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Always One?

(105 Posts)
Corryanna Thu 30-Jul-20 12:24:24

I know most friends/acquaintances/bystanders would say of my situation "There's one in every Church" and maybe add "Get over it!" or "Woman-up dear!", a younger Corry would have said it too, but never again.
A person in my Church causes trouble left, right and centre and nothing is done about it - they continue to upset lovely people and are not questioned by the Vicar or Officeholders, for fear of this one leaving and being upset. In the last 3 years this person has had 3 blazing rows, myself included,in the Church in front of other people (shouting close to and in our faces) saying why we are wrong , and nobody has stepped in to help.
Over the weekend this bully removed a notice on the notice board, informing people what happens next with our Ladies Group (this noticeboard is in a central place in the village). When I explained why I wanted the notice there I was told basically what they said goes, and the Vicar approves. I have since found out that my notice is not the only one to be rejected and we approached the Vicar. I wish we hadn't as he said it was out of his hands what went on the Church board.
I'm praying hard to try to accept this situation as God loves everyone, no matter how awful they are! I refuse to think about leaving the Church as I am/was happy here and have good friends. Any thoughts?

Newatthis Thu 30-Jul-20 12:46:15

Life is too short. Going to church should be a happy, spiritual experience. I would consider going to another church even though you say you don't want to. You will still keep your good friends and if you don't, were they friends anyway? You will no doubt make better friends at a different church. This person sounds horrid and for nobody to say anything doesn't sound very Christian - after all - Jesus would not stand by and see people suffer, no matter how little, and say nothing.

Vetrep Thu 30-Jul-20 13:09:16

The only way to stop bullies like this is to stand up to them, very difficult without the support of the vicar. Would your friends put up a united front with you and next time she starts, tackle her together? How is she so powerful? Is she donating large amounts to the church or something?
If the notice board has glass doors I would be fitting a padlock, if not, can someone handy fit a frame and doors? Childish maybe, but you need to show her that she is NOT the bo

Vetrep Thu 30-Jul-20 13:09:52


Oopsadaisy3 Thu 30-Jul-20 13:35:18

Do you know anyone on the PCC who you could speak to about this person? There might be something that explains her behaviour and why the Church seems to let her have free reign. Maybe a word explaining how she is behaving with you might help get something done.

If not then you either have to put up with it or change Churches

The person we bought our house from moved out of our Village because she was banned from going to the Village Church she moved to another Village and was promptly banned from that Church as well.

Bluebellwould Thu 30-Jul-20 13:38:41

Why don’t you and as many people as you can find boycott the church services on Sunday. Surely empty pews might give the vicar a kick up the whatsit that he obviously needs.

Smileless2012 Thu 30-Jul-20 13:41:09

Have you or anyone else spoken to your vicar about this bully Corryanna? If not, that's the first thing you need to do. If he doesn't do anything to help, you should then make a complaint to the PCC.

If the vicar has no say what goes on the church board then the PCC will. This is one way of dealing with this bully, the other is to stand up to her yourself. If it were me I would do both and hopefully others will see the stand you're taking and do the same.

Teetime Thu 30-Jul-20 14:27:31

I think I would be writing to the Bishop to ask him to investigate the bullying in your church. Totally unacceptable behaviour and as the Vicar isn't willing to act then go higher.

Luckygirl Thu 30-Jul-20 14:49:47

Well - this person has obviously failed to absorb the message of loving kindness, so maybe the vicar needs to ask her/himself if she/he has failed dismally in their task.

DanniRae Thu 30-Jul-20 15:09:53

No advice but just wanted to say that I wish you success in dealing with this person. She sounds a nightmare shock

Judy54 Thu 30-Jul-20 15:23:35

A difficult situation Corryanna and something I experienced in the past. Everyone is right do speak to the Vicar and try to stand up the the bullies. A Church is no place for people like them. If possible go to a different Church and worship God in peace away from these people.

Corryanna Thu 30-Jul-20 15:38:40

Thanks for these replies, that makes me feel better along with advice. I've tried smiling and not rising to her nastiness, standing my ground and giving as good as I got I even walked away from her and she came running after me shouting all the way (Vicar of Dibley style!) - nothing works! She has told me she knows people talk about her but her true friends make up for that nastiness. She lies and has been caught out telling lies, makes up stories and really is to be pitied - thank goodness we aren't her next-door neighbours! Nobody will ever win with this bully.

Corryanna Thu 30-Jul-20 15:41:17

Oh, she guards a second key to the notice board - the one for general use is in the key cupboard in the vestry.

Spangler Thu 30-Jul-20 15:48:47

The bully is a control freak, you get them in every walk of life. They are not bothered by confrontation, some even relish it. The best way of dealing with such people is to ignore them, if it's at all possible.

And if it's possible, I would attend a church service elsewhere, the one that you're at seems to lack the basic Christian ethic of charity.

