Saturday, November 19, 2005


I want to draw your attention to a story in my local press, it is about a drop in church funding at the Anglican church I was raised in:

Rector's Story

I look at the situation described here, from a completely different angle. I think potentially it is a good thing.

I disagree with the rector on the last point he makes:

"If they cut the number of full-time priests then services will have to be cut, and eventually buildings would have to be shut."


Christianity isn’t a spectator sport and we have forgotten that the Church was not originally led by priests and bishops; it was led by fishermen, tax collectors, doctors etc. In other words the leadership of the Church was inclusive of the man on the street.

If we stopped living by false ideology that only priests have a ministry, recognised that in the early Church communion was originally practiced in the homes of believers… none of whom were priests... and that God calls all his people into service… the above statement would be seen for the nonsense it is. We don’t need to live our faith through one man at the front of the church… that’s idleness at best, idolatry at worst. Yes we need a leader… but they need to be someone who empowers others to lead services and realise the potential in their ministries… and to make sure that false teaching and corruption do not slip into the leadership team.

I believe God is trying to break the “them and us” culture that exists within the Church of England, all this nonsense of clergy and laity. One of the great problems with the Anglican church is that too much focus is put on the role of the priest or the bishop… etc. We are the body of Christ we are supposed to work together. When there are sick people in a town… it shouldn’t just fall to a priest, there should be a whole prayer ministry team. Furthermore, the church needs to address the woeful lack of understanding about spirituality. Many years ago, a worship band attended the church I grew up in. When the service had ended, they started singing in tongues (in a low key manner… they were singing to one another and God… not to an audience); a lady overheard them and was convinced they were possessed by the devil. The people of God need to be educated about the power and the presence of God… he isn’t just some distant man on a cloud… he is an ever-present companion around and within us. However, clergy tend to treat the gifts of the Spirit as arcane knowledge… and something only done in the ancient past.

Do not bottleneck God, do not resist Him… he longs to pour out his forgiveness, blessing and power out on his people.

The one thing the CofE has got going for it is accountability within its leadership structure, but as the previous Archbishop of York said (and I believe his assessment), when God brings revival… it won’t come from the clergy… it will come from the congregations.

I could speak more of issues I have with the clergy… but now is not the time.

God’s grace and peace to you… wherever, whoever you are…


1 comment:

  1. Amen! The problem, though, isn't always with the clergy, it is often with congregations and clergy conspiring together to create a top down led model of church whereas Scripture is clear that we are all part of the priesthood of all believers.

    Colluding, that's what i meant, not conspiring...

    Thanks for the comment on my blog too! I've enjoyed trawling round this one and appreciate your thoughts!


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