A Postponed Decision
Well, they didn't decide after all (see previous post). Too many people sent their apologies so they did not have a quorum to take a vote. I have to say this seems very unlikely. The script writers have done well so far in capturing the opinions and feelings on both sides of this issue, but they simply do not get it in this episode. One thing I know for certain is that on an issue like this people will turn up to vote.
They may not come to a Bible Study or Prayer Meeting, but suggest change of this nature and they care passionately. To the outsider, indeed, to some insiders, it can seem very petty. One character in the programme last night expressed the views of many when he said, 'typical of the Church, there's war, disease, and starvation in the world and they worry about the pews'.
This is, of course, hypocrisy of the worse kind. I know of very few people who don't spend a great deal of time and money on their homes, decorating and furnishing them. Are they too to be blamed for not caring about world hunger? Businesses spend huge amounts of money on offices and showrooms and no-one bats an eyelid. Let's get real about this.
Churches, for all their faults, do care about world poverty, disease, and death, but that does not mean that we have to abandon all concern about the buildings we worship God in. Indeed, Alan, the Vicar in the Archers, although I don't agree with him, wants to remove the pews so he make his church more available to the local community. That's why the pew issue is important to him. I think there are other issues to take into consideration that's why it is important to me. But I will be doing all I can to help those around me who are in need this Christmas and so will the Church in general.
One thing I love doing on holiday is visiting church buildings and cathedrals. These often took hundreds of years and masses of resources to build. Was the Church wrong to build them?
I don't think so.