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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Agnostic and Church Attendance (Page 3)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Agnostic and Church Attendance
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

mr cheesy [Confused]

Surely more [Roll Eyes] than [Waterworks] but YMMV as they say aboard Ship.

But there we are ...

No it is [Waterworks] because you seem to think that everything you write needs to be reinforced in triplicate.

Fair enough comment, but seems to me that you're making rather a meal of it given nobody is really disagreeing with you about it.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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Well, I am thoroughly Trinitarian ...

But fair do's mind ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Chorister

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quote:
Originally posted by Aravis:
Sorry, I should add that the Sunday on which the vicar brought me communion I didn't really want was a Sunday when I was playing the organ, so the assumption was probably that I didn't have time to walk to the altar. I am sure it was charitably meant.

Eat it, eat it NOW!! (And did you?)

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
quote:
Originally posted by Aravis:
Sorry, I should add that the Sunday on which the vicar brought me communion I didn't really want was a Sunday when I was playing the organ, so the assumption was probably that I didn't have time to walk to the altar. I am sure it was charitably meant.

Eat it, eat it NOW!! (And did you?)
"I'm not going to end the service until you've partaken".

"Some poor child in a denomination where they only have communion once a year would be glad to receive what I'm offering you".

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Ethne Alba
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Church attendance and participation in communion is something that maybe we take for granted as A Personal Choice. It has not always been so.

In East Anglia i well remember hearing that unless a certain family attended the parish church + took communion, their father would not have his job and they would not have had their home. Those children did not welcome the benefits received from the hand of their fathers employer and none of them are now members or even occasional attendees at any church or chapel.

Whilst Wales and other mining areas have their own shaming and stocking stories of what happened if miners and their families did not attend the church, or chapel, decreed by their mine owner. Again, no job and no home.

Choice is a luxury.

[ 06. September 2017, 10:58: Message edited by: Ethne Alba ]

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Gamaliel
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Actually, it wasn't quite as simple as that, Ethne Alba. There have been historical studies in Huddersfield and other parts of the old West Riding which indicate that the choice of chapel was practically the only choice people had, so that was why there were so many of them ...

Equally, in my native South Wales a lot of the chapels were set up by the miners and foundry workers themselves, not by the mine owners or iron-masters.

Sure, there were chapels and churches where people were 'expected' to attend but things were rather more complex than that. In the 1851 religious census some 50% of the population were in some form of church or chapel on the census Sunday.

That's a whole load of people but also a lot of folk who weren't.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Ethne Alba
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I can only speak of what i know. I know nothing of the West Riding, but i am very glad that they at least had choice of where to attend worship.

And i don't want to get specific about areas of South Wales on a public page. But (without involving people related to those still living) whilst in South Wales i heard some appalling histories....very calmly spoken....over nice cups of tea....by elderly people..

I have no reason to dispute the life stories given. The people concerned had no gain from telling their stories and in fact had plenty of shame from living their lives up until that point. Certainly the most harrowing were from a village midwife.....

Power and the ability to wield it is not reserved for the owners of places of employment. Sometimes it is a manager.

And, I don't know about matters 'not being quite as simple as that', or 'being a bit more complex than that'....
Lives ruined in the name of religion is something that is neither simple nor complex. It's plain wrong.

But maybe we are straying far from the OP?


Interestingly, some people reacted to their upbringing by refusing to attend church. Other attended, but if pushed would say they were at best agnostic and at worst atheist....but were still there.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ethne Alba:


And, I don't know about matters 'not being quite as simple as that', or 'being a bit more complex than that'....
Lives ruined in the name of religion is something that is neither simple nor complex. It's plain wrong.

But maybe we are straying far from the OP?

I don't see any reason to disbelieve the accounts either. There was often a very odd relationship between miners and mine owners.

I don't think any of the churches here (town in the Eastern Valleys, South Wales) were directly paid for by the mine owners - but I'm not sure that detail really matters. There is good evidence that chapel attendance was "expected" by the owners, who seemed at times to see their role to be overlords of the workers in various aspects of life. I can well imagine that a smaller community with a single mine employer might have a chapel built by the owners.

quote:
Interestingly, some people reacted to their upbringing by refusing to attend church. Other attended, but if pushed would say they were at best agnostic and at worst atheist....but were still there.
It's fairly clear to me that many went to chapel (if voluntarily at all) because of the social/community aspects.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Albertus
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What about social pressures, not from employers but from neighbours/ peers? The great divide between the respectable and the respectable? Might apply to church and chapel, although there is a strand in welsh nonconformity that historically mistrusted the Church because, in addition to all the other class and political baggage that the church/chapel divide carried, *anybody* could go to the church, but you had to be good to go to chapel. (I simplify a little, but it's certainly there.)

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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Gamaliel
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The point I'm making is that the situation was pretty mixed - and there would have been every conceivable gradation between expectation, peer-pressure and even sheer coercion through to a happy voluntarism ...

One of the things that the West Riding study I mentioned touched on was that there was quite literally bugger all else to do in some mill-village communities if you didn't want to go to the pub all the time ...

The whole social life of these places revolved around the chapels.

There were Sunday school outings, Band Clubs, magic-lantern slides ...

It's where you went to meet other people includiing potential partners.

Strikingly, once public transport opened up in the 1920s and as the cinema grew in popularity attendance at chapels dropped off dramatically. People suddenly had other options in terms of what to do with their time.

I'm by no means minimising 'lives ruined in the name of religion', all I'm doing is suggesting that the situation was more complex than foul mill-owners and mine owners compelling people to attend church or chapel.

Sure, that undoubtedly went on, but it wasn't the full picture.

Strange as it may sound to us, there's plenty of evidence that people from remote mid-Wales farmsteads welcomed the opportunity to migrate to the South Wales mining valleys because, for all the grim conditions, they at least had a regular wage (as opposed to subsistence farming) and there things they could do - such as join a choir or brass-band, a workers' library or some kind of 'friendly society' ...

If you were half-way up a rain-lashed hillside with your nearest neighbour over the other side of the mountain then living in a terraced house surrounded by other people was a welcome change ...

None of that excuses the bastardliness of the Crawshaw Baileys or the mine-owners ...

Heck, I knew an old brother and sister whose father had been the gardener for one of these bastards. He wasn't even allowed to take carrots home for his family that the horses wouldn't eat. They all had to doff their caps and tug their forelocks as he went past - and he even had to have a cavalry escort when he went out to inspect his mines ... (This would have been around 1910) ...

As far as the chapels went, yes, some were virtually 'company' chapels, but others - particularly some of the independent and more fervent types, were built by miners and agricultural workers. I could cite quite a number of those too.

So, yes, whilst there was sometimes overt coercion and pressure we're mainly talking about cultural expectations rather than 'go to church/chapel or lose your job' - although that certainly happened as well.

Just as, despite all the myths surrounding the Welsh Revival and the hwyl and so on, there were instances of violence, shunning and sendings-to-Coventry aimed at Anglicans by non-conformists in the slate-valleys of North Wales ...

There were even instances of people driven from their homes because they were Anglicans and Conservative and living in predominantly non-conformist and Liberal areas. And I say that as someone who hasn't got a Tory bone in his body.

These things cut both ways.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Albertus
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And shunnings of Anglicans in S Wales too. The former Archbishop of wales, Barry Morgan, told me that his grandmother, in Gwaun-Cae-gurwen, had been given a very hard time by her neighbours because she was Church rather than Chapel.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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Gamaliel
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Oh aye, that too - chapel culture could be very tribal and incredibly gossipy and judgemental.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15374 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged



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