River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Back to the Chapel

August 2002

The business of religion

I am well aware that when you write on a regular basis there is a danger that the people who read what you have written will say, 'He's said all of that before'. Well, I'm back to this subject of going to Chapel every Sunday, and the reasons why I go when 99% of you couldn't care a monkeys about going. I find the whole business of going fascinating, but for all the wrong reasons. For example, every Sunday I'm handed a Hymn Book when I walk in but I would also like to be handed a Balance Sheet as well. The reason being I think our Chapel is a Business and should be run as such.

We have only a small Congregation. In other words, only a small number of Customers and no one seems to be in the least bit bothered. Would any Business adopt such an attitude? If they did they wouldn't be in business for long. If you stop and think about Chapels and Churches in our area you only think about Weddings and Funerals. Well' lets stop at Funerals, a poor subject I agree but it will happen to all of us one day. So what sort of Hymns will you have? Well, I had selected mine but now I've changed my mind. Out of the window have gone 'The Old Rugged Cross' and 'How Great Thou Art' and in has come Tammy Wynette singing, 'Stand By Your Man' and a selection from my old favourite, Jim Reeves. I might even have Al Jolson singing 'April Showers'.

Look, lets get one thing clear! Maybe now I'm still alive I may not always get my own way but surely when I'm dead I can have what I like, damn it all it's my Funeral. I don't want people saying when I'm dead, 'He was a good old sort' when the truth was they couldn't stand the sight of me. I recently wrote an article in the Methwold Times where I advocated that some of our Chapel Services should be held in our local Pub, The George and that our Chapel and Church should have combined Services in our Social Club; excellent ideas in my view.

A growing number of people today, who do get married, do so in such places as Hotels and I have just been reading that the Church of England are thinking about allowing Marriages to take place in your back garden, on the beach, on your favourite football ground. What lovely ideas! Chapels and Churches have got to come up to date. At my Chapel I can spend an hour or so doing a spot of painting, I can then adjourn across to The George for a pick me up, then refreshed, back to the painting with a pint of beer in my stomach. No problems! But if I'm found drinking the darn stuff in the Chapel all hell will be let loose. What a load of rubbish and we wonder why people don't go to Chapel.

I don't think we are allowed Rallies or Bingos to raise money for our Chapel; you just can't get more out of date than that. I've got more vices than just gambling if that's what you call it and if I was more popular with the Ladies and if my Wife would allow it, I would have a darn sight more. In the meantime, see you at Chapel. Don't rush there is plenty of room!

Les Lawrence

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