(BBC) Analysis: New Archbishop’s challenge
Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, will take over a church divided about women bishops, and, even more potently, about sexuality.
In the last decade secularism has taken a deeper hold in England, starting to erode the influence of the established, state, church.
It has also become more assertive, no longer content to see the Church of England - or other religious institutions - exercise traditional privileges.
Read it all
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal
Archbishop of Canterbury
Posted November 8, 2012 at 6:55 am
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1. MichaelA wrote:
Amidst all the self-congratulatory fluff in the British press, the hard-headed common sense of this piece is well worth reading. Robert Pigott confronts the brutal reality of CofE’s position:
“And perhaps most threatening of all, the passing of 10 more years in which congregations have continued to age and dwindle have sapped the energy and resources of a church still committed to a presence in every corner of England.”
And they are continuing to age and dwindle, except in certain select parts of the church. Ironically, the most influential people in CofE tend to loathe those parts. Not exactly a good recipe for growth of the church.
“It is unarguable that it needs new congregations, especially of young people, that it needs money to pay for clergy and the upkeep of a vast estate of medieval buildings, and that it needs to show a sceptical world how the Christian message remains relevant and of value.”
It may be “unarguable”, but very few of the current bishops seem able to contemplate these truths. They are more concerned with how to get the next trendy measure passed. At the moment it is women bishops - something that no objective person thinks will do anything to reverse the decline in membership and income.
As clergy age and retire in greater numbers, they soak up the vast majority of the Church’s income, and without money change is all the harder to bring about.
Yes, but its not just because clergy age and retire, i.e. the debit side of the balance sheet - it is also because income is dropping.
“People are willing to obey morals that make sense to them - the “moral relativism” deplored by some traditionalist Christians - and are also proving willing to compose a sense of the religion itself that makes sense to them.”
Actually, No they aren’t! The devil is in the detail - sure, most people outside the church will *applaud* moral relativism, but they don’t actually respect it - it doesn’t lead them to become members or to actively support the church by attendance and donations, for instance.
The only message that does is the despised traditionalist message - that morality is not absolute and that God makes demands of us. Congregations that teach that message grow and thrive.
November 9, 7:44 am | [comment link]
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