Paul Richardson: The Church and the Recession

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In his Smith Institute lecture Archbishop John Sentamu detected a loss of nerve in the Church of England. I believe it is not so much loss of nerve as faulty analysis that bedevils the church’s role in public life at the moment. However the archbishop is right to argue that communities, including faith communities, have a major role to play in promoting fraternity and delivering many important services. To the dismay of secularists, Obama has argued strongly for this.

But if the churches are going to run services then should insist on two conditions. In the first place, they should resist any attempt to make them compromise on those beliefs and values that are the very factors that make them effective.

In the second place they should link their contribution to a campaign for greater devolution to local communities across the board that would see charities or companies, for example, rather than local authorities, running schools. The kind of radical agenda being proposed by Alan Milburn with community groups running parks, housing estates and childcare centres, is the kind of policy to which the churches should be giving their backing.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

Posted January 30, 2009 at 5:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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