*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

I had to join RCs to find meaningful worship

by
31 January 2014

iStock

From Mr Gregory Thomas

Sir, - Our family considered that we were C of E, and I went to a C of E primary school, the annual carol and Harvest "services", and a once-a-month "family service" in the church; but, at the age of 12, I wanted to "put away all childish things", and was permitted to "escape" from all that.

At the age of 19, I went to university, and a friend invited me to something called "Fresh Expressions of the Church", which took place in a room above a café in the city. It was OK, but little more than Bible stories and worship songs, with tunes that can hardly be described as music.

Then I met my girlfriend, who was a Roman Catholic, and she invited me to come with her to their Sunday mass. There I became acutely aware of the living reality of God, and immediately gave myself to Christ and was received into the Church. It was a life-changing experience, and far removed from those dreary "services" and the bland and meaningless concept of "going to church".

Only later, when I returned to my parents' home in Somerset, did I realise that it was there in my C of E parish church, except on the first Sunday of the month, but I had never been able to find it, as it had been considered that the eucharist was not the best place for children to be.

That "Fresh Expression" was not a church, as it was connected to neither the eucharist nor the sacraments generally, nor the bishop. It had a C of E base, but was in reality a new Protestant denomination.

Herein must surely lie the root cause of the decline in the number of worshippers in C of E churches, but will they ever learn?

GREGORY THOMAS
High Gables, Pomphlett Road
Plymouth
Devon PL3 5ER

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

The Church Times Podcast

Interviews and news analysis from the Church Times team. Listen to this week’s episode online

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)