Sunday, 19 February 2012

Will the Church of England cease to exist?

This is the question which I'm left with, in a positive way, following on from Bishop Stephen Cottrell's speech to the Time to Talk consultative conference in the Diocese of ChelmsfordHe openly answers yes as the answer to this question; after all he's Bishop Stephen and it's this sort of statement and challenge which we love about him.

Reading his speech takes me back to the many events I attended when he was Bishop of Reading, he's such an inspirational man.  It's great that in this small world we can all hear him online and absorb his simple messages about evangelism, ministry and the church.  But enough on my personal thoughts on the man himself.

What does he want us to think about when he challenges us to accept that the CofE might cease to exist?  Well what I got from his speech are the following:

- the church is great but it's not an institution, it's us in our callings for God
- we need to meet the people where they are, not expect them to come to us
- the world is changing and we need to change within it and with it
- if we don't change then we will cease to exist, so let's change and work with others and really live out the Gospel
- we need to trust God to lead us

The words that touched me the most are these
But please don't take my words for it, please hear the words from the Bishop himself
Do you hear something else, please share.
As well as cherishing that inherited way of being Church we also need to see that God is calling us to be a different sort of Church in a different and rapidly changing sort of world. And so we need to recover what is at the heart – the essence – of being Church ..... the impact of Jesus Christ on men and women.


Anonymous said...

nice piece

Emma Major said...

thanks, there's something about Bishop Stephen which inspires me