5th August 2020

There has been a gap in my life for the last few years – I am no longer on any committees! At one time I lost count of them all. I had been a parish councillor, a school governor and on various “secular” committees, but mostly they were to do with church life. When I was Association Secretary I was nominally on all its committees – but fortunately only expected to attend a few. And then there was the Baptist Union…

When Tyndale’s first minister, Richard Glover retired one of the “tributes” (rather unfairly) used an old quotation originally applied to a long-dead politician: “He has narrowed his mind / And given to committees what was meant for mankind”. Glover himself had said: “Some believe that in the millennium all life will crystallise in societies, and every saint be a secretary”. Of course, Glover did a lot more beside sit on committees, and I hope I have as well.

Nevertheless we should not dismiss committees, or, indeed, all administrative work, as of little significance. This last few months we have all been joining in the applause for our NHS workers. Mostly, and rightly, we think of the “front-line” clinical staff. But let’s not forget all the behind the scenes back-up work that has to be done. I know from my own family how many administrators have been “working their socks off” to support the clinicians. Our church committee meetings always begin with prayers asking God’s guidance for our deliberations. It might be a good idea to remember those other committees and back-room people in our own prayers.

David Roberts