The Clunes church building will go up for sale by Auction on May 2nd. The sale has been coming for a couple of years now, since services ceased at Clunes at the end of 2007 after our 5 year effort at revitalisation. So it seemed like a good idea ahead of the advertising of the sale to have a story run in the paper emphasising the positive side to the story: small village churches may be closing but that doesn’t mean churches aren’t growing. Positive? How naïve!
I just about choked on my coffee when I read the subheading “community forced to travel to worship”. The journo actually did a pretty good job with the story but the editorial addition of this subheading really casts something of a shadow over how it all reads. And throw in the feedback bubble, “how important are local churches?” – I felt a little like I was the smiling assassin in the photo answering “not at all!”. It’s funny how the media spend 90% of the time belting the church as being irrelevant, but then throw in 10% indignation when we change with the times.
Ah well. They say “all publicity is good publicity”. I’m not so sure! But that’s the media for you. The Northern Star is in the business of selling papers. Sensationalism sells. Conflict sells. With a front page calling some violence in Byron “WWIII”, you know what to expect as you flick from story to story through the rest of the rag.
Let’s remember, however, that the letters pages of our local papers still represent a great opportunity to let our community know that there are many in this region who still call Jesus Lord. A Lord you don’t need buildings to worship in.