The ‘m’ word

I imagine that most bishops spend a considerable amount of time dealing with matters financial – I certainly do.  And not well qualified to do it either.  Diocesan budgets have a sort of abstract quality which makes them difficult but relatively pain free.  The task of encouraging people to increase giving in congregations is more difficult – a sort of wierd balancing act in which one tries to make clear that ‘it is serious’ while simultaneously trying to avoid seeming to obsess about it – and one brings Prudence to the party while continuing to suggest that faith can move mountains.  Well, by Scottish standards, fairly modest ones anyway.  And all the time one searches for the Holy Grail of the rhetoric of stewardship which suggests that giving is not the same as fundraising – much more a sort of personal liberation from the ties of mammon.   I hear it too.