Anglican Samizdat

February 6, 2009

Diocese of Niagara: Draft Report on how to share a building

Filed under: Diocese of Niagara — David Jenkins @ 12:01 am

I have it on good authority that the Diocese of Niagara has assembled a task force which, after a time of discernment and listening, will be producing a document on the Theology of Sharing. As it happens, a draft copy was smuggled out of James Street by a recently escaped laid-off malcontent.

How to Share a Church Building
Lessons learned when sharing St. Hilda’s building with The Network.

Make it clear from the outset that it is your building; the people who bought and paid for the place are there on sufferance. Do not under any circumstances speak to or touch them; they have a condition called the Holy Spirit which is contagious and can result in a nasty dose of fundamentalism.

Take the prime service time for yourself; make sure that The Network does not trespass on the property while you are using it. If they do, pretend they don’t exist.

Import parishioners from other parishes to make it look as if we really need the place. Whatever you do, don’t let on that we are going to sell it as soon as we can. Before you do sell it, make it clear to the priest in charge and imported parishioners that they are no longer wanted.

It has come to our attention that the latest imported priest in charge at St. Hilda’s has only been able to muster 5 people  every Sunday. This makes the diocese looks bad: emphasise loyalty to our beloved church; make your congregation feel guilty; drive them to church yourself if you have to, just get them there.

Find fault with the building to make The Network feel guilty. Coach your congregation in the art of complaining. Complain about the heating, the damp, the smell, the mould, the lack of hymn books, the old communion vessels which we got from them, the church sign (more on that later), the unpaved parking lot, the lack of air conditioning and the ugly orange carpet.

As an added demoraliser, refuse to pay your share of the building upkeep, cleaning, hydro and utilities. Even though you are not paying to clean the place, complain that it isn’t clean enough and make sure you whine about icy sidewalks. But, whatever you do don’t clear them; if one of our parishioners slips, we can sue The Network for damages.

At this point the real rector of the parish will probably be fed up and frustrated. To complete this process, get right up his nose by placing your sign in front of his to obscure his name like this:


It doesn’t matter that the diocesan sign looks tacky and is held on with string, sticky tape and chewing gum: the important thing is no-one can see the contaminated message underneath. And, after all, that is what drawing the circle wider is all about.



  1. I think a “For Sale” sign would cover both nicely.

    Comment by gawk — February 6, 2009 @ 8:19 am

  2. I think this stunt is in the worst taste possible. It was agreed in negotiations that the ACC would put up a sign on the opposite side of the driveway to the parish sign. To move it and tape it to the front of the regular parish sign is just rude and shows the community what we are up against.

    Comment by Muriel — February 6, 2009 @ 9:54 am

  3. Well now, it is another instance of the diocese violating their agreement, and judges don’t look fondly on that sort of thing, do they?

    Comment by Kate — February 6, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

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