Hubby and I wandered into a well-known church supply house on Saturday. I was struck by how shabby so much of the gear and books looked. Were the 1980s and 1990s the high mark for church design? Must everything come in plastic.
Consider the home communion set made of a plastic clamshell box (which will surely wear badly), containing the kind of plastic bottle one would carry shampoo while travelling in (for the wine), another thin plastic tub containing thin plastic cups, and a tiny spun aluminum vessel with a tight fitting lid -- serving as something between a pxy and a ciborium -- for the wafers. The price for this disaster? $80. It was neither large enough to be useful not small enough to be tucked into a handbag or laptop case. Of course, there are also fine church artisans, but it's hard to justify so much a premium on goods when church budgets are under such pressure. And frankly, do we need another generation of neo-Gothic, neo-Byzantine or neo-Colonial whatsits?
I've written before about how church goods should be fairly sourced, and how secular goods can be repurposed for church use. For the next little bit I will consider alternatives of the economical parson who wants well-made and tasteful equipment. And I'd like your help if you have ideas.