Growing the Church: initial responses
Posted by Ros Clarke, 4 May 2021
Ros Clarke analyses the responses to the Growing the Church survey so far
There’s still time to complete the ‘Growing the Church’ survey. We’d especially value more responses from those with experience of team ministries or non-parish projects, but please do tell us about your joint benefices as well!
We’ve been looking at two things: combining parishes (whether into united benefices, teams, groups etc) and non-parish projects (e.g. deanery projects, diocesan projects or detached projects). While the number of responses is still too small to be statistically significant, I think there are a number of useful observations already.
No numerical growth
There is no evidence at all, so far, that either of the approaches we have asked about leads to numerical growth.
Posted by George Crowder, 3 May 2021
George Crowder considers the contemporary obsession with corruption.
We are very exercised by corruption. We are concerned about it, angry about it, fascinated with it, and obsessed with it. As ‘other news’ starts to take more of the headlines, revelations about political foul play beat a well-worn, almost weary path into the light of public scrutiny. Questions rage about taking advantages and abusing privileges, about fraud and cronyism.
When we are not exasperated by corruption, we are entertained by it. The BBC’s Line of Duty series has us all on the edge of our seats with the dramatic turns of the plot. Then we are wracking our brains to work out the identity of the shadowy puppet-master behind the spidery network of corrupt officers in the police force.
Our obsession with corruption is a positive obsession. We hate it; we want the perpetrators rooted out and punished. It offends something deep inside us, a sense of fairness and rightness. Being anti-corruption is something that reflects our creator. As Christians we relish that; it’s a seam that runs through the Bible, our faith and our lives.
Review: Shielded by Grace
Posted by Ros Clarke, 30 Apr 2021
Ros Clarke reviews this podcast on Christian friendship.
Christian friendship is a great blessing, isn’t it? Having someone you know and trust to talk to about life, work, family and faith is such an encouragement through hard times and a delight in happy times. Christian friends Anna and Charley let us eavesdrop on some of their conversations in their Shielded by Grace podcast. Anna Putt is married to a minister and a mother of young children, while Charley Maidment is a single woman who is a teacher.
They bring their different perspectives to issues such as lockdown life, how we change, and even friendship itself. As they note, Christian friendships can cross generations and don’t depend on shared interests or circumstances. Whether or not you are in a similar stage of life to Anna or Charley, you’ll find them good companions in the faith, as you listen in to their podcasts.