Skip to content ↓

The Bone-Lazy Pastor

The Bone-Lazy Pastor

One of my relatives, a great uncle, was a pastor—a clergyman for the Church of England who served in Canada’s province of Quebec. Family lore is that he was not a particularly good pastor. My mother was recently sorting through some old family papers and came across a letter that would seem to say that the lore is based on fact. This letter was sent to him in 1942 by the Right Reverend Philip Carrington, Bishop of Quebec. I don’t know anything much about Carrington, but I admire his forthrightness!

My Dear [Name],

You asked me again about a chaplaincy when I called on you a month ago. I am going to tell you the brutal truth. I do not see that you would make a good chaplain. When I ordained you six years ago, I did so because (in spite of appearances) I believed you had qualities of energy and devotion and hard work, and certain abilities in the way of dealing with men and boys. I appointed you to Hatley because I still had the same impression. You showed certain signs of energy when you first went to Grosse Ile, but they did not appear again until your short stay at Ayers Cliff. Since then they have disappeared. The girls’ work at Ayers Cliff has disappeared, too. So has the young people’s work at Hatley. I listened to your excuses and was not convinced. I like you, as you know; but friendship must not blind the eyes to facts. If you have not convinced me that you are working, it is very unlikely that you are working. The truth, I now suspect, is that you are bone-lazy. You don’t attend deanery meetings; you failed to send a boy to our camp; you are as friendly and sociable as can be; you do some visiting. My dear Bill, it isn’t good enough. You must get down to hard, energetic methodical labour. I shall come, if possible, in the fall, and see how you are getting on.

Yours sincerely,

Philip Quebec

  • What Is the Best Thing In Life?

    What Is the Best Thing In Life?

    Any time we consider the spiritual disciplines, or means of grace, it is crucial that we remember not only the great purpose of these habits but also the great blessing they represent. We were made to know God and to be known by God. We were made in the image of God to have a…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (March 2)

    A La Carte: The only way out of our desperate hypocrisy / Are Evangelicals too hard on men? / 9 healthy ways to respond to criticism / Is God disappointed with me? / 4 snapshots of dispensationalism today / Logos and Kindle deals / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Help The Persecuted)

    This weeks giveaway is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. Help The Persecuted rescues, restores, and rebuilds the lives of persecuted believers in the Islamic World through spiritual support and tangible help. Every week, they send out an email with specific, real-time prayer requests of persecuted believers to their global Prayer Network. You can join the…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (March 1)

    A La Carte: Rumblings of revival among Gen Z / Addition by subtraction / Seeing red / Burying the talents of the Great Rewarder / Inviting evaluation of your preaching / Book and Kindle deals / and more.

  • New and Notable Books

    New and Notable Christian Books for February 2024

    February is typically a solid month for book releases, and this February was no exception. As the month drew to its close, I sorted through the many (many!) books that came my way this month and arrived at this list of new and notables. In each case, I’ve provided the editorial description to give you…

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (February 29)

    A La Carte: Is it ever right to lie? / When the “perfect” fit isn’t / An open letter to Christians who doubt / When a baby is a disease / The long view of preaching / and more.