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Friday, December 25, 2009

My Christmas Message

Seeing the various religious leaders deliver their Christmas messages today I couldn't help feeling they were missing the point. They were highlighting troubles in society which we're all too well aware of. But they didn't say how religion was going to help. They didn't suggest any remedies at all.

I heard a sobering statistic the other day. Only a million people in the UK still go to church. That must make us a minority religion here, and certainly explains how Christmas became a gaudy commercial festival with no other meaning.

I pondered on the reasons why.

If there was a Henry VIII style proclamation that all churches must close, there would probably be a revolt among the chattering classes who, although they don't go to church, still count themselves as Christians.

I find it criminal the way the church has quietly festered for the last 100 years, losing worshippers and not figuring out why. It doesn't appeal to anyone now except the elderly. The only attempts to change this have been the evangelicals, but most stiff upper lipped people in Britain don't want to chant and clap and have trendy new hymns played on guitars.

We want something a bit more modern than Wesley hymns, lectures and incense, but we don't want to completely lose the traditions and heritage.

Maybe if church leaders debated this, instead of in-fighting and bickering at the Synod, they might become a bit more relevant and therefore entitled to give a view on society's problems.

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