Suspiciously like the church

We reached the end of the Eucharist in St John’s, Alloa, last Sunday. But it took a while before I could say ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord’

People – lots of them – kept standing up and reminding the congregation about things – there were some pastoral concerns for people .. and the Healing Rooms … and the Quiz … and the Prayer Group

The building looks magnificent after a second (this time successful) renovation of the stonework. There is a mosaic of the Last Supper by Salvatori behind the altar. There is a small list of churches which have pieces of this work – as well as St John’s Alloa it includes Westminster Abbey and Holy Trinity, Brompton.

Did I mention that there is no Rector – no priest regularly in pastoral leadership until Rev Swarup Bar from our companion diocese in Calcutta returns next year?

Congregations like St John’s can’t afford Stipendiary ministry – not more than a small proportion of a stipend anyway. They have indigenous ministry resources – lots of them. It would be great if we could find a NSM priest or a Lay Reader or a Deacon – congregations also need leadership to help them to address medium and longer term issues and to ensure that they are well linked to the diocese

That’s a pattern which we are seeing more and more. It looks suspiciously like the church