From the Revd Martin Oram
Sir, - I read the Revd Dave Tomlinson's article on his
experiences after conducting Ronnie Biggs's funeral (Comment, 17 January) with
an uncomfortable sense of having been there before, and wondering
when we willlearn. . .
In one way or another, during my 32 years of full-time ministry
in both parish and in education as a school chaplain, I found
myself apologising for the Church and some of its members' (and
I am sure I am not alone in this. Many people have plenty of
time for God, and want to know more of him, but their experience of
church has been thoroughly off-putting, partly because they feel
judged before they even cross the threshold.
Our huge privilege is to find ways to lead them to know God in
Jesus Christ - and sometimes this means "Hang the Church!"
12 Ash Grove, Rode Heath
Staffs ST7 3TD
Sir, - I have recently attended three funeral services in
different places, all of long-serving church members who had
faithfully sung in the choir. In all three cases, the officiating
priest recited the Nunc Dimittis at the end of the service, but in
various modern translations.
When the people being laid to rest had sung the Nunc Dimittis at
evensong in the Prayer Book translation for most of their lives,
this seemed to me quite inappropriate. It may be, of course, that
the families in question had specifically requested a modern
translation; but somehow I feel that that is unlikely.
At least we were allowed to say the Lord's Prayer in the
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