The “People’s Parson”

Andrew Sullivan —  May 27 2012 @ 10:41am

Religion could use more like Reverend John Lambourne. From his kind obituary:

Lambourne provided comfort to the sick and bereaved, and there were few people in the parish of Salehurst and Robertsbridge whose lives he did not touch . A major part of his ministry, however, was conducted over a pint at the local pub, where he encouraged all sorts of unlikely people to become regular churchgoers — even to attending “bring-a-bottle” confirmation classes.

Even Hitch would have approved of this:

One parishioner recalls how at one Midnight Mass, held after a convivial evening in the pub, Lambourne embarked on his sermon but soon found himself struggling with the word “vicissitude”. After three valiant attempts he gave up with a “we’ll leave it there, I think”. At the same service the following year he began his sermon with “vicissitude” and continued where he had left off.

Ah, yes, the Church of England, the greatest bulwark against religion humankind has yet constructed.