Sunday, January 26, 2014

Philosophizing - no work today!

We have been working on a jigsaw puzzle of a painting of Thomas Kincade and completed it this morning. The painting is beautiful; a church in a clearing which reminds me so much of some of the Churches that we saw when we visited England with my cousin six years ago. St Nicholas at Winterbourne Clenstone has the high ground above the Winterbourne looking perhaps pretty much as it has always looked in its hundreds of years as the edifice surveyed the farm land spread around it as far as the eye can see (the present building constructed in 1839 replaced a much older structure). The oldest reference I have seen to the original Church building at Winterborne Clenstone was the presentation of  John of Bonnecomb as rector 4 Apr 1324.  Nestled at the foot of the path up to the Church is the cemetery with its aged stones telling of a congregation that once filled the church with the sounds of people on a daily basis no doubt. What has happened to our Churches of days gone by. Why are they diminishing? They still play a huge role in my life although I do not attend as I once did. All of my daily work is to further the work of my Church in actual fact. I am converting the text of those days into a text that can be readily understood by researchers and that new tool of life - the search engine - which helps us to find what we need but albeit somewhat clumsily.

Why has the Church lost so much relevance in people's lives unless there is a tragedy. Then we flock to the Church for the solace that is there for all to receive in the knowledge that Jesus has prepared a place for us in His Kingdom which has no end.

The Church is slowly but steadily isolating itself into small communities of believers. In days past the parish which surrounded the Church of my youth  and mature adulthood was the territory of that Church - all within were their lambs; their sheep; their care. Personally, I think they need to come out from within those sacred towers and once again be the Church of all the people. When I was a child growing up the Anglican Church that was so much a part of my daily life meant just that. The priests were everywhere and very much a part of the community not just at Remembrance Day. They were at my school teaching us about God and Jesus. Society played its role in isolating Churches by people complaining about religion being in the schools. Why did society win and the Church lose its special spot?

I dread to think that one day God/Jesus/Holy Spirit will slip from our conscious daily life. What more can I a simple person do I say to myself - keep transcribing is my answer. The words of love adoration worship found in those early wills tells me of a people who lived a "sudden-death" life experience but managed to put into those years as much as they could never forgetting their God and rendering up to God what belongs to God - 10% of what we are. Tithing is an important part of life and how we tithe is a personal thing; it could be we give it all to missions or to the maintenance of Church or other charitable operations within our own country. I opted to 80% to the maintenance and 20% to missions. My tithe is small; my pension is small and to be honest there is the thought that creeps into my head that I could buy a dozen more wills with that money each month from the Hampshire Record Office and as I finish those off from other places other items! It would still be God's work but not truly; the money that belongs to God is His to use as He sees fit.

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