Church in Wales Review – Managed Decline?

Ancient Briton:

There is something about the Church in Wales Review that reminds me of the days of absent priests and nonconformity in Wales but this is no revival. It is about managed decline. The report reads like a management solution to a secular problem with the phrase ‘fit for purpose’ being singularly inappropriate in a religious context. This is the nub of the problem. While traditional sacramental devotion can be found in isolated areas, the main thrust of mission in the Church in Wales is to appeal to the uninterested using secular criteria which loses any sense of the mystery which gives people a break from the rigours of modern life. Declining numbers, fewer ordinands, redundant churches all indicate the imminent collapse of a top-heavy system that for too long has had to be supported by hard-pressed congregations whether or not they agree with the direction in which their church has taken them. The supposed panacea of embracing feminist theology is likely to see its conclusion in the creation of a privileged, priestly few paid for by dwindling congregations singing popular hymns with a few prayers thrown in and an occasional Eucharist, a small step to lay presidency using the feminist argument that a priest has only to say a few more words than a deacon. For those who will not have already departed to join an Ordinariate there must be a point at which congregations realise that without regular sacramental worship they will be better off in a self-supporting chapel. A sort of revival but not for the Church in Wales…

Read on here.

 

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About Fr Stephen Smuts

TAC Priest in South Africa.
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8 Responses to Church in Wales Review – Managed Decline?

  1. Postmodernity strikes again, so why are we so surprised? As the culture goes so goes the church. And most of the time almost always the historical churches, including Roman Catholicism are affected!

    • Margaret says:

      Rather I have heard it said (in reference to the effects of Church scandals): “As the Church goes so goes the family; as the family goes so goes the culture.

      • @Margaret: This was perhaps the way it used to be a generation or so ago, but not now in this tech and postmodern age, the culture affects the family, as the culture affects the church, etc. It seems today, that Church is the last affect on the family, if at all, and since the church is being more and more affected by the culture, there is little difference between the two. Of course this is a general statement, but one that is becoming more and more central.

  2. Joseph Golightly says:

    Why do you always have a post script “Roman Catholicism” Stop it!

    • Because Joseph that’s what I believe! “Roman Catholicism” is in the same boat as the rest of the Western world, both Church & Culture! Wake-up, and smell the coffee!

      • Joseph Golightly says:

        Why can’t you use whatever church you might be a member of – it might be more gracious! It’s not the conclusion. It’s the way you mock – at least that’s how it comes across!

      • @Joseph: I am an Anglican priest/presbyter, though certainly semi-retired, and I see as a hospital chaplain Roman Catholics everyday. And since I was raised Irish Roman Catholic, and somewhat early educated there, and too, since I really do believe in the Church Catholic, I am going to speak. Also, I speak always as a pastor-teacher, something the historical church is sadly lacking in, men of God in both biblical conviction and calling! And sadly today, so much so-called “preaching” is just milk-toast, though I might be nothing myself! But, I will leave it all before God! So I am “mocking” nothing but really unbelief and a “Laodicean”.. lukewarm and indifferent church age! Which is also full of “Balaamism and Nicolaitanism” (read Rev. 2-3, the churches of Asia Minor).

      • Histortically and theologically, Balaamism is part of the practice of the Nicolaitans, and thus Balaam is seen as ‘the father of religious syncretism’. So here “fornication” is the discription of those who are guilty of religious infidelity, and theology and praxis cannot be separated, for bad or wrong belief leads to wrong behaviour. “The false apostles troubling the church at Ephesus, and Nicolaitan assocates of the communities of Pergamun and Thyatira, were capable of both.” This was perhaps both pre-gnostic in character, and too gnostic fully. (Rev. 2: 18-29) The whole point in the these Letters is that ‘Christ Jesus’ must be first and central, and not mere “religion”! (2 Tim. 3:5)

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