Friday, 20 July 2012

Decline in Church in Wales

I was interested to see the huge decline in the Church in Wales press here
Reading the article (and briefly glancing at the original report) the most encouraging thing is a recognition of the seriousness of the problem; quotes like this indicate how dire things are: "Those parishes that do have any serious work with young people are tiny compared to the number that do not."
Diagnosis is always very important and the fact that the report states there is a desire for change is hugely encouraging ,though in my experience one only sees how deep the commitment to change is when change actually starts happening
Nevertheless many of the recommendations seem radical and  offer a positive way forward for the Church in Wales to reconnect with the culture in order to share the gospel. It is interesting that these discussions are happening in a whole variety of denominations and my hope and prayer is that we all have the courage not simply to reflect on the changes needed but to change
One of the histories on my own church states that a minister a century or so ago  shared with the church meeting the idea that we should start evangelistic meetings in local homes , the church minutes records "The brethren thought this was a good idea and decided to defer it for another time"
It was from memory during a revolution in the 1980's in eastern Europe that the students took to the streets chanting  "If not us then who? If not now then when?"
I think there is a recognition that the church needs to change. Is there a will to see those difficult and painful changes through?

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