Leaps of faith cut no ice with young people, says UK cleric

Leaps of faith cut no ice with young people, says UK cleric June 23, 2018

Earlier this month a shot of six Anglican readers, jumping in the air together with the bishop of Hertford, the Rt Rev Michael Beasley, caused some to wonder  whether the Church of England had ditched decorum in a bid to get cool with the kids.
If that was the case, then they failed miserably, according to Father Matthew Cashmore, assistant curate at West Hereford, who is quoted in the Guardian as saying images like these were “all a bit passe”.

Jumping ordinands. It’s probably good exercise, if nothing else. Here we have this life-changing moment and you get this twee photograph of people jumping in the air and fists in the air. It’s become as staid and expected and as deeply uncreative as the images of the A-level results.

He agreed that collectively such images tended to downplay the solemnity of the occasion, and certainly did not appeal to the youth.

It’s all: ‘Yay!’ Smiley-facey.


Of dabbing deacons, he said:

I don’t think that connects with young people. As a millennial, I find that I walk round with my cassock, and I talk about mass, and I introduce myself as Father, and that’s far more impactful with millennials than standing there trying to be cool and with the kids. That ‘down with the kids’ stuff is kind of from the 80s anyway.
My generation would far rather somebody stand in front of them with some sort of honesty and integrity about what it is they believe than to be ‘Hey! Buddy Jesus. Big thumbs up.’

Rev Patrick Gilday, rector of Benson with Ewelme in Oxfordshire is equally unimpressed:

What’s all this jumping for? It seems to have become a paraliturgical act and, as far as I can see, it is just nonsense that makes people look silly.

But Arun Kataria, the Communications Officer at the diocese of St Albans, and proud taker of the photograph, disagreed.

Licensings and ordinations are serious occasions, but they are very joyful ones. So, there is a serious moment in the cathedral, where people are making the very big commitment of serving God and serving people, then there is also a tremendous release of joy, and a sense you are launched into a new life.


Around four years ago, according to this report, there were pursed lips among some in the Catholic Church when two American priests – Father David Rider and Father John Gibson – tap-danced on a table at the North American College Rome … under a large crucifix and in front of a portrait of Pope Francis.  A video of the duo was posted on YouTube.

Hat tip: AgentCormac

"Yes and also this song so true and spot on & WARNING : So much ..."

Prominent Vatican official, Cardinal Pell, is ..."
"About as true as an imaginary man in the sky, talking snakes, supernaturally impregnated virgins, ..."

‘Pain in the ass’ secular group ..."
"Finally. Exposing the bigwigs is the only way any progress is going to be made ..."

Prominent Vatican official, Cardinal Pell, is ..."
"And by "the rest of us" I mean all of you. I'm too damned lazy ..."

Deadpool ‘Jesus’ poster needs to be ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • CoastalMaineBird

    Cue Graham Chapman and the “too silly” sketch.

  • Laura Roberts

    Those pictures seem perfectly appropriate to me. Shows them for the theatrical, frivolous, amateur performers they really are. Too bad they can’t get better scripts.

  • Broga

    Sad. No shame, no embarrassment.

  • John the Drunkard

    Well, at least Rider and Gibson have SOME useful skill!

  • L.Long

    OK they are all have fun and trying to entice younger people to their BS. Still does not make their BS true.

  • Stonyground

    To me, the fact that they are constantly fretting about how they appear to normal people proves that they know that the game is up. They know that they look ridiculous and have no idea what to do about it.

  • AgentCormac

    I can remember my late grandmother – an ardent CofE believer until the last few weeks of her 94 years on this planet, when she began to question why Jesus wouldn’t play ball and release her from the agony she was in – being horrified back in the ‘70s by the happy-clappies who turned her church’s somber Sunday services into something resembling an episode of the kids’ programme ‘Rainbow’.
    Back then I was often dragged to church and Sunday school classes, and I recall vividly the ‘isn’t this whole religion thing so jolly?’ smiles of those Jesus lovies who thought they were the future of the CofE. When in fact they were the catalyst for its unravelling.
    With the advent of the happy-clappies, gone was the mystery, the incomprehensible logic which only those with ‘education’ could understand, the grave solemnity and, most importantly, the unquestioning respect which vicars, bishops and their ilk had demanded and been afforded for centuries. Now it was all about guitars, tambourines and ‘clap your hands to feel god’s lurv’. It was a bit like that scene in ‘the Wizard of Oz’ – the one where the curtain is thrown aside and Wendy and her companions can see that what they’d always revered and been afraid of was nothing at all. It was all smoke and mirrors.
    Quite frankly, the CofE has lost the plot. It’s doomed. People like Kate Bottley, that bundle of religious joy and of Gogglebox fame, whom Chris Evans gives acres of unrestricted airtime to on his Radio 2 show, prove with their inane blathering – it’s over. Finished. Dead on its feet. These are desperate times because it’s now all about being media-friendly and oh-so lovely-jubbly. Once the supernatural is shown to be ordinary, then who wants it? Who needs it? No one. At the end of the day, it has now all been reduced to being a bit of a larf, with the deranged ordained and their ‘dabbing’ photos basically reducing their church to being nothing more than ‘silly’.
    Come to think of it, I reckon ‘silly’ is actually the CofE described in a single word.

  • tonye

    Sadly, and not in a good way, this reminds me of a ‘trendy vicar’ I knew when living in Petersfield, in Hampshire, in the 1980’s.
    This vicars’ thing was, I kid you not, to wear loud and (80’s themed) socks. As his sermon progressed he would slowly raise the bottom of his cassock until everyone could see his ‘wacky’ socks.
    I appreciate this was pre internet/ps4/mobile phone days, but, as a form of entertainment it was, at least, fucking embarrassing.
    For some bizarre reason his flock found this incredibly witty, at a level that would have made Oscar Wilde jealous.

  • Tim

    Matthew Cashmore came to a bit of media prominence in the Hereford diocese recently when he suddenly said that he was unable to accept the ministry of women, despite having had one as his parish prist while he’s been a deacon. I understand that the mixed choir at his church has refused to sing at his first Eucharist as a result. Good for them – talk about playing him at his own game.
    Somebody should also tell him that he shouldn’t be calling himself Father until he’s a priest.

  • Robster

    All this nonsense has already been done, thing Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar.Singing, dancing AND a storyline! The untalented clerics can’t complete, even the outfits are crap.

  • 1859

    It surely is one of the most embarrassing displays of outright desperation ever. Poor sods, to have to reduce themselves to the status of slapstick clowns in order to get people through the doors.

  • Stephen Harvie

    Another attempt at turd polishing…

  • Stuart H.

    Yes, Tim, I suspect that Father Tim’s objections have more to do with the women in the picture. The title ‘Father’for an Anglican priest is the giveaway – he’s one of the Anglican bods who approached the Catholic Church (and even the Russian Orthodox) about a transfer if lady bishops were imposed on the precious wee twits.
    He and his Forward in Faith/Anglican Mainstream chums still refer to them as ‘priestesses’ – and don’t even go there about gay priests (although these ‘smells and bells’ merchants could win prizes for church campness, makes Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence look like a Tory council meeting).
    Another FiF chump also once published something in one of the Anglican mags complaining about vicars with beards and quiche being served at parish garden parties.
    Absolutely bonkers. Let’s have more of them. Saves us having to go to the trouble of pointing out how ridiculous religious zealots are when they do such a fine job demonstrating it.

  • Brian Jordan

    Levitating? Time they were defrocked : it’s quite clear they’ve converted to Transcendental Meditation.