- More or less
The television version of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall is the latest account to challenge St Thomas More’s reputation as a courageous defender of the rights of conscience. Was he, in truth, a liberal icon, a religious fanatic or something in between?
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The full implications of Westminster Diocese “Growing in faith” scheme are only just dawning on me as its imposition reaches my parish; Machiavelli would have been proud to have devised it.
Reluctant clergy feel obliged in obedience to their bishop to implement this command and then coerce faithful parishioners, who are too loyal to refuse, into pledging money for five years over and above their weekly contribution. I want to attend a parish meeting to raise my objections but am reluctant to make my parish priest's job harder which I am sure is just what CCS, the American fundraising consultants whose fee has not been revealed, rely upon.
The sad thing is that we would have gladly increased our financial support for our clergy without the sop of a cut for the parish, and it could have been achieved by our clergy regularly preaching on responsible stewardship, which would effect a fairer and more sustainable income rather than relying on a minority of susceptible parishioners to meet the goal.
I am sure this cynical initiative will be successful because most of us are compliant with the hierarchy but the end does not justify the means, and what will they do when this windfall runs out?
Kay Mason, Welwyn Garden City, Herts