Thursday, February 27, 2014

One of last week’s articles analysed the social impact of the Church of England, and made some provocative suggestions.
Imagine, for a moment, that all regular Sunday worshippers disappeared overnight, leaving only the clergy. Obviously there would be a financial crisis, the current parochial system would have to be radically reformed, a great number of churches and vicarages would need to be sold off, and the Synod would have to cease or change.

But the Church would remain, and its most influential activities could continue…

Yes, you read that! ‘Its most influential activities could continue’! My first response was to think this was an incredibly ‘clericalised’ view of the Church: its most important and influential activities are the ones done by its clergy and officials. It reminded me of my bishop in a previous diocese, who once commented:
Imagine what would happen if each parish hired 50 actors, dressed them in clerical collars, and paid them to wander around the parish. What an impact this would have on the profile of the Church!

What a hideous idea!

Linda Woodhead’s article does contain some encouraging news, but do look carefully at what is being measured

Read it all

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