We’ve had a great weekend – diocesan family and family family gathered round. The last time the Bishop of St Andrews served as Primus was in 1907. It might be a while till it happens again – so the diocese decided it was time for a gathering in the Cathedral. We took the opportunity to focus on our life in mission as a diocese and the Casting the Net initiative. The Cathedral looked wonderful and it was full. There was great music. My old friend Bishop Trevor Williams from the Diocese of Limerick came to preach. We gathered up our family and it was great to see them.
It’s not always easy today to just ‘bring people together in the Cathedral’. It sounds easy but it isn’t. So when events give you the chance of doing it, it’s a wonderful thing.
And throughout the weekend, we’ve been dealing with subterranean rumblings from the septic tank again – well actually most of them. It’s the water table, you see. It’s too high and the tanks fill up with ground water and their electrical stuff drowns. Fortunately Morna, one of our newer cast members here at Bogstead, seems to have allowed the rest of us to appoint her as ‘Aerator in Chief’. She hasn’t been driving the JCB yet but I can see it coming.
Regular Sunday attendance is down to 6% of whom less than 2% are Anglicans. Many people say they would attend church if they received the right sort of invitation. What is the church doing about issuing the right sort of invitation? (I need to know for General Studies tomorrow.)
Hi Angela – there are many places where one might look. Here are three. Back to Church Sunday – one Sunday in September when church members simply invite others. Fresh Expressions – a significant movement in the C of E and [increasingly] other churches which offers people an alternative model of church which they can join without the feeling that they are signing up to an institution. Those are national initiatives. More local initiatives like our own Casting the Net are signs of the church generally attempting to focus its energy on mission.
One way of describing what this issue is about is this – that there is a lot of spirituality around in people – the search for meaning – interest in prayer – exploration of the experience of God. But the kind of society in which we live is one in which institutions, joining, authority, etc find it difficult to attract support. The short-hand definition is Post-Modern – and it includes the loss of a meta-narrative as a way of understanding the world.
Hi David, Thank you for the information, it is exactly what I need. Your figures re: prison make horrifying reading. I used to live close to Pentonville and just assumed that everyone in the prison came from Holloway or Hackney. I knew Roger Casement was killed there but didn’t go beyond that to wonder how his family visited before his death.
Glad the weekend was such a success. John enjoyed meeting up with his Godfather again.
Best wishes and hope the snow isn’t too bad.
I welcome the return of the Septic Tank Saga – I couldn’t believe it has somehow been cured without mention!
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