Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Christian Duty & Heads on Stakes

Two news items from the Church of England caught my attention of late:

Organ Donation
In the first, the Church of England has declared organ donation to be a Christian duty. It is part of a unified attempt for Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders in that country to speak out plainly that major world religions support organ donation as a wonderful gift of life. The BBC article is here: Clergy appeal over organ donors. There is an ever increasing need for transplant organs. I am an organ donor as is my wife and daughter. I agree with this appeal, knowing that when a Christian dies, the last thing they need is their kidneys or liver or whatever other parts may give life to another person. Organ donation is yet another way we can show concretely our love of neighbor.

Heads on Stakes
The second news item from Britain is just odd from our standpoint here. The problem is the 9 million British pounds of lead stolen from Church of England Churches. In an eye-catching headline was the report: Vicar wants thieves' heads hanging on stakes. The article says in part,
An outspoken vicar says he would like to see the heads of thieves who stole valuable lead from the roof of his historic church stuck on stakes.

The Rev. Jim FieldThe Rev Jim Field made the controversial comment after £20,000 of the metal was snatched from St George’s in Ivychurch, Romney Marsh, this week.

He told Kent on Sunday: “I know as a vicar I should not be saying this, but if they catch whoever did this, I want their heads on stakes outside.

“I can’t believe this church has been attacked again.

“In this latest attack we have lost lead worth £20,000 and because we had it specially marked the insurance company will only pay out its maximum of £5,000.

“That means we now have to find all the extra money from somewhere else.

“I used to be at a church in north Kent and that was hit by arson. We have also lost peg tiles from a porch recently.

“I know as a man of the cloth I shouldn’t be asking for heads on stakes, but that is what I think.”

According to the national church insurer Ecclesiastical, lead thefts accounted for 2,500 claims last year worth a total of about £9 million.
As King of Peace has regularly suffered from theft over the years, I am sympathetic, but would never have gone so far. Even when the tires were stolen off our tractor, all I could think was that I wouldn't want to put my soul in peril for used Vietnamese tractor tires. Folks who steal from churches need prayer for than their heads spitted on pikes. Right?

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor
King of Peace Episcopal Church



  • At 7/22/2009 9:10 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    I can understand the anger and the desire that criminals get justice (from the human justice system) but "heads on stakes" doesn't seem like even an "eye for an eye" justice for this crime. God will handle both the criminals' and the priest's immortal souls, though.

  • At 7/23/2009 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, I am pretty on the fence with this one. I doubt extremely weathly people would steal lead or tiles or tractor tires. Yes it sucks insurance wont pay out, and yes it sucks all around for the church. But really, stealing stuff like that is no small feat, so I doubt it was for fun. Perhaps the thiefs in question really needed it? Of course the what is subject to debate. But I figure if you dont build your church with resaleable materials you wouldnt have this problem. It doesnt excuse the Vicar to being extreme with it, usually you dont expect a modern Holyman to talk of heads on stakes. Maybe the Vicar will publish a do-it-yourself Witch hunting kit, with matches and a stake.


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