Associate minister's update letter

 

At the end of July one of my sons got married in a church in Nottinghamshire and I had the privilege of doing the wedding.  The registers had already been filled in with my occupation as ‘C of E vicar retired’.  It had to be changed because I am not retired!

 

At the moment I have three jobs.  One is as associate minister with the White Cross Mission community which is, in theory, 35% of my time.  Then there are jobs I do on an hourly basis for people – gardening, mending things etc etc on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  The third job is one I took over from Joanna, my wife, when she started full time at a care home in Budleigh:  cleaning the floor of a local shop.  It takes 2 hours from when the shop first opens at 6am, five mornings a week.  Not a job I would ever have considered let alone applied for but once I had got over the rather strange feeling of being a professional doing the most menial work I actually enjoy it.  As a clergyman it is an amazing way of serving our community here in Budleigh by cleaning the shop where most of the population do at least part of their shopping.

 

My first task each day is emptying the rubbish bins around the shop and I naturally collect up all the empty cans and plastic bottles left by the staff and take them home to recycle.  When my wife did the job she used to call it her ‘guerrilla recycling’!  That was fine for a few weeks until the manager stopped me and told me off - he regarded it as stealing – his rule is everything has to go in the landfill bin – even plastic bottles and coke cans!

 

That left me in a quandary – which is more morally wrong: to go against the manager’s wishes and be accused of stealing or send bottles and cans to landfill where they will sit for hundreds of years? Compared with the millions of tons of rubbish we produce as a society each year it is a trivial quantity – one carrier bag each day - but still a decision I wanted to make in good faith.

 

I would be interested to know your view.  In the end I decided to go on with the recycling but be a bit more discreet and pray for proper resolution!  And that I just what has happened.  That manager has been promoted to another shop and the new one can’t see any problem!

 

We all are in the habit of doing things the easy way.  It won’t make any difference is our favourite excuse!  Let us start doing that bit extra in this season when we celebrate harvest and give God thanks for all he gives us.

 

Christopher Cant

 


Rector's Pages
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