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Clerical collar comments

A letter in a recent issue of the magazine referred to the fact that ministers nowadays seldom wear clerical collars,certainly when “off duty” but also frequently in church.

I am an old man and therefore by definition a dinosaur, but there are many others who share my views.

Presumably the reason is that ministers wish to appear more ordinary and approachable to other people. If that is the reason then it is a failure. There is no detectable desire for the minister to be just “one of the boys” however friendly he or she is to us and with us.

There are two main points. One is respect towards the congregation who have probably at least put on fairly smart clothes to go to worship God and to and serve in church and meet other people and secondly, and much more importantly, to worship God, not in an offhand casual way but to regard it as a privilege to have the welcome duty of leading a congregation in prayer.

A more formal approach might well succeed in gathering more numbers and respect where the present apparently casual way is manifestly failing.

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About Life and Work

In this month's issue: - FROM HOLY LAND TO ADVENT CENTERPIECE The journey of a Christmas crib - THE ACCIDENTAL TRAIL BLAZER The Rev Rola Sleiman, the first Christian woman minister ordained in the Middle East - SIGNPOSTS OF FAITH The Rev John Chalmers on change in the Church