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UPDATE (July 12, 2019): The previous estimate of the C of E’s wealth was an understatement ah 8.3 billion. That was just investments. The National Secular Society has a more realistic breakdown here.

Maybe you should, Mo. Maybe you should.

This strip based on a story from last year. C of E’s financial status based on this.

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Discussion (19)¬

  1. Someone says:

    Maybe they should pray the funds, makes as much sense as pressuring the government to pay for them.

  2. Troubleshooter says:

    Hey, J! Did you ever hear the story of The Little Red Hen? She couldn’t get any help at all from the other barnyard animals while she was involved in all the business of making the bread, but when it came time to EAT it, there were no end of offers. By the same token, if churches can’t be bothered to pay taxes to the government, they should not be allowed to benefit from those same taxes after some unfortunate event.

    Long story short: Fix Your Own [censored] Churches!!!

  3. Laripu says:

    Manna from heaven doesn’t generalize to money from heaven.

  4. SmallVoice says:

    The latest report I saw on the BBC’s website mentioned that the fund for repairing that monstrosity in France with the burnt roof was pledged over 650 million somethings. With that sort of loot they could refurbish every church in England, after spending a few quid on a new roof, including heating, comfortable seating, tea and coffee machines and maybe video players on the seat-backs.

    Or they could do something useful and beneficial to Mankind and build and support a manned radio and optical observatory with a small camp-following village complete with little shops on Farside.

    My guess is that the controllers of the roof-fund will do nothing like either of those and that every penny, pfennig, schilling and sou will be eaten up by administration costs and consultancy fees, with maybe 0.001% used to cover parts and labour.

    But I could be wrong. They may use up all of the funds on “management” and have a second round of begging to buy the fixings from Homebase.

    Passing thought … why don’t churches have comfy seats? It’s not as though they can’ afford them and it would reduce the wriggling and twisting among the audiences a little.

  5. SmallVoice says:

    Troubleshooter, you just aren’t thinking properly. As every rich guy knows, you never use your own money to do anything if you can get a government subsidy or cheap loan.

    That is how they stay rich.

  6. SmallVoice says:

    Some years ago, I was wandering around Windsor, England watching the mess of traffic confusion involving public transport vehicles and touristy coaches when a thought struck me. Not, perhaps an original nor an innovative thought but an obvious one. The chaos, danger, smells and delays cold be vastly reduced were Windsor to have a Bus Station. A large, modern one right in the heart of Town. With heating, ventilation and noise-reduction walls.

    A large, clean, nice, safe Bus Station with overhead shopping, a couple of cinemas, a museum or two, a swimming pool, a large, rooftop wilderness area and maybe a couple of certified crèches to allow the adults to use the other facilities without being harassed by micro-humans.

    It could have been built fairly cheaply and rapidly and would have improved the area no end.

    There was, and remains, just one tiny, little obstacle to my beautiful idea …

    ..

    Churches, I have often thought, fall into the same class of needless, nasty, ugly and useless obstacles to progress and improvements to the human condition. They are so poorly designed they can’t even be adapted for use as much else most of the time.

    Not without searing them to the bedrock and building something useful from there.

  7. cjsm says:

    If church membership and tithes fall low enough, the churches will be abandoned. What will follow is your tax money used to refurbish the mausoleums into museums. Many of them are halfway there already.

  8. SmallVoice says:

    cjsm, I wouldn’t really mind churches being re-purposed as museums, so long as the organisation gets zero subsidies, tax credits or benefit from them and so long as adequate heating, ventilation, weather-proofing, safety features and comforts are built in.

    I don’t even mind them being used as museums of the churches. Like the Holocaust, slavery, genocide attempts and other bad stuff, we should have some reminders of the evils men do so we don’t repeat them.

    But included in any refurbishment plans must be a little shop. Right there, in the corner, selling good SF books and having a decent Science section, too. And sticky buns, bacon rolls and tea.

    But that issue of tithes bothers me. In civilised societies, bus routes that don’t make much if any profit but which are socially necessary are often subsidised by the more profitable ones, fire brigades and schools and hospitals are subsidised by the common wealth for the common good and many other projects too expensive for people to pay for are supported by the society as a whole. There is no reason why this socialist sharing of the wealth should not apply to churches, with the richer ones aiding the poorer.

    No reason save institutionalised greed.

    Uh.

    Where is everyone?

  9. Someone says:

    SmallVoice, if I remember correctly, churches have uncomfortable wooden seats to enforce humble worship without luxury (as Jebus would’ve wanted) as well as to encourage kneeling.

    I find it amusing that some churches around the world that are deconsecrated are repurposed for music halls and galleries, and my recent experience with one such church, or should I say the exhibit therein, was more uplifting than any day I went to church as a young Catholic.

  10. Laripu says:

    SmallVoice, to answer your question “Where is everyone?”, my guess is that they’ve disappeared down the rabbit-hole of buggy web site software.

    Half the time, on this page, I can’t get to the comments. Sometimes it helps if I go back to the previous one, then to the last. If I do that several times it often works. The problem seems worse when there are few posts, rarer when there are many. (Of course, if it’s widespread, it would tend to keep posts few.)

    Also, I don’t always get the short editing period, which is a problem because I post from my phone, and therefore make spelling errors.

    But I’m not complaining: this is free entertainment. Thanks, Author. (Peace be upon you. 😉 )

  11. SmallVoice says:

    Laripu, over the last couple of weeks, when I tried to comment the page went to a blank webpage with a popup warning that I had tried a nasty thing. On returning to the comments page, either by re-clicking on the url or by using the back button, my lovely, wonderful, wise and beautifully lyrical prose was often blanked out.

