|Christ Church, Rhosybol, on sale for £45,000 Source: Daily Post|
This is just one of twelve redundant churches currently offered for sale by the Representative Body of the Church in Wales following closure for worship which could be your new home. How many more to follow?
Worship often took place twice and more in bigger churches on Sundays, many with a daily Eucharist during the week. That was before they became the means of spreading political correctness, misapplying notions of gender equality to the priesthood, substituting equality for theology.
With few exceptions Church attendance continues to fall year by year. Ironically, in one of the largest ever surveys of peoples' attitudes towards the role and influence of churches in local communities published in Christian Today, more than a third of UK adults surveyed said that they would "campaign to keep their nearest church from closing because it provides 'vital' services to its local community." Without supporting members, who would maintain them?
|MAE Cymru supporters. Source Church in Wales|
In response to my previous entry some commentators became exercised over a suitable spiritual home for disillusioned Anglicans. Sadly, as the declining numbers indicate in all but a few churches, most Christians do not look for an alternative. They give up in despair and stay home. Robbed of its mystery and otherness, church-going has for many become another weekly social occasion while others turn up at Easter and/or Christmas expecting their church to be there for them.
The obsession with gender politics has been a disaster. It has spread from the acceptance of the ordination of women to demands for acceptance of just about every sexual permutation including same sex marriage, the red line for many Anglicans.
Woe betide anyone who dares to hold a contrary opinion or to question the basis of different beliefs. Witness the Tory MP forced to stand down after a sixteen year old student and LGBT rights campaigner did not like the answer to her question after she asked him if he was planning on attending the Isle of Wight's first ever pride event.
Shades of Germaine Greer who was pilloried for expressing her personal opinion that she did not think post-operative transgender men are women, an opinion shared by experts.
Devout Christian Tim Farron the leader of the Liberal Democrat party was hounded until he gave a politically correct answer when asked if he thought that homosexuality was a sin. He had no support from the Church of England.
The first Church of England vicar to marry his same-sex partner has announced his resignation as a parish priest complaining that the CofE is 'institutionally homophobic'. He claimed that he and other gay and lesbian clergy were 'barely tolerated'.
That is an odd claim given the experience of remaining churchgoers, a claim which also contradicts the experience of the Rev Sally Hitchiner who told viewers of the BBC Breakfast programme on 30 April while discussing the marriage of Pippa Middleton that she was to "marry" her same sex partner next month.
Many, particularly younger, people today simply shrug their shoulders and say, So what? It doesn't affect me. But it does. As churches close some are converted into mosques while new Islamic centres are being built to accommodate the growing number of Muslims resulting from immigration and higher birth rates. Mohammed already tops the list of most popular baby boy names in England and Wales.
Islam is not tolerant of homosexuality. Woman count for less than men. It is ironic, then, that the politics which have split the Church will be unacceptable to the predominant faith group when Islam becomes the largest religion in the world by 2070.
If church leaders spent as much time exposing the ideology that is stamping out Christianity in its birthplace as they do on gender politics and affirming Islam there would be less need for GAFCON to send a missionary bishop to our shores to speak for traditional marriage.
Meanwhile in New Zealand a transgender weightlifter is causing controversy. Olympic Weightlifting NZ high performance manager Simon Kent described Hubbard's performance as 'magnificent'. "This is such a new issue for society to have a conversation about," said Kent, of the transgender question. "It really challenges how people respond to it - it's not something that is openly discussed and talked about." [My emphasis - ED.]
|Transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard Source: NZ Herald Photo: Doug Sherring|