Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 14 August 2021

James Mumford UnHerd What the ‘Save the Parish’ campaign doesn’t understand
“Justin Welby’s plans are better than critics claim”

Mark Bennet Surviving Church Doing Church without the difficult bits

David Ford Church Times In defence of ordinary, faithful churchgoers
“Talk of ‘missionary disciples’ means little to lay people in the parishes — and risks alienating them”

Alison Milbank The Critic Is the Parish Church worth saving?

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Finding the voice of LGBTIQ+ people and allies in the LLF conversations

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Froghole
Froghole
1 month ago

I agree with James Mumford; relatively few in authority are actively going around closing places. St Peter’s Brighton is one of the very few churches where I have seen critical masses of young people and it did indeed save from possible demolition what was, for about a century, the main parish church for the borough (after the temporary marginalisation of the original church of St Nicholas). For some time, St Peter’s was a blot on the Steyne. However, it is not certain whether the success of St Peter’s has fed through to many of the neighbouring churches (granted that, thanks… Read more »

Graeme Buttery
Graeme Buttery
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

Bishop John Hind used to warn about not confusing “in suck” with out reach. I was going to go on to say that I have doubts about the long term existence of some church plants, but it is probably too early to tell. I do have concerns about the local community context and relationships of some church plants.

Graeme Buttery

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
1 month ago

How many of these Church plants welcome local couples to be married in Church, or unconditionally accept local babies for baptism? Do they have tuition leading young people to confirmation? (presumably expecting them to attend a communion “gathering” at 8.00am). Do the ministers counsel the bereaved after conducting local funerals? Or are they concerned only with entertaining impressionable young people with a simplistic message of happiness leading to a permanent grin? I think we should be told.

αnδrεw
αnδrεw
Reply to  FrDavidH
1 month ago

You ask a rhetorical question, David, which strikes at the heart of the problem. It really depends on what you mean by ‘church plant’, because there seem to be at least three versions of them. The most conventional type are those planted in an attempt to revivify struggling churches, in the manner of the resource churches, and thus bear the hallmark of a traditional parish church. The second type is the established worshipping community based in, say, a disused warehouse, which may have its charitable objects expressed in very broad terms, in order to satisfy the requirements of a bishop’s… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by αnδrεw
Kate
Kate
1 month ago

If during our life we all bring just 2 people to Christ – and they do the same – the good news would spread steadily. I share David Ford’s concern about an emphasis on ‘missionary disciples’, if for no other reason that it values quantity over anything else.   I am reminded of something Martyn Percy said recently in his piece on the feeding of the 5000. The Lord never asks more than we have, but only asks we give him everything. He then takes care of making sure it is enough. If we are only called to gather one,… Read more »

αnδrεw
αnδrεw
1 month ago

James Mumford misses the point. He spoke to a suffragan bishop, but not, it seems, to a PCC treasurer. The strategic development funds may be targeted at mission projects in the anticipation of growth, which, as a general principle, many would support. But the reasons given by the Commissioners for not supporting the bulk of parishes with their day-to-day running costs are at variance with what is expected of parishioners in relation to the common fund/parish share. The former refuse to countenance the subsidy of decline, whereas the latter are expected to continue doing so.   A typical diocese promotes… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by αnδrεw
Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

I think many Evangelicals Confuse Christian Witness with Evangelism (or as we prefer to call it in my Church the RCC, Evangelisation). In the Letter of St Peter we are exhorted to bear witness to the hope that is within us and have an answer ready for all who ask us the reason for the hope within us, giving that answer with courtesy. However that is quite a different thing from Evangelicals going around telling people that all Christians are called to be Evangelists. In the New Testament the assumption is that being an Evangelist is a gift of the… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

Jonathan, what a wonderful post   1. “The kind of teaching that Lays the whole burden of Christ’s Mission on every Christian Disciple is really dreadful stuff!” – so, so true. I know that I don’t have the gift of evangelism for example.   2.”Bishop Raphael was Serving (they do not talk about celebrating nor officiating)” – a much better verb, suited to a ‘humbler’ church but sadly I don’t see it catching on in the Church of England despite the call to great humbleness.   3. “It [sic] the Anglicans concentrate on what they do best offering dignified Worship,… Read more »

Rev. Anthony Keller
Rev. Anthony Keller
1 month ago

What critics and “traditionalists” fail to recognize is there’s a great tradition surrounding “store front” evangelism. When Paul would travel to various cities many of the home churches were funded by the rich. Most wealthy homes in the first century rented out rooms facing the street as retail space. Paul would set up shop and engage possible customers and promote his version of the Kingdom of God. “So,” he may ask, “What has the Emperor done for you lately?” He might then talk about his community that meets in the villa attached to the store. I think there is room… Read more »

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