Opinion: Permanent source of revenue for church ‘a bright idea’

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A member of one of the Whitby churches had an idea. He didn’t set it to music though we could find one expressing God’s generosity and love.

We’ll call the owner of bright ideas,’S’.

w134005e
The World War 1 memorial triptych which hangs in St Hildas Church and is need of cleaning to restore its artistry
St Hildas church
Picture by Neil Silk 
01/10/13

w134005e The World War 1 memorial triptych which hangs in St Hildas Church and is need of cleaning to restore its artistry St Hildas church Picture by Neil Silk 01/10/13

He said one of our churches could accommodate, as parking, a number of cars.

If it came off it is a cracking idea and a great and permanent source of revenue. Lots of jobsworths will be involved.

Health and Safety, solicitor, borough highways, the Diocese of York and more including incumbent and church council. The idea makes my mouth water.

It’s not often the C of E has such bright ideas. It should be pursued. If successful ‘S’ will surely be knighted or sent to the Lords. Then he could share his £300 daily allowance with his church, gift aided.

But, dear ‘S’ can I share some of your limelight with a church near Wigan, where I was curate. Our church was having new windows replace early 17th Century small, diamond panes. The old ones from 1640 were in a skip.

I sold most of them for church funds. I also wrote a good-sized piece for the Wigan Observer called Friendliness – it’s as thick as muck in ‘th’air.

I was paid £2 in 1965.

I had a painting on my study wall of a totally naked lady. It was the wife of Unitarian minister, Rev David Doel.

A miserable group of seven went through the motions of a ‘church’. I asked my vicar three times if ‘I could start a church.’ His exasperated response was “very well, but don’t bring me into it.’

We opened after three months of intensive visits by two plus me. A total of 150 attended on the opening Sunday My wife and I attended about five years later. There were 80 present on a Sunday morning. Then, five or six years ago, a miserable new incumbent closed it down.

I started a house to house Fabric Fund with houses given a card with four envelopes on to be filled weekly.

They were collected and given another. The parish was 18,000 of miners homes and council houses. Difficulty getting to church. So I organised a coach with donations, not fares. I can see 60 getting off the bus and streaming up the church path.

I was glad to be present at the baptising of a baby on the August 20 at St Hilda’s in Whitby. Fr Malcolm has a cheeky side to him and a serious side and this suits him admirably at such occasions which require light touches.

I thoroughly enjoyed the service but wished we had an altar nearer the baptism party. When he moved to the high altar he was in a part of church where there is no daylight and his impact and the Eucharistic liturgy dimmed.

There were about 20 in the family which helped the group focus on the service without much chat and shuffle.

There can be small improvements and it is to be hoped that congregations can show the same patience and joy of combining communion with baptism. I know Fr Michael is keen that these occasions can impact those who are present, both families and congregations.