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Are the clergy relevant in today's society?
18-11-2004, 07:47 AM
Post: #1
Are the clergy relevant in today's society?

I'm thinking of the pastoral care they offer a community more than the religious one, although I accept that the two are intertwined.

I believe they have a place in today's society, but I don't believe that the community utilises them enough. (and I'm not suggesting they don't work hard enough!). I just think that they should be the heart of the community and all people from all walks of life should realise what an important part they play in the community. I'm speaking from experience of two vicars in our town, both of whom are civic minded and care a great deal for the community whether they attend church or not. I think people would get so much more from the church/clergy if it wasn't for pre-conceived ideas of what they can offer.

So do you think they are relevant in today's society?

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18-11-2004, 07:56 AM
Post: #2
Are the clergy relevant in today's society?
Yes.................
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18-11-2004, 08:54 AM
Post: #3
Are the clergy relevant in today's society?
Yup. Although that is not to deny the role we all have in looking out for one another. Certainly within a modern church context there is more emphasis now on the leity pulling their weight, which is a good thing IMO.

There once was a time when a vicar would make a point of visiting as many people as possible in his local community, at home. Probably annoyed the helll out of some people, but it would be great for community spirit in an increasingly insular society.

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18-11-2004, 09:01 AM
Post: #4
Are the clergy relevant in today's society?
Unfortunately the pastoral and the religious elements can't be separated. Lots of people who are unable to embrace organised religion will have a tendency to reject the clergy outright despite the care they can offer.

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18-11-2004, 10:19 AM
Post: #5
Are the clergy relevant in today's society?
I believe they do have a place in society.

I think I'm very lucky where I live, it is quite a large community and the church is involved alot in the community.
They run most of the mother and toddler groups, the swimming I go to on a Friday is run by the church (well the vicars wife) there are girls nights out arranged for all ages. In fact alot of the people I know round here are connected to the church in some way.

It's a great feeling, especially when my kids where young and I didn't know many people, it was nice to see people who you recognise.

It's also strange that before I knew who the vicars wife was I only knew her as Anne. She introduces herself by name and so people don't get a pre-conceived idea of what she is like, she doesn't say anything about being the vicars wife. For me it worked. a vicar's wife for me, well used to be, prim and unapproachable. I guess this is from the image I had of the vicars wife I knew as a child.
I now realise that our "vicars wife" is normal, approachable and very much the same as you and me.Smile
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18-11-2004, 10:50 AM
Post: #6
Are the clergy relevant in today's society?
Yes, I think the clergy do have a role in society. Apart from anything else, although religions may not be "fashionable" at the moment, there are still plenty of people in most communities who have an active, if not a practising faith.

Of course the clergy offer other services than just "spiritual" ones. The Church nearest to me (its Christian, but I'm not sure of the denomination) runs a mother and toddler club, a youth centre, a support group for single parents and a hugely popular Whist Drive. All of these clubs are run and funded by the Church, the Vicar takes an active part in most of them and no-one is excluded. He is also renowned for his work with disabled kids in the area, and runs a football team for kids with severe physical disabilities. Religious participation is not required, and many people who attend these clubs regard them as something of a lifeline.

But SF makes a good point I think when he says that you cannot separate the clergy from religion, and much of the support that they offer within communities will be perceived by some, who distrust organised religion, as a slim facade for "brainwashing into the faith". Much of time I'm sure this is sheer ignorance, but for that reason the serivces that the clergy can offer will not be appropriate for all.

But then I suppose, you can say that about most professionals who offer care and support within a community. No-one would argue that there is a place in society for care workers, The Samaritans, helpers for the disabled, or homesless charities, despite the fact that there are large chunks of every community who may never require their services.

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18-11-2004, 06:39 PM
Post: #7
Are the clergy relevant in today's society?
There were two men in my life who meant more than words can say when my foul old father disintergrated into a dead git. One was my hubby and the other was our Vicar. Now at the time I was terribly anti organised religion - but this kind old soul came to me knowing how I felt about things. He just sat and listened whilst I ranted about the unfairness of life etc etc.

Over the passing months and I doubt it was deliberate on his part - but a lot of what he said made sense to me, he eventually threw a life line to me in the guise of being his secretary. I grasped it and have never looked back - being part of the community, the Church community actually means more to me than I can ever truly express.

I feel very lucky where I live, as the Vicar did visit everyone and anyone, and oddly enough he was such a great bloke he was always welcomed. Sadly he retired in September - but we are all looking forward to the appointment of our next incumbent who will be welcomed with open arms from me - not least cos I won't have so much work to do!!Smile
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18-11-2004, 07:43 PM
Post: #8
Are the clergy relevant in today's society?
Well I live within 3 minutes walk of 2 churches but I wouldn't know the vicars/priests if I fell over them and I have lived here nearly 10 years. When the kids were young, they did attend the sunday school, playgroup, brownies etc which were all linked with the church but the church doesn't really seem to be active in the community around here.
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