Saturday, May 6, 2017

Saturday morning precis

Yesterday evening we went to the parish meeting, next door in the church.  Cold as always especially in this weather, the chairman David had resigned, so after the formality of reading out everything we changed to a farmer's wife.  David is also a church warden and mentioned he was giving up that as well, also and this is sad news, that when he does the church will be locked, and maybe even closed down.  It has but half a dozen attendees, all old, religion just does not figure in peoples lives anymore.  
Open churches are just one of the wonderful experiences when you go to a new village and explore, locked churches are unwelcoming.
Various other things were talked about, the church funds contribute to the local bus service which runs three times a week.  They also contribute to the library at Kirkbymoorside.  The running down of libraries is just one of the catastrophes that we are living through at this time.  The councils are shutting them down but there is a lot of dissent, people have to volunteer to run them and now contribute towards the utility bills.
So how did the voting go, well the national news say conservatives swept the board, and they did in our parish ward, but only by two votes, expect there was a recount on our one.
Interestingly the defibrillator was discussed, and as our new chairperson is a nurse, she reckoned it was an expensive move with not much to offer, you have to do CPR as well which is very hard. And the idea that  a St.John's Ambulance session would be a better option.
As Pat (Weaver of Grass) mentions, the wind from the NE is bitterly cold and though the sun shines, when it departs we get frosts at night. The wind is cold due to coming over the North sea, and as we live nearer the north, are, like Scotland troubled by the vagaries of the cold, and where is the rain? looks like we are heading into drought.


  1. Today's post reminded me that I intended to return to your 16th April links when I had a moment to read. We have a similar dilemma in America--that of dwindling congregations to support local churches. I have been most familiar with the established churches of New England where I was raised. These are dignified structures of brick or white clapboard with towering steeples and usually stained glass windows given long ago 'in loving memory.'
    Jim and I throughout our moves have been church members in the denominational heritage belonging to his maternal line. Unless associated with one of our church colleges or hospitals these have been small, sometimes tiny, congregations. Even with dwindling membership and financial resources these have strongly resisted closing or even combining area resources.
    Now residing in the south-central US the surprise is the number of churches dotting the landscape--several imposing buildings in every town center and endless small chapels at every crossroads. I had never realized that so many varieties of Baptists exist!
    I think every denomination is aware of attrition--members nearing retirement age are still bearing the major responsibilities of office and financial contribution.
    The practice of 'faith' ultimately goes beyond the particular creed or tenets of a given denomination--some will argue and leave if not all personal criteria are met, others will participate even if not in agreement with every action of a church board.
    I appreciate the heritage of dignified services in a traditional setting. The proliferation of local churches which offer a livelier 'pentecostal' format works for some.
    I think that expanding the functions of large churches and cathedrals--we have little in the way of similar structures here--arranging some secular and community use may at least be a stop-gap form of preservation.

  2. Thank you or your long comment Sharon, it is also a very similar picture in Britain, there are many small chapels as well that have closed down, some being turned into houses as our small chapel has here in the village. The flurry of Dissenters who would not follow the established church from the 16th to the 18 century often emigrated to America as well, especially the Quakers from around Bristol.
    So your last sentence seems to be the answer,
    "arranging some secular and community use may at least be a stop-gap form of preservation."
    Problem with stone churches they are freezing cold in winter and their upkeep can be expensive.