Wistful Wednesday

It’s easy to lose track of days.  I’ve spent the last 24 hours [apart from time for sleep] with our Mission and Ministry Board.  Churches make decisions in funny ways – bit of passion, bit of policy, bit of precedent and [since I like alliteration] maybe even a bit of predestination.  But we’ve been trying to find a measured way of deciding what we need to decide – if, that is, we know what it is that we are trying to decide about.  I sometimes think that things may just have been easier when I wasn’t around here.  People were very patient and persevering and we plodded forward together.

I then moved on to joust with a journalist.  That’s become a fairly regular part of my life.  It’s part of our attempt to place our church in the ‘public square’ and I think that’s important.  Always sexuality and the Anglican Communion.  It’s hard to get attention for anything about mission and growth.  I’m still waiting to use the line which I learnt in media training in the USA – when all else fails you say, ‘Let me tell you what I’m really passionate about’  But I am learning to recognise when the journalist is trying to shape our conversation into a headline.  It’s when they ask three times, ‘Would you welcome …?’ or ‘Would you say then that .. ?’  Our Communications Officer keeps me safe as best she can – I wouldn’t risk doing these without her.

And finally a Reception at the Scottish Parliament to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Bible Society for Scotland.  This kind of event is always a useful place for making contacts – and congratulations to the Bible Society for bringing on an actor [didn’t get his name] who did a splendid monologue on the life of William Wilberforce.  The event was a triumph of experience over expectation.

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4 Responses to Wistful Wednesday

  1. David says:

    I agree that it is important that the SEC is very much in that Public Square, and hope that journalists looking for a ‘church view on things’ get into the habit of making the SEC their first port of call.

    Important too that SEC finds its own voice, and takes a lead on moral issues of the day. Being bold perhaps. And so hopefully move things on from sexuality and the church to wider things.

  2. Rosemary Hannah says:

    I’m sure your Communications Officer will offer better advice than me – but if you want to get something into the paper, and it falls outside what is currently ‘news’, you have to at least make it sound sexy – in the journalistic sense of that word. It has to sound new or interesting or something. I’m struggling here to see how mission and growth would fit that category, but there will be a way.

    Depends on WHAT you want to say about them, dunnit? It is happening (census) We are doing something to make it happen (barefoot pilgrimage round the old St Andrews Cathedral, say) – but of course you know this.

    And frankly I can see WHY sexuality is such a big story – the attitude of many conservatives in the church (i.e. the wider Anglican Communion) makes us look like narrow bigots. (Sorry, but it does) The fact we find ourselves in step with other extremists is bound to be newsworthy.

    • david says:

      Well – sexy is, I suppose, a somewhat unfortunate metaphor in the circumstances! But I know what you mean. The trouble is that we have a dreadful tendency to move into being wacky just to get attention. Take a look at what C of E bishops are doing to get some coverage for Back to Church Sunday.

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