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Anorak | Church Fate

Church Fate

by | 30th, July 2004

‘SUCH is the state of the Church of England’s finances that it can no longer get by on the usual collection plate haul of a few old buttons, a washer and a ring-pull from a can of super-strength lager.

‘And what am I bid for a year’s membership of Heaven?’

The Times says that the CoE needs money if it is to thrive – it has deficits of millions of pounds.

But there are paths to salvation.

Sponsorship of the vicar’s cassock is one idea, with the cleric wearing an outfit by George at Asda or Gap. His dog collar could perhaps carry the Bonio or Pedigree Chum brand marks.

However, as advertising rates are dependent on the number of eyeballs seeing these adverts, the Church’s ever-shrinking congregation will severely hit revenues earned in this way.

The clearer way forward is for they who come to pray to give more.

For instance, Ely is facing a shortfall in giving of £445,000. Things are so bad in godless Bristol that the Church is planning to cut staffing levels and ‘lose’ 20 stipendiary clergy over the next five years.

But the meanest bunch of churchgoers seem to be in Lichfield, where monetary donations from parishioners have fallen £2m short of what has been needed since 1997.

What these people need is a reminder from the pulpit that it’s almost impossible for a rich man or woman (the Church is all embracing in fiscal matters) to enter Heaven’s gates and that, unless they give until their fingers bleed, the tight-fisted will rot in hell for all eternity, for it is written.

The vicars could turn their services into auctions, offering guaranteed places in Heaven and a Pearly Gates key fob to those offering the highest bid.

However, we should note, as the Times does, that the Church is somewhat to blame for its own palsied state.

The current troubles have been exacerbated by the £800m bath the Church Commission took in the 1980s when the bottom fell out of the property market.

However, the Church will also have benefited from the recent boom in this sector and surely need only sell off a few of its buildings to save itself.

So, to get the ball rolling, what are we bid for Lambeth Palace? Do we hear ten pounds from the back, or have you just come in to keep warm?’



Posted: 30th, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink