Monday 19 June 2017

Still a Serious House on Serious Earth

I was delighted to come across this story - not only because it contradicts the received (wishful?) thinking that church congregations are old and dying out, but because of what it says about the church's attempts to woo young people. It is not, it seems, 'youth groups' or the infantile Youth Alpha course that are attracting them, but the 'old hat' stuff: prayer, bible reading, spiritual experiences - and visiting churches and cathedrals. The numinous force field of these buildings - regarded by some of the more go-ahead clergy as nothing more than 'plant' - is drawing young people into the world of faith.
 And yet - as I, an inveterate church-crawler, know only too well - many of these churches stand more or less permanently locked against the world. Let's hope these new findings will boost the Bishop of Worcester's admirable campaign to persuade more parishes to keep their churches open. If you want to 'bring people in' to the church, it would surely make sense to let them in to our churches.

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