Anglican Samizdat

June 13, 2009

The little flowers of St. Stuart

Filed under: Christianity — David Jenkins @ 8:06 pm

Francis of Assisi’s father was a wealthy cloth merchant and Francis himself grew up enjoying the finer things of life. For him, taking Christianity seriously meant a vow of poverty; this extended to his clothes which were exchanged for rags and returned to Add an Imagehis father.

Things have degenerated somewhat from St. Francis’ time: today, a Roman Catholic priest, Canon Stuart Wilson is asking his congregation and associates to impoverish themselves in order to furnish him with, among other things, a £35 toilet brush. How much is the toilet itself worth? Probably quite a lot, since according to this, the whole place was refurbished at a cost of £310,000 supplied by the congregation.

Wilson was an Anglican priest who converted to Rome, ostensibly because of women priests but, in reality, because Anglicans could not afford him.

To the astonishment of many in his flock, a senior Roman Catholic cleric has sent out an email asking them to buy gifts from a John Lewis website to furnish his rectory.

Among the items requested by Canon Stuart Wilson are a £35 toilet brush, a £70 chef’s knife with a £97 bamboo knife block and a ‘deep oval roaster’ for £127.

Canon Wilson’s living quarters are part of a refurbished presbytery which has been rebuilt using donations of more than £310,000 given by the community over the past year.

I bet he uses the toilet brush as a back scratcher.


1 Comment

  1. Many years ago as a young teenager I remember being very upset and angry over the wealth of the church – esp. as it was visible in ‘cloth of gold garments’ and buildings and church ornaments – particularly Roman Catholic (since it was more obvious) but also Church of England. I knew nothing about anything – but I well remember the anger at all that wealth sitting there doing nothing – vis-a-vis the starving masses – and I knew little about them either. (I hardly knew anything about Jesus then, but that’s another matter – I went to church). As I started ‘getting into’ the church – that emotion has stayed with me – albeit somewhat modified. Even now I wonder whether the poor folk on mother’s allowance and welfare and disability know that some of the monies they so diligently put on the plate go to support well furbished synod offices and the $!00,000.00 a year (and plus) lifestyle of bishops.
    I think all bishops should either be in parishes or at the least do one or two vacation relief a year for clergy around their diocese so they get to know what it is really like on the ground.
    Alas – it seems things haven’t changed.

    Comment by Margo — June 14, 2009 @ 8:59 am

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