*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Funerals: a train-robber, and the Nunc Dimittis

by
31 January 2014

iStock

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 clergy's) attitudes.

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!"

MARTIN ORAM
12 Ash Grove, Rode Heath
Stoke-on-Trent
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 traditional form.

Name & Address Supplied

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

The Church Times Podcast

Interviews and news analysis from the Church Times team. Listen to this week’s episode online

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four* articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)