Is it me or is this ridiculous? Vicar related

(30 Posts)
Silvermoonsparkling Fri 08-Feb-13 09:14:26

Saw DB last night. He lives in a very chichi middle class village in Surrey and is involved in running a village craft competition - best floral display, Victoria sponge, biggest carrot, best wooden toy made by an under 13 etc etc. Harmless and fun, they've done it for years and it brings village together at the fete once a year. What's not to like? It was really popular last year and all the entries were judged in a marquee thing. It was a huge squash so this year for the first time they have asked permission to use the church hall.

The vicar has said he will only allow this if

A. He is allowed to address the fete and say a prayer asking God for good weather for the fete.

Seriously, little children having their limbs blown off in wartorn regions on this planet, Babies dying in agony of starvation, malaria, you name it, and this vicar honestly thinks that bothering God for good weather to ensure that people who effectively want for NOTHING have a jolly day? How insane and tasteless is this?

B. That there is no raffle as this is gambling. Even though every penny of profit was to be given to an extremely worthy local charity.

My brother and I are not "Christians" but I think we are more Christian than this attitude!

Would love to know what other people think.

Katisha Fri 08-Feb-13 09:17:45

Vicar is going about alienating the local community in a very effective way.
Is there another venue they could use? If not I'd stick with the marquee.

FelicityWasCold Fri 08-Feb-13 09:19:24

I don't object to the prayer bit- and if you want to use the church hall I think goes with the territory. It isn't 'bothering' God to talk to him about trivial things, he is God he can field prayers about war torn countrys at the same time as weather requests- doesn't mean you'll get what you want necessarily...
And I'm not sure it would be appropriate for the Vicar to get up at the start of a village craft fair and mention all the worlds atrocities.

The raffle bit- I'm with you. But he isn't the first vicar to take such a strong stand on Raffles- although it is a very archaic puritanical concern IMO.

Silvermoonsparkling Fri 08-Feb-13 09:32:50

Thanks v much for these responses. No I don't think an atrocity prayer would be appropriate either - but how about a "be appreciative of what we have" type prayer, not asking for yet more.

EllieArroway Fri 08-Feb-13 11:48:35

It is quite extraordinary that Christians see nothing wrong at all in asking God for a sunny day while knowing full well that the same God can't rouse himself to respond to the desperate prayers of starving Africans.

And why exactly would he suspend the laws of physics (because by manipulating the weather, that's what he would be doing) because of some bloody church fete?

Nothing, but nothing, about their bonkers beliefs make sense. What a shame none of them can see that.

EllieArroway Fri 08-Feb-13 11:49:44

I grew up in a middle class village in Surrey. I wonder if it's the same one? <stroking my chin>

The church I grew up in had a very strong line on no raffles etc at the school fete and it drove my dad round the bend when he was chair of the PTA. I've not come across it recently but the OP shows that it is alive and kicking in Surrey.

The church I work at is more than happy to do raffles and mine is the bottle of alcohol or the chocs if my number comes up!

If you want to use the church hall then the vicar is within his rights to say that he will say a prayer which is likely to be some sort of blessing on the day with 'and Lord if you could see that the sun continues to shine/sun comes out/the hail stops lashing the field so that we can all contribute to the worthy case and have fun as a community together...' type of thing.

PerAspera Fri 08-Feb-13 11:59:54

Raffles are gambling - albeit a very minor thing.

However, it can be got round with the introduction of an element of skill. So, a guess the weight, a find the x on the treasure map, guess the birthday of... <seasoned professional of church fayres >

As to the prayer thing, it's a religious hall... Those are the breaks!

Trills Fri 08-Feb-13 12:01:35

Children having limbs blown off is entirely irrelevant.

Most church halls get rented out for birthday parties and whatnot - is the vicar asking to address the event in return for letting them have the hall for free?

Silvermoonsparkling Fri 08-Feb-13 13:04:59

I like your style PerAspera, I'll mention those suggestions to him, thanks.

Trills - actually I don't think it is irrelevant at all. Would you not feel uneasy and embarrassed to be asked to pray for something so ridiculous? I wouldn't want to be part of it, there's something blind and obscene about it to me.

Moominsarehippos Fri 08-Feb-13 13:09:20

No raffle is weird. Prayer... well its not run by the church, so I wouldn't expect a prayer or for the vicar to make a speech.

Some vicars are just weird!

GladbagsGold Fri 08-Feb-13 13:16:04

I wouldn't object to vicar welcoming people and would expect that to include a prayer. BUT the weather prayer does sound silly. Like my kids prayers at bedtime, 'dear God please make the plaster come off my knee without hurting'. The prayer of those who don't know they're born!

No raffles is OTT too. My church had a great fair involving teddy bears parachuting from the tower and plenty of ways to win a bottle of plonk.

I would probably go ahead, cringe at the weather prayer and conveniently forget the No Raffle Rule. But I am a Bad Christian not like that nice pious vicar...

blackeyedsusan Fri 08-Feb-13 13:18:37

not a helpful suggestion from the vicar. seems to be conforming to te stereotype...

JaneLane Fri 08-Feb-13 13:19:18

Have asked my DH (he is a Vicar).

He said if someone asked to run a community event in the church hall like your brother's he would of course say yes and would offer to say something if the organisers would like him to. If the organiser said yes he says he would probably say something along the lines of asking God to give whichever charity the event is supporting he strength to continue their good work. Not about the weather. That doesn't even make sense if it's going to be inside? If the organiser said they didn't want him to say anything then we'd probably just go as a family to show our support.

