Why do so few C of E bishops speak about the Christian
obligation to attend church, Sunday by Sunday. . . ? [Answers, 24
The Revd Tim Coleman's reply week made some important points
regarding any obligation there may or may not be on a Christian to
attend church, not least the implied "obligation" on the priest to
make his service the best possible, so that people will actually
want to attend.
Nevetheless, might he not be going too far with his conviction
that "the church gathering, at best, is merely a refuelling break
in the service of the Kingdom", as though "thou shalt love thy
neighbour" has now totally actually ousted "thou shalt love the
Lord thy God"?
While agreeing that a loving atheist is far more attractive
proposition than a hypocritical churchgoer, one might reasonably
question the sincerity of someone who claimed to be a film fan, but
who never went to the cinema, when there was one on his
At a purely practical level, to be a Christian - a "member of
the Body of Christ" - in this modern world surely requires the
encouragement of contact with other parts of that Body which a
weekly gathering provides; while, at a deeper level, I have never
understood how someone can claim to be a follower of Jesus while,
at the same time, saying in effect, "but to hell with His dying
wish" ("Do this in remembrance of me").
I wonder whether the Church would ever have got off the ground
if its first adherents had not regularly met together for the
breaking of bread (Acts 2.46f).
(Canon) Andrew Warner, Andover