St. John the Baptist Church Wolverley
If it's you, stop it!
Over the past few months, vases of flowers and containers with flowers growing in them have gone missing from Wolverley’s churchyard. At first I thought someone may have moved them or I was hoping strong winds may have blown them elsewhere. But no, they are being taken. Let’s call it what it is - they are being stolen.
I have full sympathy with those who are cross and upset. There is a feeling that their loved ones’ final resting place is being tampered with. And that’s horrid.
What should be do?
We could decide that the thefts are taking place during the night and hence lock the churchyard. Our gates are high and would keep out all except the most determined. But then there needs to be someone who will lock and unlock the churchyard and this would probably be at the same time the church is locked and unlocked. Therefore, in the evening the churchyard will be closed to all who want to attend a relative’s grave. That’s unfair to those who work during the day.
Or we could put up CCTV cameras. The recent cameras can even pick up movement in the dark. This is expensive but could be done. But do we want our churchyard recording?
Or lastly, we perhaps could remind people this stealing is sinful. Put up a poster similar to the 1st World War ones of a stern Lord Kitchener pointing a finger. Perhaps we could have Jesus pointing a finger saying, ‘My father loves you and wants you to be the best you can be. Don’t disappoint. If it's not yours don't take it..’
I’m sure these are not crimes committed by those desperate for money or those addicted to drugs. This is, I think, a casual ‘I fancy this so I’ll take it’ crime.
Years ago the church was condemned for preaching too much about judgement day. This did give people a skewed view of God. But now, perhaps in our striving to tell the Good News that God loves us and Jesus will plead our case, this has pushed the other truth - that one day we all will stand before our creator and give an account of our lives.
It is sad that these mindless actions are causing others distress.
Let’s pray that the consciences of those committing these thefts will be stirred so they stop. And let's think about ourselves too and the harm we may be causing others. And stop.
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