Words about God and Life for the Attention Deficit Generation

A Blueprint for the Reconstruction of the Ministry (or, “are we there yet?”)

There is no doubt that what the evidence urges upon us is a reform of the ministerial structure and of the pastoral machinery of the Church… Though the difficulties stare us in the face, the alternatives are chilling— to do nothing, which means to abandon the nation to its religious decline and the clergy to their isolation, or to attempt a few piecemeal reforms which may save face but leave the central missionary problem to the conurbations unresolved. The crux of the whole problem… seem to me this— though short of manpower the Church cannot use the clergy it has effectively as it ought to: it is a bad steward. It needs more clergy, but it has no moral right to ask for them unless it can deploy them effectively. … At the same time it does not want a harassed, servile, or timid clergy as the price of reorganisation: as a profession the clergy needs to be raised in standards and stature, not lowered.

Any guess as to author and date?

  • Leslie Paul (a professional sociologist)
  • January 1964.1

So the question occurs to me, will someone wake me up when we get there?

  1. Leslie A. Paul, The Deployment and Payment of the Clergy (Westminster: Church Information Office for the Central Advisory Council for the Ministry, 1964), p. 171. []


  1. Justin Lewis-Anthony

    Dear Poppy (I know that’s not your real name, but if I were writing a blog with the sophistication and erudition of yours, I would hide behind a pseudonym too),

    Normally I wouldn’t allow drive-by linking in the comments of this small blog, but in your case I’ll make an exception, as what you have to say, on your celebration as “a heartfelt admirer of the greatest Archbishop of Canterbury of modern times” (see! I’m laughing already!) is so funny.

    Unintentionally funny, but still…

    I won’t bother to correct your errors of fact and interpretation (exo- and isogesis) about my book, and I’ll overlook your ad hominem attacks on my character, ministry, and standing within the Church of England. I won’t bother, not because you obviously haven’t read my book, neither because you obviously know nothing about me, and neither because your mistakes are so egregious, but because they all seem to be the result of a wilful desire to misunderstand. To try to correct that… well, I remember somebody once saying something about pearls before swine? Have you ever come across that saying? I don’t suppose you have, with your final piece of advice to, “if you meet JLA on the road, kick him in the ballocks.”

    All I’ll say is, Poppy Tupper, you are a pillock (or, with your level of literacy, would you prefer that to be “pillack”?)

  2. poppy tupper

    Thank you. I published your comment, but I don’t suppose you’ll have the humility or the moral courage to publish mine here. By the way, buy a good dictionary.

    ‘Thank you Justin. Lovely to have you here. My only comment is to refer you to the etymological derivation of ‘ballocks’ – ‘little balls’. The modern misspelling which has gained such widespread currency is based on semi-literate people having heard the word but never having seen it spelled. Given that you haven’t read enough to know how to spell that word, and that you don’t have the wit to check it before you try to tease me about using it, I’ll leave others to guess whether you’ve ever read George Herbert or not either. In the circumstances, and given its meaning, I would have thought you would be familiar with it. ‘

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