of the parents need to give their children a bit more supervision.Last Sunday one of the little beggars managed to pole-vault over the rood screen using a churchwarden's wand.
People always focus on numbers. But there's so many other ways in which a church can grow.We're pretty much where we were spiritually, as well. But thankfully it's much harder to measure.
Many of the older people quite like "Lord of the Dance".Actually, I quite like "Lord of the Dance". But I'm not going to admit it. Not since the music group threatened tarring and feathering to anybody who asks them to pick it.
Have you ever considered that God may be calling you to a pastoral ministry?Can you please stop singing? My ears are bleeding.
I'm only saying this in love.Not only am I being extremely rude and uncharitable, but now you're going to feel bad at yourself for being angry with me.
I'm all in favour of women's ministry myself. But a female pastor would upset my friend.A woman pastor? What do you think this is? Gomorrah?


  1. and there's "I know I am the oldest member of the congregation, but I would love to see a young incumbent I(with a large family) in the rectory.
    What is meant "The cyanide in the communion wine should solve that little problem".

  2. I'm afraid I suffer from Hay Fever. a) No I will not join the Flower rota. b) Using incense is a step too far towards spikiness


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