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Monday, August 07, 2006

Give people what they want

and they will be sure to show up.

The Rev Ian Gregory, a cleric well known to readers of The Daily Telegraph for launching the Campaign for Courtesy in an attempt to improve manners, has embarked on a new project which he calls "Christianity without religion".

Out goes the "archaic mumbo-jumbo" of church services and the "silly arguments about things that don't and shouldn't matter"; in come chats about anything that makes you feel good and the world's first dedicated "laughter room" because "laughter is as important as prayer".

You can get people to church if it stops being about "religion." This reminds me of one of those ardent discussions librarians have about "getting people into the library." This despite the fact that those who never come to the library give us the least trouble and are our biggest fans.

All sorts of ideas were suggested to increase library attendance. As these notions got wilder and drifted further from our purpose (being a library), someone finally suggested that we would attract more people if we sold crack. The discussion ended, and none too soon.

I wonder if the churches have ever tried distributing narcotics? They would get a whole new type of customer.

Thanks to Rachel.

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