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Sneering at people who work for the church.

(35 Posts)
Beswitched Mon 17-Feb-20 15:59:18

My mother is part of the flower team at her local church. She, along with her team members and those who volunteer to clean the church, help in the shop that sells Mass cards, sing in the choir etc are all in their 70s and 80s and are finding it all a bit much but can't find younger volunteers to take over.

I sometimes read comments on other forums implying that Church volunteers are mini hitlers and bossy boots who want to run the whole show.

AIBU to find this annoying when most of them are just doing their best to keep the Church going for the community long after a few stagecwhen they would love to hand on the baton to a younger cohort?

Ilovecheese Mon 17-Feb-20 16:23:44

Could the shortage of volunteers be another unintended consequence of women being unable to retire at 60?
Another unappreciated job that women in their sixties used to do, and now have to continue working instead?

Smileless2012 Mon 17-Feb-20 16:43:28

No Beswitched you're not being unreasonable for finding that annoying.

Since Mr. S. retired we've been doing more volunteer work for our church; we're among the youngest in our congregation.

I think that's a very valid point Ilovecheese.

endlessstrife Mon 17-Feb-20 16:44:03

Yes, in our church, some of the ‘ volunteers’ were doing as much if not more than the paid workers. It’s a lot of time to commit when you’re working full time.

TrendyNannie6 Mon 17-Feb-20 16:47:05

No you are not being unreasonable

M0nica Mon 17-Feb-20 16:49:58

My father was still the 'major-domo' at his church until his last illness when he was 92. Every wedding, funeral or other church event, he was on hand and on the altar making sure everything went to plan.

He knew all the local undertakers - and they knew him.

Marydoll Mon 17-Feb-20 20:37:00

Our church is exactly the same, the cleaners are all into their seventies and the head sacristan is 78, he too is on first name terms with all the undertakers.

Jessity Mon 17-Feb-20 21:14:23

Our church is the same, both churchwardens are in their 70s. All of us in flower group are that age and the very active leader of flower group who does the most stunning arrangements with speed and ease is in her 80s. Organist and choir master and almost all of us in the choir are 70s and 80s.

Iam64 Mon 17-Feb-20 21:36:25

Another issue is that retired grandparents are so busy helping with looking after grandchildren, often at the same time as caring for very elderly parents.

Bridgeit Mon 17-Feb-20 21:39:28

Well back in the day when I was a child there were a couple of Ladies who would definitely got the hump over ‘ doing the teas & who’s flower arrangement skills were considered the best.
But yes you are probably right these days I imagine some would love to hand over the reins, but can’t find willing hands to replace them & are too dedicated too leave .

Bridgeit Mon 17-Feb-20 21:40:41

Ohhps re spelling mistakes.

Greeneyedgirl Mon 17-Feb-20 21:40:50

I must admit I haven't seen posts criticising church volunteers.

In many ways it isn't surprising that young ones are not coming forward to take on church duties. Attitudes to religion are changing, particularly amongst young adults.

According to the latest Social Attitudes Survey 53% of people say they have no religious affiliation.

3 out of 4 young adults aged 18-24yrs report as having no religion. Amongst over 75s, 27% profess having no religion. Perhaps we are moving towards a secular society?

Beswitched Mon 17-Feb-20 23:20:43

I've seen it come up over weddings in particular - a bride or groom are told they can't have exactly what they want because there's 3 other weddings on that week/it's two days before Christmas so the Church will already be decorated etc and there's lots of harumphing and comments ments about 'bossy flower ladies, who do they think they are. We've a couple of those Betty and Doris types in our Church....'

mumofmadboys Mon 17-Feb-20 23:36:25

Our church has a fairly old congregation. It feels very hard making the Christian faith and the Church relevant to today's society and youngsters in particular. I don't know what the answer is. I can't imagine coping without my faith. But one does wonder what will the church be like in ten or twenty years time?

PamelaJ1 Tue 18-Feb-20 00:21:48

We had a couple of bossy boots on our PCC, they did put some people’s backs up but, my goodness, they were such hard workers and we do miss them now.

They knew all there was to know about how things should be done. Unfortunately the church is swamped by archaic rules and regulations.
Now there are only 3 of us on thePCC- a catholic, an atheist and a practicing Christian. None of us really knows what to do but if we don’t do it no one will, the church will be closed and there will be no weddings, funerals or christenings for those who want them.

NotSpaghetti Tue 18-Feb-20 01:44:56

I had a bossy woman speak to me at Christmas rather rudely.
Definitely a know-it-all and not very old.
Certainly younger than me!

Nannarose Tue 18-Feb-20 06:53:41

It isn't just the church - we tend to notice the things we are involved in or know about. People who don't know what it is like to volunteer, to manage volunteers, to try to make the world a bit better place, love criticising those who give up their time and energy.
I have heard it all my life. Best way (IMHO) to deal with it is to imagine those people attempting to do it themselves and failing miserably!

Yehbutnobut Tue 18-Feb-20 07:46:53

There are a hard core of people who love to sneer at others using anonymous forums. Ignore them they are sick.

Missfoodlove Tue 18-Feb-20 09:15:41

My mother used to sell cards etc before and after mass.
She loved it, she found out quickly who was ill, dead, dying and extracted as much information as possible from all her customers.
She once called me to tell me that Mary M**** had arrived at mass with scuffed shoes and had “ nothing at her neck” whatever that was supposed to mean!
Another gem was that Patrick Mc*** had been at mass every week but hadn’t taken communion, my mother concluded he was definitely having an affair and probably because his wife by all accounts was a dreadful cook and housekeeper!!
So unfortunately my mother is a stereotypical church do gooder?

NotSpaghetti Tue 18-Feb-20 10:05:52

Nanarose I wasn’t criticising, simply observing. I am a volunteer, have managed volunteers and have spent years in the voluntary sector.
Some people just do like to be “in charge” and some others have good intentions but poor social and interpersonal skills!

Stansgran Tue 18-Feb-20 12:22:17

We used to have so many volunteers at church that there was a rota and our unpaid volunteer organisers gently scolded us because we wanted to be there as much as possible. Now we have a paid manager and although we are described as dear wonderful people we are jumped on if we do not use the correct speech i.e. demands for donations ,and numbers of volunteers have skydived. Our manager must have read 1984 and thought rightspeak a Good Thing.

Greeneyedgirl Tue 18-Feb-20 14:23:13

mumofbadboys I am not humanist, but have much respect for many volunteer church workers who give their time because of their faith.

In my village they involve non churchgoers by running a "coffee and meet" morning at the church, open to everyone, where people play board games, socialise, can get hearing aids checked, and there is involvement from local doctors surgery from time to time in health promotion.

They also run a pre school group, open to all, and the Methodist church have an art group once a week. These are all organised by church volunteers for the villagers.

If the church is truly part of a community it can perhaps inspire more non church goers to become interested. Shouldn't the church be about the people, not the building?

Greeneyedgirl Tue 18-Feb-20 14:23:47

Sorry I AM a humanist!

GillT57 Tue 18-Feb-20 15:21:48

I would imagine the problem is caused by societal changes such as later retirement, looking after grandchildren while both their parents work, and looking after one's own elderly parents.

mumofmadboys Tue 18-Feb-20 17:07:41

I agree absolutely green eyedgirl.The church is definitely the people and not the building.We are Christ's hands, feet and mouth on earth today or at least this is what we try to be!