WoW. World of Work is what that means. Now I’ve done a few of them in my time speaking to the children in the local school about what I do at work. It’s a short talk when you only work one day a week!
I’ve been a parish minister of the C of S for 27 years that’s exactly half my life. Yes, I’m 54, just to save you doing the maths. By my reckoning then, I’m as qualified as anyone to talk sense or non-sense about the “job” a minister does. Lets be noble and say it’s not a job. It’s a calling, a vocation, I’ve heard the voice of a higher authority speaking to me but at the end of the day I’ve to pay the bills like anyone else. I’m just like you. I’ve been in that place where there’s more days in the month than money in the bank though nowadays it’s a case of more years to live than pennies in the pension pot! Yes! the pension statement came in and I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll still be working when I’m 110. After 27 years of contributing I’ll get £750 per annum. I’d be better off with the money under my mattress. Depressing barely describes it. Ah well. Eat, Drink, Be merry for tomorrow we die!
I’m told by a reliable source that the C of S was at its peak on 31st December 1956. 1.3 million people were members of the C of S on that date and its been declining ever since. How many now? Less than 400,000. In the space of 60 years we have downsized to less than 1/3rd of our original. If you want to know the secret of our diet plan… This means that in my 27 years of ministry I have not known anything other than decline in the congregations I have served. Sorry if you find numbers boring; I find them very reassuring cause now I know its not just me being rotten at the job. People I have never met have stopped going to church and I can’t be blamed for that (I hope). There’s something else going on. We just have to find out what.
Do join me on the journey. I’ll drop a post in every now and then as things interest me or depress me or whatever. And give me your feedback. Not promising to give you a heated debate but do express your point of view.