The church column with Rev Dr Susan Pulko

Rev Dr Susan Pulko.
Rev Dr Susan Pulko.

Last time I wrote I talked about a television advert for one of the lotteries, and this time it’s about another advert.

Honestly, I don’t spend all day glued to the television, but I do find adverts interesting and I believe they tell us a lot about ourselves.

All Saints Church on Londesborough Road, Market Weighton.

All Saints Church on Londesborough Road, Market Weighton.


Because they’re designed to persuade us to behave in certain ways, usually to buy one product rather than another. And they work.

The advert on my mind at the moment is for motor insurance.

It suggests that with competitor insurance companies clients are ‘paying for other people’s bad driving’, and implies that there’s something wrong with that.

But paying for other people’s bad luck or downright stupidity is what insurance is all about, and we have a legal system that deals with recklessness.

We pool our risk on the basis that we can all be unlucky, and we all do silly things, and because most of the time we don’t need to claim, we’re able to be protected, at least financially, for liability arising from our mistakes and bad luck.

The whole thing is underpinned by the fact that each of us is a fallible human being, and all of us make mistakes.

Insurance is a very rational thing; it’s also a very Christian thing.

When I say this, I don’t just mean that it’s a good thing in that it allows people to receive realistic compensation.

I mean something much more specific: that we identify with one another in our faults and in our weaknesses.

When we pray the supreme Christian prayer, the Lord’s Prayer or the Our father, the very first thing we do, in calling God our Father, is to acknowledge that we are all children of the one God, rather like brothers and sisters in a biological family.

This, in turn means that we are alike in many ways. We bring ourselves into unity or ‘oneness’ with other people.

We then go on to ask God to provide for all of us, and to forgive all of us for what we have done, thought or said that is wrong in God’s eyes.

I suspect we’re rarely conscious of these aspects when we say the Lord’s Prayer.

Perhaps we should be, and perhaps we should allow them to have a bigger influence on our choices.