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Pilgrim and modelling integrated communities

by
08 November 2013

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From the Revd John Brown

Sir, - As the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned, the nation's well-being depends upon a "deep spiritual base in the Christian tradition" as well as economic growth. Much will depend on the success of the Pilgrim course (News, 4 October; Features, 11 October) in deepening spiritual life and experience in our parishes.

I hope that those running the course will not seek not only to involve beginners in the Christian life, but offer it to all members of the congregation in an ongoing process, since we are all engaged in a spiritual pilgrimage and need the support and prayers of our fellow pilgrims (house groups are encouraged to provide an informal atmosphere for sharing our experiences).

Such a development will help to identify and mobilise the spiritual gifts in the congregation, relieving the stress on the clergy as others come to share their ministry. By putting into practice our interdependence, the national Church can provide a working model of an integrated community to our sadly atomised and individualistic society.

The Children's Society, in its report A Good Childhood, published some years ago, identified the nation's culture of "excessive individualism" as a threat, in particular, to the well-being of children. It was defined as "the belief that the prime duty of the individual is to make the most of her own life, rather than to contribute to the good of others".

As a nation, we desperately need to build a more cohesive Christian society, following the lead of our national Church as we focus on working together for the common good.

JOHN BROWN
3 Manor Way, Middleton on Sea
West Sussex PO22 6LA

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