Monday, 15 June 2009

Anglican cool

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I'm going to come out and say it – if I was an Anglican, I'd be a "traditionalist". Not because of the religious conservatism or anything like that, but rather because of their reactions to stories like this, as will become apparent at the end of this post.

Over the weekend the Daily Telegraph ran a story on how a new Church of England book entitled Ancient Faith, Future Mission, published as part of the ongoing "Fresh Expressions" initiative, proposes a multitude of (unintentionally) amusing ways in which the Church can attempt to reach out to a younger audience. They include using YouTube in church, beat poetry Psalm recitals and "U2charists" – services with U2 songs instead of hymns, because if you really want to get down with the kids it's best to do it by using the music of a band that peaked in the mid-1980s. Perhaps best of all, the book suggests worshippers say prayers "for the corporate world, for influential CEOs who oversee billion-dollar industries". And there's even an example:
"We pray for John Chambers of Cisco Systems, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Dr Eric Schmidt of Google Inc, H Lee Scott Jr of Wal-Mart Stores and others who have already made commitments to justice."
Brilliant. And what do the "traditionalists" think of all this? Enter the Rev David Houlding, prebendary at St Paul's Cathedral:
"All this is tosh. It's just a passing fad, irrelevant, shallow and pointless. There's no depth to it and it's embarrassing because it'll make people think that we're eccentric and silly."
Well said, sir.

8 comments:

Jim said...

"it's embarrassing because it'll make people think that we're eccentric and silly."

What? People *don't* think that already?

Joe Hayhurst said...

This is supposed to be the Church of England, no? Rather than At least then it should be asking the flock (sheep) to pray for Alan Sugar, Richard Branson and Stuart Rose? Sounds like they've just copied and pasted this book from an American version.

Any religion that can just change its rules to fit in with current fashion yet still base itself strictly on stuff that supposedly happened thousands of years ago eventually gets the respect, and the congregation, it deserves.

Samantha said...

"it's embarrassing because it'll make people think that we're eccentric and silly."

I can't help but think of the national pilgrimage to Walsingham.

Invictus_88 said...

No no, heaven forbid that Anglicans be considered eccentric, or silly.

We should seek to emulate the respectable old guard. The Bishop of Southwark, for example!

PaulJ said...

"All this is tosh. It's just a passing fad, irrelevant, shallow and pointless. There's no depth to it and it's embarrassing because it'll make people think that we're eccentric and silly."

Well said, sir.


Agreed. But the Rev Houlding's alternative (not eccentric or silly) is ... what ... exactly?

Neuroskeptic said...

Better the CoE looks eccentric and silly than bigoted and homophobic...

Anonymous said...

I think we should make humanism more appealing to young people by having someone's dad do a rap, and then burning it on a "CD" which we could sell at a fete.

Tom Rees said...

That's a good idea, but if we want to avoid the misconception that we're eccentric then we should also consider wearing dresses on Sunday (fellers only, natch)