Nortsat Thu 30-Jul-20 15:58:54

I wonder if a further conversation with the Vicar is warranted. I suggest you repeat that people are being bullied and it needs to stop. Advise him that if he feels unable to tackle this or support you in requesting help from the Board, then a number of people intend writing a joint letter to the Bishop and will look for an alternative church to attend (even if this is a slight exaggeration).

It seems this is not being taken seriously enough or handled properly. Institutions need to take responsibility for tackling bullying, in all its forms. Pastoral care is an important element of role of vicar and key office holders.

I am sorry to hear this is spoiling your enjoyment of attending your church. I hope matters improve soon.

sodapop Thu 30-Jul-20 16:39:50

I agree with Nortsat what a shame it had to come to this though. I hope things improve soon as well.

MerylStreep Thu 30-Jul-20 16:52:01

It sounds as if your vicar needs to grow a pair. What other reason is there other than he is frightened of her.

TrendyNannie6 Thu 30-Jul-20 16:56:18

What a charmer, Not! Shouting close up in your faces! She doesn’t sound very kind to me, or a true Christian, wonder why the vicar allows this to happen, why is she allowed to upset others, I wouldn’t be going to another church though, especially if I was happy there, ( apart from this woman having a free reign,) hope things get sorted, it reminded me of something similar that happened to a lady I know. She volunteered at the church fete helping out serving the teas, when they had collected the cups to be washed up, she used one of the nearby tea towels to help dry them, lady came across snatched her tea towel she was using and said that’s my job. Not as aggressive as the shouting in your face, but still uncalled for

Luckygirl Thu 30-Jul-20 19:02:30

Vicar should not be turning a blind eye to this and needs to step up. There will be vulnerable people in the congregation who need protection.

mumofmadboys Thu 30-Jul-20 19:23:21

I wouldn't consider changing churches. There are always difficult people in any sizeable group. Just try and avoid her as much as you can. Could she have mental health problems? By all means ask the vicar if you can go and see him and discuss it with him.If she starts being confrontational again , just say something like'I am sorry but I don't wish to discuss that' and walk away and talk to someone else. Try to resist talking about her to others if you can. Hope things improve

Toadinthehole Thu 30-Jul-20 19:24:15

What sort of things does she argue about? We’re Christians but gave up with church 8 years ago. The churches round here are just clubs for middle class Christians. Too much arrogance for my liking. Not what Jesus demonstrated at all.

Juicylucy Fri 31-Jul-20 09:33:05

100% agree with luckygirl. Does she have something on the vicar. Is this really being allowed to carry on in the house of god. She knows she gets away with her behaviour so she will carry on.Good job I’m not there, could you not organise a coffee morning with a few of the others social distancing of course and find out how the others would like to deal with her, and then act accordingly. Someone needs to stand there ground against her and give her what for.

25Avalon Fri 31-Jul-20 09:35:27

We had a lovely vicar who couldn’t do enough for everyone for 25 odd years. New vicar came and has upset almost everyone in our 3 parishes. People not going to church when they are there. Difficult to find church wardens. No parish magazine or e-letter although volunteers prepared to do it.
One stalwart couple who did so much for the church that they virtually were the church have left and go to another church. Perhaps it would be best to look for another church yourself. It is very sad.

NotSpaghetti Fri 31-Jul-20 09:35:40

I would speak to the vicar again and impress on him what he already knows about the bullying. I would suggest he gives this person some one-to-one time as she is deeply troubled and it is affecting other people's worship.

Really, HE is supposed to be the leader of this little flock and if he can't at least make more of an effort what kind of person is he?

He obviously can't be responsible for this woman but I do feel he should be helping her resolve whatever is troubling her and helping guide her towards being a better person. Isn't that what all religions are about?
If nothing changes, I'd contact the bishop... I know it's not the same but this not dealing with difficult and abusive situations is what has caused no end of problems in the church! I wish they would get a grip!

Good luck.

Ladyleftfieldlover Fri 31-Jul-20 09:35:55

I atended my previous church for over 30 years. I had m any friends there and my three children were baptized there. But, over the years it became more and more Evangelical - the love the sinner not the sin type of thing - and one or two of my closest friends really did become different people! One even had a huge go at me for 'allowing' as he put it, my daughter to study theology at university. Long story short, vicar of nearly 20 years retired through ill-health and was replaced by a lovely guy. Clever, wonderfujl sermons etc., etc., but for some of the congregation, he wasn't the previous guy. They made his life a misery and within a couple of years had a breakdown. Along came his replacment, who I am afraid I didn't get on with at all. I did my best and gave it three years. Then, I made the decision to go to a different church. My old church could be seen from my house - this one I have to drive to. It is four or five years now and I am getting used to the new church and its people. I still hanker after the old one though!