THE Church must change, or face extinction in the next
generation, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has
In an address to Shropshire Light, a Christian conference on
Saturday in Holy Trinity, Meole Brace, Shrewsbury, he said that
people did not see church as a "place where great things happen",
but instead mention of it was met with "the shrug of indifference,
the rolled eyes of embarrassment, the yawn of boredom".
He said that, for many clergy, any joy in ministry had been
replaced by a feeling of "heaviness" and defeatism, and that Muslim
communities had more energy than churches.
Churchgoers needed to move beyond just "keeping the machine
going" to an "expectation for transformed lives", he said. Every
church should be working for its community, through foodbanks,
credit unions, or other ministries.
He warned, however: "So many churches have no ministry to young
people, and that means they have no interest in the future. As I
have repeated many times in the past, we are one generation away
from extinction. We have to give cogent reasons to young people why
the Christian faith is relevant to them."
This week at the General Synod, the Archbishop of York called
for the Church to "evangelise or fossilise". "Compared with
evangelism, everything else is like rearranging the furniture when
the house is on fire," Dr Sentamu said.
Question of the week: Will your
church be extinct in a generation?