“…Instead it could become simply a prescriptive sect: an organisation with an official line which its prelates are expected to toe. If ever there was an effective way to make a church unattractive to all but the dreariest of zealots and and empty its pews still further, this is it.”
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.
The demise of the parish system is not inevitable. If the Archbishops are truly ‘passionate’ about the parish, they should tear up the Church Closers’ Charter. As it is, it’s as if they are denying that the revolution is coming, even as they build the guillotine.
“And if we’re going to promise to ‘Save the parish’, let’s use those ‘limiting factors’ as our banners: ‘a building and a stipend and long, costly college-based training for every leader of the church’. !at sounds like an ambition worth having — and a more plausible and desirable one than Read more…