From the Belfast Telegraph: Churches careful not to start attendance row

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a flurry of rather out-of-date statistics, the Sunday Telegraph led off its front page with the daring cry that 'Britain is a Catholic country'. The explanation appeared to lie in Sunday Mass attendances exceeding Anglicans' average Sunday attendances. Anglicans were nettled, but clearly recognised it would be unseemly openly to go to war.

"It isn't a competition," declared the Rev Graham Cray, supremo of those who report on Anglican evangelism. "I'm delighted," said he with a diplomatic and vaguely ecumenical clearing of the throat, "to see all Christian denominations flourishing." But is this the whole story? Regrettably, in the real world, churches find themselves very much in competition, however they seek to deny it; and, history being what it is, that competition - in England at least - reaches its apotheosis between Canterbury and Rome.

This is awkward, for the churches are at their least attractive when they allow the wine of triumphalism to go to the head. Seeking to throw one's weight about, asserting that 'we are the top dogs', seems somehow out of kilter with the stainless sage who sought out simple fishermen on the shores of Galilee.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted December 28, 2007 at 8:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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