IC Story: David Butterworth

There used to be a song which I recall from my younger days… ‘get right to the point…!’ (It wasn’t a Christian version and nor was I then.). Oddly, it pops into my head quite often. I’ve no idea where I heard it but I recall (only) that line very well..

Being a chaplain in several settings I rarely ‘get to the point’, unless I’m representing someone else. In chaplaincy we regularly listen and then, when it’s gone quiet for a moment, we often remain listening – even more – to the person who has presented themselves – let everything settle for a moment. Often, in my experience, it is the visitor who gets to the point. Sometimes, visitors come into the chaplaincy ‘safe-space’ looking like all of their blood has drained from their faces – its frequently caused by their anxiety around ‘what will tomorrow look like’ or ‘what do I do?’ And when they sit down – they almost vomit their concerns out. That sounds raw and it often is.

I’ve been an Inclusive Church ambassador now for about 5 years. I try and proclaim the merits of Inclusive Church and include signposts ‘to it’ in various media platforms and occasionally in ‘one-to-ones’. But I’ve never spoken about fundraising to support the future of Inclusive Church. However, with funding and increasing costs on everyone’s lips and minds we ought to be savvy enough to share fundraising concerns and potential funding opportunities to safeguard that which is important to us and many more…

Seriously, like most things, they need to start with us or me… So briefly sharing with you quite intimately… I worked in Edmonton, North London for 5 years. Many gorgeous people but often in very demanding contexts. In that time I found an almost weekly visit to the British Museum an oasis of calm and education – respite. Nine years ago I left London. In thankfulness, I continued paying my British Museum membership Fee. Through this last 3 years of Covid, I also continued paying my membership.

Now after some reflection… It’s clearly unlikely that I will attend the British Museum regularly again. But I do regularly wish that more churches were inclusive churches, as I both see and hear the damage created to many folk when so many churches are not inclusive… So I’ve stopped my membership to the British Museum and I’m transferring it to Inclusive Church…. No big deal you might say. But what could you do? How might you support the finances of Inclusive Church? Nelson Mandela used to say and his echo now remains… ‘the sea is lots of little drops…’. All of us can help make a difference.

David is an IC regional ambassador, Methodist minister and chaplain to the NEC in Birmingham. If you’d like to write an IC story, get in touch with Ruth: office@inclusive-church.org