Thinking Anglicans

opinion columns

Geoffrey Rowell writes about dance: Let us ignore the mantras of modernity and dance the sacred dances.

Michael Binyon writes about a tent: London opens its desert tent of timelessness.

Christopher Howse writes about the Hidden life of Charterhouse.

Bob Holman writes about obituaries in Face to Faith.

Earlier in the week, following this news report, Simon Jenkins wrote about church buildings: The most important financial appeal I know is new roofs for old churches. This caused some letters in response today.

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The Rev'd Lois Keen
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The Rev'd Lois Keen

Geoffrey Rowell’s column ties in nicely with the Monday, 8 May column on GenY. Yesterday, Friday 12 May I officiated at the wedding of a man and woman both age 21. They wanted the standard (ECUSA) 1972 Prayer Book wedding. No modern touches. No personal vows. In our pre-marital counseling sessions they shared with me their distaste for what my generation has come to call “happy-clappy” church music and unstructured worship. What they and their friends want is the old shape of the liturgy. They don’t need the Elizabethan language, but the mystery of the traditional Eucharist is what they… Read more »

k1eranc
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k1eranc

Lois’ comments are very interesting. At the parish where I worship there have been on-again, off-again discussions about the necessity for parish growth and how to attract younger worshippers. I should add that I am under 30, and have yet to be drawn into this discussion. What I find most disturbing is that the majority of the people talking about ‘what young people want’ are anything but young, and frequently talking in strictly abstract terms. I find this worrisome, given that I am not a concept, but a person. The parish where I worship uses the Interim Rite (1928). I… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

I’ve got to say that I agree with +Rowell that “modernisation can too easily cut us off from deeply rooted spiritual wisdom” – there is so much wisdom and human experience that we miss out on if we follow the current cultural attitude of old = irrelevant. However there is also the need to relate to a culture that has that attitude; especially youth. Some UK Anglican networks are very successful with mainly modern presentational and musical styles. One example is “Soul Survivor” which was attended by over 20000 last summer: http://www.soulsurvivor.com/uk/about/About2006/About_frameset.htm At least two Anglican Bishops are speakers this… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Surely any world religion which does not spend a sufficient amount of time caring for and transmitting the many treasures of its faith is – as conservatives are ever wont to remind us – in danger of becoming rootless, then blowing away in the next strong wind. That said, the smart thing is always to let people begin just where they are, and to ask them what really moves them as you get acquainted. Modern humans of all generations and sorts have simply plenty of docking points, sticking out all over every cell of mind, body, heart, and spirit. But… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Addendum: Some folks cannot wait until the rest of us get it; they just sense that it is time to move ahead, regardless, and not mainly wishing to be against anybody else particularly, probably do hope the rest of us might someday catch up, to the extent that we genuinely can get this or that. An example of which I may be speaking in USA is: House of Mercy in St. Paul, Minnesota. See link at: http://www.houseofmercy.org/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/ While you are there, if, do catch the Easter season sermons given by Father James Alison: at: 1. http://www.houseofmercy.org/content/view/63/40/ and 2. http://www.houseofmercy.org/content/view/65/40/ There… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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There’s some lovely postings on this thread. I think one of the mistakes that some people make is thinking that if people don’t come to church that means they don’t believe in God. I know a lot of people who refuse to participate in church life because they have been burnt by judgmental bullies, but when I watch how they handle difficult circumstances are often more compassionate and biblically consistent in their behaviours and choices than those born and bred in a church community. (And I’ve often asked why they have made such a choice and they have quoted a… Read more »

Trevor Standen
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Trevor Standen

There is much discussion regarding which rite to use. I believe there are rites to suit most people. However I depricate the practice of some clergy to impose their wishes on churches in the hope of growing the church. Invariably it does not work. Personally the Interim rite is my favourite, since it maintains a language which can easily be understood and at the same time maintains the majesty and mystery of the mass. The modern Anglican and Roman rites are besides being inaccurate in places,very lacking in conveying either of these qualities in the worship to Almighty God. In… Read more »