This, however, was not the view of one parishioner of notable standing. I was taken by surprise by the audible discontent that I heard coming from the pew behind me, which ran in competition with the presentation from the podium. From the moment the invitation was extended, the good lady began her negative utterances… waste of time, unnecessary, heard this already, nothing new, information readily available… When the name of the Minister of Health was mentioned, this seemed to evoke additional fury, resulting in hissing (stupsing) of teeth and continuous negative commentary throughout the presentation. Interestingly, I heard no rebuke from persons sitting on either side of the good lady.
It is my opinion that this action demonstrated a high level of disrespect of and intolerance to the well-intentioned act of another parishioner, who was simply providing information to the congregation on an emerging health crisis. Whether we had heard it all before is irrelevant, as others may not have been that fortunate. As members of the Christian community, our responsibility goes beyond attending Sunday morning mass. After all, where is our care and concern for others and our society?
On my way home, I reflected on the three minutes of âdiscomfortâ experienced by my fellow parishioner, which came at the end of the two-hour long mass and was even more disgusted at her behaviour. If this is the attitude displayed by one parishioner to another after participating in the offering of the Peace, the sacrament of Holy Communion and simply worshipping as âoneâ, then small wonder that Ms Sylvia Findlay, supervisor of elections, has not been in the congregation in recent months. Her absence is noticeable and her daughterâs reference to the silence of the Anglican Communion towards her abuse rings louder. (Refer to article written by her daughter in Searchlight newspaper of Friday, 22nd January, 2016). Such a display, perhaps, explains the absence of Ms Findlay, who is seemingly unable to find solace, strength, empathy and other forms of support within the walls and pews of the St Georgeâs Cathedral, during what must be a most challenging and stressful period of her life.
This is not the first incidence of discontent with or intolerance of persons that I have experienced or heard of emanating from the pews of the Anglican Communion of St Georgeâs Cathedral. Such sentiments must surely explain why Matthew 18:20 says âfor where two or three gather in my name, there am I with themâ â this to me suggests tolerance in His presence. Ms Findlay can continue reading Matthew and she will find in 28:20 the words âand surely I am with you always, to the very end of the ageâ.