One of my frustrations as a church goer is the total lack of respect displayed by visitors to our churches. This becomes very obvious when we have baptisms, weddings and even funerals. For some strange reason, these visitors feel that they can behave however they want in the church.
These days people appear to have a lot of respect for other religious institutions but none for the church! ALL religious institutions should be treated with respect. Period.
I recall an incident involving an octogenarian parishioner. She had arrived in church one Sunday but the moment she realised it was a baptism service, she demanded to be driven back home! Her behaviour might have seemed extreme to some people but I do sympathise with her. I was a visitor to that church myself and I was appalled by the behaviour of the friends and relatives of the baby who was being baptised. The church had successfully been turned into a market place by endless noisy chatter. The visitors outfits were more suited for the beach. It was intimated that due to safeguarding rules no photos were to be taken during the service but that didn’t stop some from clicking away. The Vicar unashamedly said that he was going to rush through the service so that the baptismal family can begin their party at the pub next door. What about us? The ordinary church goers who go to church to worship God.
These visitors often leave a lot of rubbish (used tissues, sweetie wrappers etc) behind after the services too. Our church wardens are volunteers and it is so unfair to them.