Bishop of London says that redundancy is good for the soul

This from the Times Online:

Redundancy could be a blessing in disguise for City workers who have fallen victim to the credit crunch, the Bishop of London said yesterday.

The Right Rev Richard Chartres, speaking in advance of a debate at the Church of England’s General Synod on the financial crisis, said that it was difficult to know whether to sympathise more with those who had lost their jobs, or those who were left carrying even greater loads with higher targets and fewer colleagues.

As clergy and laity on the Synod used their lunch break to make calls and send text messages on their BlackBerry phones, the Bishop, an Anglo-Catholic who favours traditionalist means of communication such as landline telephones, said that redundancy was not necessarily bad news.

“Sometimes, people seem to be relieved to get off the treadmill and to be given an opportunity to reconsider what they really want out of life. One of the great implications of this turbulence for us is to re-boot our sense of what a truly flourishing human life consists of. The ‘CrackBerry’ culture is dangerously addictive and switching off from it is notoriously difficult,” he said.

The Right Rev Richard Chartres said that his diocese had been working hard to respond to the prospect of 150,000 unemployed in London’s financial sector.

“The clergy of the City of London have been in the front line of pastoral care,” he said. This was particularly true of Fiona Stewart Darling, Bishop’s Chaplain at Canary Wharf, where the parish population is about 100,000 during the day.

At least one church in the City has had a poor take-up for its redundancy counselling sessions, however. An evangelical church has had almost no attendees at its lunchtime workshops on the recession. A lay member at the church speculated that this was because redundancy carries a stigma, and that in any case those who had been sacked were back at home with their wives and families in the stockbroker belt.

Can it be good for one to lose their job?

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21 Responses

  1. Losing one’s job is like losing a piece of oneself. It is a traumatic experience. It’s nice that the London churches are offering counseling but I doubt it provides much comfort.

  2. James,

    It really can be tough, especially in these times (finding another one may not be so easy).

    I guess it could be beneficial, in that hardship and doubt and fear could lead one to look outside of him/herself.

    If someone went back to church as a result of having lost their job, it could be a very good thing.

    Thank you, James.

    – Steve

  3. You’re right. Losing a job is no reason to lose faith. God is with us and for us now and forever.

  4. I got booted from one of my positions this past year. I have other jobs, and a husband with whom between the both of us will still be able to scrape by. Even our “scraping” is from God. ;-)

    Last March 18, 2 good men of God got fired from their jobs in radio. That was not good, but God has used it for good.

  5. Silly me forgot to finish…

    That one cancelled radio program started up again. Along with 24/7 radio programming on Pirate Christian Radio.

  6. I think he may well have a point but to me it is about presentation. I am not sure that If I had just lost my job I would hear him too sympathetically, after all – he is still in work.

  7. Raggedy Lamb,

    “Even our “scraping” is from God”

    How true. He does work in mysterious ways!

    And I do know those (of) those two guys. It does seem that their firing was a good thing after all.

    It brings to mind another bulldog for Christ that was fired…Martin Luther.

    It certainly can’t be a comfortable thing, or an easy thing. But maybe (hopefully for these poor men and women) some good may come from it in the long run.

    Thanks R.L.!

    – Steve

  8. Doorman-Priest,

    Excellent point!

    How you say something may be more important than what it is that you are saying.

    I think the Right Rev. Chartres would reword that staement if he had the chance.

    In his position, you’d think that he might make the chance.

    Thanks D.P.!

    – Steve

  9. I am not so sure being redundant is a good thing.

  10. I am not so sure being redundant is a good thing. not to be redundant of course.

  11. Willohroots,

    You are a real card! A real card.

    (you ought to be dealt with!) :D

  12. I don’t remember where I read this but it goes something like this:

    A pastor was talking to a non-believer who claimed life could not be better. Everything was going great in every area of life. The pastor replied, “I’m sorry to hear that. I”ll pray for you,”

    Sometime later the man came to the pastor. He had lost everything and had nowhere to turn. The pastor said,
    “Finally. Now we can get somewhere.”

  13. The Gospel… The Gosel… The Gospel… The Gosel… The Gospel… The Gosel… The Gospel… The Gosel… The Gospel… The Gosel… The Gospel… The Gosel… The Gospel… The Gosel… The Gospel… The Gosel…

  14. The Gospel again 8-). G-O-S-P-E-L

  15. I was going to say, Jon, you forgot to ‘P’.

  16. Pastor Mark,

    This a an excellent example of how the Law can do it’s work on us.

    It’s also a great example of Law, aside from the Sunday School kids understanding of the Law just being the 10 Commandments. “Have you ever stolen a paperclip…then you are a sinner”

    When we take the time to speak with someone and find out where they are “being had by the world” (as you like to say), we are accessing a point in their lives where a wound has been exposed. Then the law can go to work on that person to kill him off in preparation for the gospel to do it’s work in raising him anew.

    I love the story you’ve recalled! I believe it is how God works in us.

    Thanks Pastor!

    – Steve

  17. I love working with people in recovery. They have made their old lives redundant, fired their old selves. If only legalists would “bottom out”, I would like to work with them too.

  18. Willohroots,

    Good point about the folks in recovery.

    We might be able to “fire” some aspect of our old self…drinking, drugs. sex…whatever….but only God can kill off the old Adam.

    The old Adam will not die of his own volition. He must be killed by God. God’s word of law will do it…sooner or later…and in many ways…over and over again. God makes alive…and God kills.

    We would never do this on our own.

    Thanks Willohroots!

    – Steve

  19. consider the ravens…

  20. Are they out of work, too?

  21. ….they neither sow nor reap they have neither storehouse nor barn and yet god feeds them. of how much more value are you than the birds?

    was jesus out of touch?

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