Every year, on the Feast of Christ the King, we count. We count how many people we have in church and that is recorded for all to see as a snapshot of our little flocks. It is a day when clergy pray that all will turn up, even those once-a-monthers. For these numbers are recorded for all to see in years to come in the Annual Report of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Some clergy (including myself in the past) resort to ‘dirty tricks’ such as holding a baptism on that day. That’s always good to boost the numbers. I’ve heard that some even hold three baptisms on that day, but I fear this is only a myth. Who would do such a thing?
In many churches the Feast of Christ the King coincides with the AGM. Now, in our little flocks, people are not known to make a point of putting such a date in their diaries as one ‘not to be missed.’ Unless you have a beef with your local priest and want to complain about her/his choice of hymns then you are more likely to put the alarm on snooze, turn over and decide to give church a miss this week. This appears to be the tradition here in Christ Church. Of course, it may be that when I announced there was to be a shortened service with no sermon, that may be why they stayed away. And to make matters worse, in terms of the statistics, here we combine both services and move the time.
Ah, but I have a cunning plan. Numbers may be down this year, my first, but next year I think we should move the AGM date and plan a Baptism, Confirmation and a party on the Feast of Christ the King. That should get them in.