Sometimes the juxtpositions of things are just a bit hard to cope with.
If you’ll forgive a namedrop … I was about to process into St Paul’s on Tuesday evening when one of the Aldermen of the City of London said to me, ‘Your church seems to be growing very quickly. Everybody I know north of the border belongs to the Scottish Episcopal Church’ Which somewhat begs a question about how many people he knows north of the border. But it is highly likely that they are indeed members of the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Anyway, I thought back to the previous evening and the meeting which John Ferguson-Smith and I had with the Vestries of Glenrothes, Lochgelly and Leven as we try to find the money to appoint a Rector. We all try our very best and we’ll get there – but it’s a struggle. And I thought forward to my meeting today with the Electoral Synod for the Diocese of Argyll and The Isles in Oban and the challenge of sustaining congregational life in small numbers across big geography.
Along the way, I read a cheering book about the decline of Welsh Churches – ‘Against the Tide’ by DP Davies. They’ve all declined. Chapel in the Valley most of all – and especially those which were entirely Welsh-speaking. His conclusion seemed to be that only conservative expressions of church would survive. I know that there is strong evidence for that – but I also think that conservative expressions of church risk being ever more out of tune with people in the kind of secular society which is developing around us.