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The Reordering of St.John The Baptist, Tisbury


This picture of the New Cricket Pavilion at Fontill,finaced in part by Tisbury Parish Council.

RE ORDERING OF ST.JOHN OF TISBURY. Last evening there was another Public Meeting held in our Parish Church which reconsidered the proposed alterations there to. I am not sure that I am any better informed after attending the meeting than I was before doing so, because there seem to be such a diversity of opinion amidst the Congregation. All had the opportunity to speak including those who didn't subscribe to the Church Of England. There were those who spoke of having attended the Church for some sixty years, others who were absolute new comers to the Parish, and even another who hoped to be resident before next winter. Is such numerology relevant, if so what of the chap sitting alongside my wife whose 'Cousin's' only child Mary Hyde, was baptised in the Church on the 27th August 1688 ?

One heard from a retired High Court Judge, and The Chancellor of the Diocese whom I understand to be another retired Judge, and from his doppelgänger a recent Unitary Authority Councillor. All manner of us had views on the efficacy of this or that heating system, and the heritable worth of the Church Pews, and the Victorian embellishments. One Lady treated us to a Sermon seemingly suggesting that the whole matter be left to The Lord Jesus Christ. An Accountant speaking from experience doubted the Community's ability to raise the £600,000 required for the project. Maybe that is so, but two of my neighbours are hopeful of selling their houses. One is priced at 2.5 Million and another requiring complete redevelopment is offered for £500,000. and I don’t doubt that will sell as quickly as did a similar property at the same price. Other houses in the Village are on offer for a Million. 'Times they are a changing.'

The self proclaimed youngest attendee wished for the Church to be more Youth friendly, a point of view supported by another. Was the suggestion that the young better expressed their Faith through, Song and Dance and Painting, and that the Church should accommodate their need ? That may well be so, but if it is, what a shame that none of them turned up at last night's well advertised Public Meeting to express the need for themselves.

Possibly none had the time so to do, for Tisbury is a hive of opportunity for the young. Where else could one find such a splendidly equipped Childrens' Play Ground; Football Pitch, Cricket Pitch(es), Tennis Courts, Sports Centre, Youth Club, Swimming Pool , and entertainments at the Nadder Hall that range from Amateur Theatricals, to Concert Recitals etc. Recently the Village has re-established a Scout Group. Whilst our Parish Councillors consult Local Youth Leaders, whenever decisions are taken that affect young people.

Yes of course Churches should be inclusive of the needs of both the young and the ageing, but unless the young claim a seat at the table change is unlikely. Did the young ever spontaneously appear in Congregations, of course they didn’t, they came because their parents brought them . When we lived elsewhere we as a family attended a Church of England Church, did so because my wife's family were involved members of the Church of England,( and the Scouting Movement) but when it was made plain to us (in writing ) that our children were not welcome in the Congregation, we gave up going. I do not think that is the way things are in Tisbury.

Ours is an unbalanced Community stoked by the retired, which is why the Village needs to encourage Local Employment. I very much fear that the Station Works site will soon accommodate more of the newly retired, rather than again become a place of employment. The Vicar, The PCC The Steering Committee and others have obviously put no end of work into the proposed reordering of St. Johns Tisbury, but not sure that I fancy their chances. 13.6.13.

contact : John B. Pope