C de E Traditionalists Launch Struggle Against Cult in ‘Take Out, Cinema or Barn’ | Anglicanism

Church of England traditionalists have launched a campaign to defend the age-old parish system against plans to promote innovative church gatherings in unconventional settings.

Save the parish urges the clergy and laity to run under his banner for election to the General Synod, the legislative assembly of the C of E, this fall. It also provides for efforts at the parish level to fight against church closures.

At the campaign launch this week, Father Marcus Walker, rector of St. Bartholomew the Great in central London, said parishioners face the “last chance to save the system that has defined Christianity for 1,000. years”.

He said: “Over the past 10 to 15 years, especially under [the archbishop of Canterbury] Justin Welby, there has been a strong shift from traditional parishes with a relationship to a church building and local community, to a style of church set up in a cinema or barn or converted Chinese take-out.

He said “vast amounts” of funding had been diverted from parishes to new churches, leading, for example, to the closure of 60 parish churches in Essex. “Parishes are deprived of the resources they need to survive, and the harsh reality of that is closures and layoffs. “

The C of E adopted a “mixed ecology” strategy, in which traditional parishes coexist alongside “new expressions” of worship, aimed at attracting new worshipers as church attendance continues to decline. New ventures include “planting” of evangelical churches, often in areas with high student populations, and a “messy church” – food-based, activity-based, child-centered worship.

He has set a goal of establishing 10,000 new lay-led churches over the next 10 years. There are approximately 12,500 parishes in the C of E.

The Reverend Alison Milbank, a canon theologian at Southwell Minster, said at the campaign launch that the C of E was at “the critical hour.” “The C of E has totally surrendered to market values ​​and managerialism… There has been a tendency to view the parish as an embarrassing trinket inherited from a great-aunt you wish you were in the attic.”

The Covid pandemic had been used as an opportunity to “further accelerate the demise of the traditional church” with “resources drained from the parish system,” she said.

“There are tough decisions to be made in times of secularization and atheism, but they should be made by those who love the C of E. Indeed, even marketing will tell you that you cannot promote a product that you want. do not believe. “

The Reverend Canon David Male, Director of Evangelism and Discipleship of the C of E, said: and the core of the C of E.

A key part of the church’s strategy was to “revitalize parishes and churches across the country,” he said. “Throughout our history there have always been other forms of churches beside and within [parishes] – from cathedrals and chapels to cool expressions and church plants, all come from and are part of parishes. We need them all.

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