From the Revd Andy Myers
Sir, — Dr Christopher Whitby’s article (“Smug and weird — no wonder it’s a turn-off”, Comment, 31 July) came as a breath of fresh air. I am sure I speak for many clergy and lay people feeling pressure from all directions to be “successful” and “growing” churches. They will take heart from Dr Whitby’s wise and experienced take on the reality of churches like ours.
If you want a church where you get a welcome to rival an American diner, where everyone is theologically articulate and no one doubts, and one that is financially viable because it is packing them in, and poised every Sunday to provide a worship experience that can stand comparison with the Leeds Festival, don’t come to the ones I have a privilege of journeying with. But, if you want to sit alongside people who struggle with all the issues of real life and who have found something in the way of Jesus Christ which has captivated them, while many of the issues and life struggles remain the same — come and sit alongside us.
You will be welcome. But please consider that the person alongside you may be dealing with issues like yours, which may in due course make you decide to accompany other members of the broken body of Christ — fellow-travellers who have made the decision to become companions of those who are seeking the truth. They, like you, may not have the certainty of having found either it or the healing that they are seeking.
St Cross Vicarage
Middleton Park Avenue
Leeds LS10 4HT