Churchwardens Day at Waddesdon School. One of the seminar groups described vividly the scale and scope of change being experienced in our parishes. David Ford calls contemporary life as “a series of multiple overwhelmings” We know exactly what he means in our families, our schools, our churches, our communities, our country.
Most of the statistics around our lives are unprecedented, but maybe they always were. What was it like, say, to be a churchwarden in Buckinghamshire at the time of the Black Death, with half the population dying, or the Civil War with all conventional authority dissolving? How did the Saint Wandrille brothers feel when the Vikings came up the Seine and burnt everything down, or the French Revolutionaries dissolved the community and destroyed its Church after more than a thousand years (then)? Without some consciousness that we come from God and are returning to God, I think we'd all go barmy.
Indulging a few moments’ historical imagination around issues of long-term change management, I found this medieval monks’ helpline for people struggling with change, off a Norwegian comedy show:
Credits to Øystein og jeg on NRK (2001), Øystein Backe (tech support guy) and Rune Gokstad (desperate monk). Written by Knut Nærum.