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Jesus? A view from the pew

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In a parish setting Jesus gets frequent mention. When we gather for the Eucharist, we open and close our celebration in his name. During the course of our act of Sunday worship we praise him, we listen to episodes of his life story and to what others, some few of whom had known him personally, said about him. In Advent and Lent particularly we hear a good deal too about the great figures of the religious tradition from which he haled. We go on to consciously do, in a ritualised form, what he asked us in memory of him. We pray to the God he taught his disciples to call Father in and through his name. Jesus is at the very centre of our Christian lives. At the outset of my ministry in the new parish to which I was assigned in the autumn of 2017 – my third as PP – I decided to find out just how much my new parishioners knew about Jesus. I was curious to establish how well they were acquainted with his life story, what understanding they had of his teaching, what importance they attached to knowing about him. I was keen to establish what relationship, if any, they believed they had with him whom, in the prayers of the Church, they so regularly addressed as Saviour and Lord.