How are previous generations designated?

by
10 May 2019

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New studies talk about Generations X and Y (News, 29 March). How are the previous generations designated? Are their feelings and preferences of less interest, even though they are mostly nearer to meeting their Maker?


Your answer: 
The feelings and preferences of older generations have formed the Church as we know it. It is not that their preferences are not being taken into account. The studies are seeking to find ways of passing on the gospel to the younger generations by looking at what motivates them and what turns them off. It is all about how we communicate our faith effectively to the next generations.

The labels for the generations are general indicators of their outlook on life, but there is some fluidity between the beginning and end dates. Broadly speaking, Generation X was coined for those born from around 1965 onwards, coming immediately after the “Baby-Boomers”, those born in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.

The generation born from 1924 to 1945 is sometimes known as the “Maturist” generation, and before that came the “Greatest” generation — those who remember the Great Depression, and the Great War. After Gen X come the “Millennials” (or “Generation Y”) from the 1980s to the early 2000s, and “Generation Z”, born after 1995 and, therefore, never knowing a world without computers and mobile phones.

A helpful comparison is to think how each of these generations prefers to communicate. For the Greatest and Maturist generations, it is face-to-face communication or a personal letter. Baby-Boomers prefer face-to-face, but will use telephone or email. Gen X use text-messaging and email, and Gen Y use more social media and text messages, while Gen Z prefer Facetime.

The writer of the question points out that the older generations are “mostly nearer to meeting their Maker”. That is exactly the problem. Without younger generations’ coming to faith, the Church as we know it will die out. No one is suggesting ditching the older generations, but we should all have a concern to see the Church communicating effectively to every generation.

(The Revd) Ian Enticott (Baby-Boomer by birth-date, Gen X by disposition, and Area Dean)
Accrington

Your questionIf a parish has an incumbent and honorary assistant curates but does not have a communion service every Sunday, must the archdeacon seek an explanation?

A. F.

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