“GOOD value: Reflections on Money, Morality and an Uncertain World” is my choice as food for thought for all Christians for 2010.
It is a book written by Stephen Green and published by Allen Lane and available through Pritchards bookshop in Formby village.
Stephen Green is Chairman of the HSBC bank. He is also an Anglican Non-Stipendiary Minister (NSM) or a “Not short of Money” as they have been described, serving as a Prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral, London.
His book is a detailed analysis of the ethical and moral issues arising from the present economic crisis from a banker who is also an ordained clergyman; and, therefore able to mediate between the god of money, our society’s natural deity, and the biblical pretender to that role, the Christian God.
To give one quote from it: “The banking industry has not covered itself in glory, to say the least, in recent years. But I think that’s quite a different thing to saying that all banking is corrupt or is there for personal enrichment.”
(Interestingly, the New Year Honours List omitted bankers with one exception – Dyfrig John, an executive at HSBC which did not require a bail-out from the taxpayers last year)
A good investment!
Thought For the Year
In a letter to The Times newspaper in December, Rev Jimmy Hamilton-Brown wrote: “‘Sir, of course, “the traditional model of a vicar in every parish is over”, and for those of us living in rural areas it has been over for 40 years or more.
“The result is not a disaster because the Church is not the clergy but Christian people. In addition to churchwardens, the leadership of each church is in the hands of lay people. It has to be. I used to be in charge of five of these churches and even then the church members had to take full responsibility for their own church.”
Rev Hamilton-Brown went on to say: “I saw my job as threefold. First, to be responsible for prayer and worship, and to train readers and others to do so. Second, to encourage and train ordinary church members
(not just a few officially recognised lay pastoral assistants) to play their full part in the ministry of Christ to the local community. Third, to act as a co-ordinator, making sure, as far as possible, that had an aim, and knew where we were going.
“The Church of England does not seem to understand this. Most people still expect the poor old vicar to do everything – except flower arranging and Sunday school teaching.”
This has relevance not just to rural C of E clergy but to all parish clergy and not just C of E! And remember the local Christian church is not your church or my church, but God’s local church.