Is there a Church – Workplace disconnect?
In her essay “Why Work?”, Dorothy Sayers has some possibly harsh words to say about the relationship between the Church and the Workplace:
“In nothing has the Church so lost her hold on reality as in her failure to understand and respect the secular vocation. She has allowed work and religion to become separate departments, and is astonished to find that, as a result, the secular work of the world is turned to purely selfish and destructive ends, and that the greater part of the world’s intelligent workers have become irreligious, or at least, uninterested in religion. But is it astonishing?”
What do you think of this?
Is she right?
In another part of the same essay she says:
“Let the Church remember this: that every maker and worker is called to serve God in his profession or trade – not outside it. The official Church wastes time and energy, and moreover, commits sacrilege, in demanding that secular workers should neglect their proper vocation in order to do Christian work – by which She means ecclesiastical work. The only Christian work is good work well done. Let the Church see to it that the workers are Christian people and do their work well, as to God: then all the work will be Christian work, whether it is church embroidery, or sewage farming.”
Is there really such a disconnect as Dorothy Sayers says?
Some of her thoughts are related to some of the reflections in week one on Calling where we looked at topics such as “All are called”, “Godly Work?” and “Is all work equally valued”. These reflections, the words of those we interviewed in the production of this course, and some of our experience as workplace chaplains, indicates sadly that Dorothy Sayers is not alone in thinking like this.
Spend some time today thinking on when was the last time the world
and taught about, then please do share that with us either via the contact form on this website or by Twitter or Facebook.
If you’d like to read the whole of “Why Work?” by Dorothy Sayers you can do so here