Thursday, May 18, 2017

How Much Longer?

Here's a thing. Those of us, not just Christians, who look round churches and cathedrals from time to time, have all seen boards listing the names of office-holders. Previous Rectors and former Church-Wardens are often ornately charted, carved in wood or occasionally set in stone.

Two things grate.

Firstly, when the board has clearly not been updated professionally. A fine calligrapher has listed every parish priest since Norman times, from (I'll invent these) Roger de Sainbillier (1075-1091) to Fred Smith (1999-2004) and then the latest name, Jenny Jones, is added in a childish scrawl of attempted mimicry. It's helpful social history of the backgrounds and genders of the clergy, but a terrible witness to care and attention.

Secondly, when a relatively recent new 'honour's board' has been produced with a distinct lack of imagination as to how many more vicars of this parish will be installed. The list goes from the sixteenth century and leaves space for three more. It's a comment on the parish's vision for the future.

Future rants may include:

  • Portraits in vestries of previous clergy demonstrating the approximate date of the invention of colour photography.
  • Acclamations of the three hour ringing of a double-back handed quarter muffled peel on the accession of some long-forgotten monarch.
  • Memorial brass plaques thanking a generous benefactor for a gift that is no longer in use. Spirit duplicator. Overhead projector. Microphone system. That sort of thing.
  • Cuddly toys of a grubby nature in children's area that carry the likelihood of several communicable diseases and may explain a lack of children in church.

I'll get on with my work now.

1 comment:

David said...

I wonder how many blood donors giving their pint in Nailsea masonic hall have, like me, whiled away the time scanning the honour boards listing the Masters of the many local lodges hoping to recognise the name of someone they know, but had no idea they were a mason? Incidentally, all these boards appear to be professionally updated to a standard of which st would approve!