CofE’s crisis is about more than money | Paul Hackwood, Church Times

In a diverse and highly distributed organisation such as the Church, purpose can be thick, but it needs to be both inclusive and clear. During the past few years, we have seen the C of E’s purpose shift to a very specific and narrow understanding of discipleship which is very Protestant, highly confessional, confident, metropolitan, and self-perpetuating. Sociologically, it comes from a place that is both wealthy and privileged.

Parish churches are a ‘spiritual NHS’ – so why are its leaders so keen to sell them? | Emma Thompson, the Telegraph

Community and answers to life’s deepest questions draw people to church. Some of us prefer to gather in a church erected by the people who inhabited this place before us, rather than a converted warehouse or cinema. Judge this not as mossy traditionalism. The historical continuum of place (and ministry) inspires the reassuring feeling of each generation’s being moored to something precious. Despite society’s secularisation, there is some hope that the baton of faith can be passed on. One-third of this country’s schools are church schools.

Common Prayer: When Churches Become Mosques | Tanjil Rashid, The Spectator

If this decade sees the closure of another 2,000 churches, as looks likely, it’s time to ask what should become of them. There are now charities set up to save them, to keep them open for the community even without a congregation. That’s an option. But if that can’t be done, then Muslims would certainly rather a house designed to worship God stayed that way. Christians may think the same. In a fast-secularising society, the People of the Book should focus on the fact that worshippers of all religions are treading different paths up the same mountain.

Britain is plagued by organisations that hate their most loyal supporters | Madeline Grant, the Telegraph

“Like the Trust, the CofE seems to specialise in making things soul-destroyingly difficult for volunteers. Churchwardens and PCC members, like my mother, are expected to bear much of the local heavy lifting – fundraising, helping to maintain church buildings and dealing with endless diocesan micro-management along the way. Yet as Read more…