Monday, April 09, 2007

Reasons for (non)attendance.

Trouble with voluntary organisations is that you can't coerce folk into doing things. You can't make them do homework, appear on time - or indeed appear at all. You rely on goodwill, loyalty and an inherent unwillingness to let others down.

The church is a voluntary organisation in which there are a few professionals and a floating mass of people who have their own reasons for attending - or not attending. No-one is coerced into being there at a specific time, though some of the volunteers are more pressed into service than others. In fact, giving someone a job often ensures that they will be there on that day - though they equally might just not bother.

The priest has to be there. The organist is missed when he/she takes a break - and usually this will be timed to avoid any major festival. Everyone else is free to drift in and out as the spirit moves them. It's hard to predict and it's hard on the committed.

But I don't understand why the spirit would keep anyone away over Easter.

The title is yet another quote. The usual rules apply - unless you're sick of chocolate.


  1. Anonymous12:18 AM

    Hi Chris
    Forgive me if i've misread, but I sense in this post a low after the high of your Easter celebration. I know this feeling well after many a musical performance in which I’ve been emotionally involved. It takes a while for those wonderful passages to fade from your inner ear, along with the yearning for the high that accompanied them.

    I also recognise the frustration of being part of voluntary activities in the face of apparent apathy, even from those who might be thought to be the most interested, and the despondency that can sometimes creep in as a result.

    If I've understood it correctly, maybe Larkin’s feeling, in the same poem, that “others may hear as well,/But not for me, nor I for them" is worth keeping in mind at times like these.

  2. Dorothy, you get the virtual mars bars twice over - for perceptive comment and a knowledge of Larkin!

  3. Or just possibly ...
    "What calls me is that lifted, rough-tongued bell (Art, if you like)"

    I still learn!!

  4. Good poem, eh? Good to see another of my faves being picked up ....