Monday, November 30, 2009

There’s something fishy in Canada, and it’s not salmon.

I’ve always said that Conservative Leaders can learn a great deal from the great Numbers Game operators of my childhood, and while researching recent events in British Columbia it became clear I’m not the only one who feels that way. That’s because during the course of reading back through evidence from little David Short, the Sydney-bred and Jensen-trained show pony in charge of the schism and failed property theft at St John’s Shaughnessy, Vancouver, I’ve discovered enough number shuffling to do a Bernie Madoff prospectus proud.

The play starts back in May of this year, when little David told the court that his congregation’s membership had “totaled 2,000” in the late 90’s, before falling to 1,100 in 2007, and subsequently increasing to 1,500 in 2009. All of which are very different figures to that presented by the Anglican Network in Canada’s November2009 spreadsheet, which claims an attendance of 800.

Now if the last number is correct it means that between a quarter and a fifth of all Bobby Duncan’s Canadian cult members are in just one now property-less church, something which can’t help bring to mind an image of someone attempting to carry most of their eggs in a non-existent basket. If the earlier numbers are correct Bobby’s scenario is even worse – more than two-thirds of his flock might be homeless, which will make fleecing them in order to subsidize his predilections for litigation and travel extremely difficult.

Either way this all makes little David Short look about as trustworthy as the Archbishop of Sydney’s investment strategy. If 800 is the true number someone must have either been telling fibs in court (a practice Canadian law rather unsportingly calls ‘perjury’) or between May and November he’s managed to wipe out over 46% of his congregation – something that even the most godless apostate liberals can’t easily achieve. And at the rate of 700 people leaving every six months Short will by this time next year be the first Schismatic Conservative to boast of a negatively sized congregation.

Yet that isn’t all, since he also told the court that 98% of his congregation voted to leave the Anglican Church of Canada, and that about 200 people had quit St. John’s as a result of the controversy. So if only half of those leaving St. John’s had opposed schism the 2% translates into a figure of 100 votes against – which means a total voting congregation of 5,000. A figure not even David Short has been prepared to throw around while under oath. Either most of those not interested in joining ACNA didn’t vote, or the vote was rigged, or else they didn’t know what they were voting for, or changed their mind afterwards. Or someone’s told more lies. Whichever way it spins, the numbers smell worse than little Peter Jensen’s balance sheet.

I'm Father Christian and I teach the Bible.


Erp said...

Well there is the difference between average Sunday attendance (800) and people who show up for the Christmas/Easter events (perhaps the larger numbers). Also the distinction between voting members (presumably adults) and all members (presumably including kids).

It is fairly obvious that the 2% who voted against and left with 200 had incredibly large families.

Admittedly I'm not sure how membership is counted.

Leonard said...

My Dear Neighbors to the North and the North and the North, please don´t be taken in by Conealone ALL reasonable ACCOUNTS there are no angry Anglicanos down here either (Greg Venables gives empty all new meaning in all of his affairs).

Go home, find yourself a nice Anglican Church of Canada parish family and enjoy Christmas and the New Year...stop fooling with the foolers, it´s not good for the Soul.

Anonymous said...

What would you expect of someone trained in Jensenism!

Anonymous said...

If Mr Short were brave enough to join Pope Benny's "Ordinariate" he would have 1 billion in the congregation - minus the 1500 he doesn't already have.

Anonymous said...

those 200 left long before the vote; Mr. Short drove out a good many, including one of his associate priests, who found the rector's one-track mind a bit disconcerting and bailed out even before he had an offer of another position.

Point of Order said...

The problem with reporting, at least within TEC is that reporting is not easily reconciled, nor do reports require consistency when it come to numbers of people.

By contrast, financial reporting is both internally consistent and requires reconciliation and reference to prior years’ reporting.

It was only when our parish was in transition, and the parochial report was prepared by laypeople, that I learned the true size of our parish. It seems the consistent growth of the previous twelve years was rather less spectacular than previously reported. I suppose that’s what happens when silly lay people do the counting.

After all Dr. Christian, the most important numbers are related to cash, not people.

Doorman-Priest said...

"someone attempting to carry most of their eggs in a non-existent basket."

Bring on the omelet!

Pete said...

98% vote is not unusual, but hardly displays independent democratic decision making.

I was surprised when my parish voted to leave the Episcopal Church for Argentina in March 2008 to see voters who had not attended for years sitting in the seats with ballots. One family allegedly also voted in a neighboring town's parish decision.

If the bishop won over the rector, the vote became a mere formality which affirmed the rector's decision.