Was it worth it?
May 8, 2010 § 1 Comment
To York today for the swearing in of Churchwardens. In the service the Churchwardens all swore their oaths, which was a good thing. The Archbishop preached, and that was good too.
But… the service was Choral Evensong. That meant that 1000 people who have honoured roles in the diocese had nothing to do except worhsip silently, save for saying the Creed. It’s very hard to ‘participate’ in Evensong at the best of times. It’s really difficult when you are towards the back of the Nave, or behind a pillar. The service was introduced as being York Minster’s normal Evensong with the Admission happening at the end.
It’s always good for the Archbishop to preach to his officers. But, apart from two uses of the word ‘churchwardens’, his excellent sermon could have been to any gathering of Christians at Eastertide. There was nothing about the call to the specific ministry of Churchwarden.
We went in three cars (I have lots of churchwardens!). 60 mile round trip each. I left at 4 and got back at 8. Lots of wardens and clergy will have had longer journeys. The people next to me were wondering about the carbon footprint of the service. I have to say that I feel that it was not worth taking four hours out of my working week to go to a service where I ‘did’ very little, and where the sacrifical ministry of my Churchwardens was not openly valued. One of my group had to arrange paid respite care for her disabled daughter in order to be there. I felt bad for her.
I used to have some responsibility for this. I love Choral Evensong. I love York Minster. But I did not think that this service valued the Minster, the Archdeacons, the Churchwardens or the Diocese of York. And, for that reason, I’m not sure it was worth it.
I really hope I’m alone, and that I was just having a bad afternoon! And the singing of Evensong was lovely.