New directions for the Church 3: explain how it can help

This is the third in my series of posts looking for changes of approach in church leadership, away from the post-1970s version of Evangelicalism that currently dominates its thinking and policies. Here I address the need for an outward-looking focus.

I share the archbishops’ sense of frustration. Although the number of full-time paid clergy in the Church of England is declining, there are still many thousands. If the Dalai Lama could command a workforce of this size, wouldn’t Buddhism take over the nation? What are we doing wrong?

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New directions for the Church 2: Kingdom of God or cult of Christ?

This is the second of a series of posts reflecting on how the Church is conceived by its leaders, and offering alternative approaches. The first is here.

In the first I described the Archbishops’ ‘global prayer movement’ Thy Kingdom Come. Martyn Percy’s characteristically robust critique of it is well worth reading in full, though Kieran Bohan has produced a useful summary. Here I ask: is the Church just one more club, or something more important?

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Church plants: Are they ‘relevant’?

The furore surrounding Angela Tilby’s Church Times article ‘Deliver us from the Evangelical Takeover’ (Church Times 27th April, 2018) has given rise to what many people probably see as a very large storm occurring, once again, in a very small teacup.

They are right insofar as it can be felt as a more compact, and therefore more intense, re-working of the murderous Church differences that prevailed in this country and on the continent in the sixteenth century, and thereafter in other guises. But they would be wrong to see them as another reason for dismissing the Church, and the Christian faith to which it witnesses, as ‘irrelevant’.

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New directions for the Church 1: Whose kingdom come?

You may or may not have noticed, but we are now in the middle of a ‘global wave of prayer’ initiated by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, under the name ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.

This is the first of a series of posts reflecting on the Church, primarily here the Church of England. I ask how it is perceived by its leaders, and how we might perceive it differently. I believe their idea of the Church isn’t working. The aim of these posts is to offer positive alternatives. Thy Kingdom Come illustrates what’s wrong.

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Just love for all - Bishop speaks out against inequality and harm for LGBTI Christians

Last month, at the launch of a new charity whose aim is to tackle prejudice and discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and gender in religious organisations, Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes spoke of his 'pain and regret' at the rejection and harm many LGBTI+ people have experienced personally and institutionally from Christians.

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