So, recently perusing the threads on the RichardDawkins.net Forum, I noticed a thread seeking information on how one can “divorce” the church, i.e. symbolically cease being a member of a given denomination. Many people suggested sending an email or a written letter to the parish where they were baptised or confirmed (or both, in my case) requesting that be withdrawn from any lists containing their name as having undergone the ritual.
While, I feel it’s not exactly something I CARE about too much, I think it’s necessary to have my name removed from any of these lists that may exist and have my name on them. So, I followed this advice.
I sent an email to “Enquiries@ChurchOfIreland”, actually a different email address, but that’s basically where I sent it, the Enquiries section of the Church Of Ireland, an Anglican denomination. I sent an email requesting if it was possible to know if the parish I grew up in, maintains any lists of people who have undergone baptism or confirmation and asked if it was possible to find out if I was on any of these lists, should they exist, under the guise of wishing to figure out some exact dates.
What I received today, having sent the request two days ago, was an email of a rather familiar person to me. As a kid, and young adult, growing up in the Church Of Ireland, I had the distinct pleasure (read HEAVY sarcasm) of having interactions with a man by the name of Dean Maurice Sirr. A rather jovial, but undeniably pompous Clergyman, always ready with the smiles, handshakes and “oh, aren’t you getting big” comments at the end of a Church Service, but one could tell, even at the age of 9 that he was being insincere. His was the email that was provided to me, with his official title being touted as the “Very Reverend Dean Maurice Sirr”. Pfft…..yeah right.
I’m pretty sure he was the one who carried out my baptism, and I also remember him being present at my confirmation, if not actually being the one to officiate the entire ritual.
I find it rather ironic that this pompous man, who seemed oh-so-sincere in his interest in my religious future, will shortly be receiving an email from me filled with a severe distaste for everything he stands for, requesting that my name be removed from these lists of theirs (should they actually exist).
It should be interesting to see not only his reply to my email/letter, but also the response of my family when I fill them in on the details of the exchange. I think my mother will be rather non-plussed by it all, but I suspect my father and/or my sister will take it a little more to heart, since they see my religious upbringing as having been slightly their responsibility (more my dad than my sister) and they may see this as a betrayal of that upbringing, but I’m hoping they will react rationally to it.
We can but wait and see….