Regards to the raffle - he sees no issue with it to be honest. It's not like people will be staking their life savings on it! But yes guessing the number of sweets or the weight of the cake or the age of a village crony are all ways to get round it.

Moominsarehippos Fri 08-Feb-13 14:00:21

Maybe he will get gip from parishoners? We aren't allowed to use the word 'Yoga'... it's 'Meditation'. some of the more conservative types do object to it. Maybe the vicar is just trying for an easy life!

Do we have a Vicarsnet?

cloutiedumpling Fri 08-Feb-13 18:13:32

I think not having a raffle in church premises is pretty common. About half of the churches I've attended have had this rule.

MaryBS Fri 08-Feb-13 19:53:52

I've never been to a church which didn't allow raffles. I wonder what he would make of the beer festival we hold IN our church?

In theory I have no issue with the prayer, its pretty normal. I'd be worried what he might say in the address though...

frustratedworkingmum Fri 08-Feb-13 20:02:56

I have no problem with the prayer, our parish priest says a few words and thanks god for decent weather etc, its a bit twee but no more twee than a village fete, its all about the twee. Not sure about the gambling - we have a tombola and a bottle raffle, along with beer and cider on sale - in the prestbutry (sp) garden!!!! Last year our priest was thrilled with his raffle prize - a "sex in the city" bath set - i kid you not! I think someone discretely swapped with him but he saw the funny side. Saying that, we are catholics and know how to piss it up enjoy a lovely day in the sun grin

Prayers don't have to be about sad things all the time.

MsHighwater Fri 08-Feb-13 20:09:10

An objection to gambling is a fairly regular church principle. They need to suck it up, I'd say. Where the proceeds would go is irrelevant, surely?
I take it your brother told you what the vicar said about his prayer intentions, not that you heard it directly? Is it possible he paraphrased a little and lost something in the (non-Christian) translation?

Floggingmolly Fri 08-Feb-13 20:14:48

He's got something you want (so to speak). He can put any conditions on the hall's usage that he wants to, you don't have to accept.
He's a vicar, it's what they do!

TooMuchRain Fri 08-Feb-13 20:15:41

Prayer for weather is a bit daft, perhaps you could put forward something more general for the charity as someone suggested above?

As for the raffle, well, they are harmless, but actually since moving to a pretty poor bit of the country I totally see where the church is coming from with the no gambling.

ZZZenAgain Fri 08-Feb-13 20:19:14

his patch, his rules I suppose. Might be worth asking if there is a way around the raffle ban, as already suggested on here.

I don't see anything wrong with having the vicar address the fete if it is in the church hall and ask for God's blessing for the event. Although a raffle seems harmless I can see why the church would not support gambling. As others have said there are plenty of ways around it. Both seem like a very small price for use of the hall to me, I wouldn't have any problem with it at all.

MareeyaDolores Sun 10-Feb-13 14:25:16

Church hall + vicar = expect a prayer

The tombola sounds bit petty, but the vicar could be said to condone what he allows in the hall. There'd be a scandal if he rented it out for a swingers' convention, for example.

Perhaps (as a symbol of harmful gambling) it's a matter of conscience for him. As posters hotheads suggest, a sensible compromise may be found.

MareeyaDolores Sun 10-Feb-13 14:25:36

Aargh. Upthread not hothead

Writehand Mon 11-Feb-13 12:53:42

I can understand the raffle -- but there are stacks of other non-raffle ways to raise money -- guess the weight of the cake, etc. -- that involve skill not gambling.

Praying about the weather is bloody ridiculous. There's another thread about prayer going on in which I describe praying for specific material events -- like the weather -- as being like sending a Christmas list up the chimney for Father Christmas. Prayer doesn't work like that & it devalues it if that's what you do. It rather horrifies me that a vicar should be so shallow.

MaryBS Wed 13-Feb-13 07:56:34

I must be shallow then! I believe in bringing everything to God in prayer, even the weather! Paul tells us this "Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

But this is off the point... fortunately or unfortunately, raffles, whether tombolas or whatever, tend to bring in the most money when fundraising, compared to other stalls. Would he accept it if the raffle is not actually in the hall, but was outside (under cover if necessary)?

sarahtigh Wed 13-Feb-13 15:32:06

no gambling of any kind is a quite commonly held practical christian belief ie they do not do raffles buy lottery tickets etc, some church halls will not allow alcohol again quite common , these things are often written into trust deeds of hall and are therefore not dicretionary

crescentmoon Wed 13-Feb-13 15:35:06

is that methodist churches sashh or all types of churches? i thought it was methodists who were strict about such things?

vicarlady Wed 13-Feb-13 16:10:20

I think the parishes I serve would be horrified if raffles were suddenly banned! Having said that, I never buy lottery tickets and the nearest I've been to a race meeting is a church meeting held at Towcester race course! I think it is a question of degree and experience - I have never heard of anyone losing all their money in a church raffle, but sadly I do know people who spend money they can't afford on lottery tickets.

As far as the prayers are concerned, if I was invited by the organisers then I would but certainly not make it a condition. One of our parishes holds the village Christmas bazaar in the church and I simply turn up to be relieved of my cash, along with the rest of the village!

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