Church in Wales Review – Managed Decline?
July 25, 2012 8 Comments
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.