    I put it down to an incompatibility between my many layers of advertisement-blockers, script-killers, java-slaughterers and other security wares. J+M is not the only site that doesn’t work “properly” for me. Anything relying on 50,000 trackers for its income won’t, either.

    Fortunately for the worlds and Posterity I am persistent and stubborn and often try more than once to grace you all with my brilliance.

    Aren’t you glad that you’re that lucky?

  12. SmallVoice says:

    Someone, one of the least important reasons for me not attending churches after I aged out of being forced to do so was the seating. It is also one reason I hate buses, trains and bus shelters.

    I don’t think the form of church pews has any deep meaning behind it, it is just one more example of their selfish greed and general meanness. They can’t be arsed making life better for the peasantry as they have complacently considered for centuries that the flock will flock in no matter how poor the buildings and fittings are.

    The pulpit, priests’ dresses and priests’ homes may be be-bannered and gilded and lined with luxuries but that’s because they are important, mere congregants are infinitely replaceable sources of wealth, nothing more and need never be pampered.

    Hell, even providing a drinking fountain supplying free, cool, fresh, mains water is beyond the generosity of most of them.

  13. SmallVoice says:

    While we wait for normal commentary services to be resumed, here is a short, wise, somewhat relevant note from our Comparative Religions Department.

  14. Author says:

    Sorry for the recent commenting problems. It was to do with adding SSL to the site last week. All glitches have now been ironed out, inshallah.

  15. postdoggerel says:

    it’s the everlasting kluge of code
    to which this is odium is owed.
    if it weren’t for those glitches
    we’d have all our wishes
    served up neat at an internet node.

    but no, the perversion persists
    as the code writer firmly insists
    it wasn’t his fault
    that’s not what it’s about
    your plugin got stuck in a rout.

    so the plugin is mucked up, you say?
    that’s how you explain it away?
    if it ain’t in the code
    to what else is it owed?
    there’s a price in the end you must pay.

    these ubiquitous digital frailties
    whenever, wherever they’ll ever be,
    will be by my side,
    I have nothing to hide,
    why would anyone wish to assail me?

    it’s like that and will be so long
    as the rest of the internet throng
    keep their knickers in knots
    from fear of the bots
    and in the end all string along.

  16. SmallVoice says:

    So, I’m a glitch and now I’m fi

  17. Tinkling Think says:

    Author, while the point you make is good and you do it humorously, you are cherry-picking propaganda from an enemy of the churches. It may well be accurate propaganda and good information but still it is the enemy speaking.

    The C. of E. contends it has poverty in its midst and can in all likelihood show proofs of this should any charitable investigators or parliamentary commissions request such. The N.S.S. argues that this is an artificial state of poverty in some pseudopods created by a structure much like a multi-level marketing shell-game or a Ponzi scheme or somewhat analogous to a person tying off circulation to his pinky to allow it to wither.

    If true, the N.S.S.’s interpretation shows evil intent.It speaks to selfishness and greed institutionalised and condoned by the polity of the land. Someone should be appointed to force through an investigation of the church’s books, their charitable status and tax exemptions should be withdrawn and they should be treated as any other group of corrupt scammers.

    All churches should have utterly transparent and public accounts. Any attempt to obfuscate them should be cause for immediate revocation of charitable and tax-exemption status.

    The monies the government would gain from that grab would support the UK through several decades of post-Brexit woes no matter how troubling those may be.

    On a lighter note, the N.S.S. site sited by the Author as a source for his financial figures ha advertisements. One of those is a link to a quest to eliminate the “Bishops’ Bench” in the House of Lords, a part of the UK Parliament.

    While a very worthy, timely and sensible idea it may be even wiser to eliminate the entire House itself to replace it with a body of experts in a variety of fields who would be tasked with examining legislation proposed by the other house for flaws.

    Or perhaps it might be replaced by a house of drunkards and stoners whose task would be to randomly rip apart legislation for nothing more than the fun of it?

    Either concept, or maybe something even less sane and more bizarre, might be an improvement on the pre-Gutenberg inanities we have institutionalised at present.

    Or at the very least more fun.

  18. Laripu says:

    SmallVoice, about uncomfortable church pews:

    As I recall from childhood, synogogue pews are also uncomfortable wooden things. The last time I was in a synogogue was 1999, for the Bar Mitzvah of a co-worker’s son, and it wasn’t any better.

    However, in 2014, another co-worker of mine died in a tragic accident involving an ultra-light aircraft and a power line. While he was a hardcore religious nut, he was also a relentlessly nice guy. So I went to his funeral service at a new and very modern Baptist Church here Florida. The seats there were easily accommodating for middle-aged American-sized asses, and padded too, very comfortable. The acoustics were excellent, I perceived, as the band played religious songs. The sound was as though it had been designed by people who understood the science of sound. It was a very pleasant space, would be great for jazz or folk concerts.

    American churches exist tax-free, and are very lucrative concerns. I imagine the national debt could be significantly eroded if the churches were expropriated for past tax never paid, since before King George foolishly alienated us.

    Oh the topic of royalty, I am now claiming to have a fashionable hairstyle: just like Prince William’s. 😀

  19. two cents' worth says:

    I side with Mo here, but (playing Devil’s/J’s advocate) I wonder whether Islamic states (such as Tunisia) provide funding for the maintenance of mosques. If so, J could cite that fact as a counterargument, given that the C of E is England’s state religion.

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