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Church of England creating 'pagan church' to recruit members

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Church of England creating 'pagan church' to recruit members

The Church of England is trying to recruit pagans and spiritual believers as part of a drive to retain congregation numbers.

The Church of England is trying to recruit pagans and spiritual believers as part of a drive to retain congregation numbers.
Crowds gather at dawn amongst the stones at Stonehenge in Wiltshire for the Summer Solstice Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA

The church is training ministers to create “a pagan church where Christianity [is] very much in the centre” to attract spiritual believers.

Ministers are being trained to create new forms of Anglicanism suitable for people of alternative beliefs as part of a Church of England drive to retain congregation numbers.

Reverend Steve Hollinghurst, a researcher and adviser in new religious movements told the BBC: “I would be looking to formulate an exploration of the Christian faith that would be at home in their culture.”

He said it would be “almost to create a pagan church where Christianity was very much in the centre.”

The Church Mission Society, which is training ministers to “break new ground”, hopes to see a number of spiritual people align themselves with Christianity.

Andrea Campenale, of the Church Mission Society, said: “Nowadays people, they want to feel something; they want to have some sense of experience.

“We live in reflective England where there’s much more of a focus on ourselves. I think that is something we can bring in dialogue with the Christian society.”

The Church Mission Society’s webpage advertising their pioneer training scheme states: “Wherever in the world the mission of Jesus goes on, the church needs pioneer mission leaders to break new ground.”

The news comes as spiritual seekers celebrate the summer solstice at Stonehenge today.

Pagans and druids will gather to watch the sun rise following the longest day of the year, celebrating at the historic monument.

The new move could see famous druids such as druid leader Arthur Pendragon move to Anglicanism.

More than 20,000 people gathered at Stonehenge today ahead of a £27 million transformation of the site.

The huge gathering of people marked the event in a "positive, friendly atmosphere" as they waited for the sun to come up, but cloudy skies prevented them from basking in a beautiful sunrise.

Superintendent Matt Pullen from Wiltshire Police said: "Solstice 2013 has been a great success with approximately 21,000 people celebrating in the positive, friendly atmosphere as they waited for sunrise.

"The weather held but unfortunately the cloud cover was too dense to see the sun come up."

Loraine Knowles, Stonehenge director at English Heritage, said that although Stonehenge never failed to impress visitors, the setting of the stones had marred people's appreciation and enjoyment of the site.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10133906/Church-of-England-creating-pagan-church-to-recruit-members.html

by on Jun. 22, 2013 at 7:29 AM
Replies (101-104):
Raintree
by Ruby Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Because the great commission applies not just to non-believers, but to anyone who hasn't "found Christ". It's part of the Christian religion to try and convert people. I see this as a whole lot less annoying than being proselytized at on your own doorstep. If a person doesn't want to participate- don't go. Non-Christians have total control in this scenario.

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

That's cool, I had no idea the CofE was like that.  However I will never understand why Christians feel the need to reach out to people of other religions and try to "attract" them to the faith.  Reaching out to people of no faith who seem lost is one thing, but trying to recruit pagans to Christianity is just absurd.  They already have a religious path that they chose and are connected with.  If they wanted to become Christian they'd just do it.  It's not like there are people that have never heard of it. 

Quoting Raintree:

Look, the CofE is a little different. They aren't quite the evangelicals we see over here, ranting about hell and asking for people to give them magic money that the giving away of which will somehow make them prosperous. The Episcopalian churches I've attended have been full of none of that and lean more towards harvest festivals, and the blessing of the animals.

Frankly, I think they know that people have caught on to the beginnings of Christianity in general and they have to play catch-up with the doctrines to sway more people into their ranks. For a Christian church to even consider something like this, it suggests that they're essentially bending away from their known path. 

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

I didn't say anything about a straight-up pagan church either.  You said you didn't see this as an attempt to convert but as more of an attempt to incorporate more connection to the natural world into Christian teachings.  I'm saying I think the article is the complete opposite of that.  It's not talking about modifying Christian churches to incorporate pagan leanings, it's talking about starting an entirely new church that appeals to pagans (how? I'm not sure...) but teaches the Bible...which sounds to me like a direct attempt to lure people in in order to convert them.  

Quoting Raintree:

Right. So they'd have more pagan leanings. I don't believe I said anything about a straight-up pagan church. 

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

No, that would be inocorporating some Pagan aspects into a Christian church, not creating a "Pagan church"--to attract Pagans--and then preaching Christianity to them, which is what the CofE seems to want to do here.
Quoting Raintree:

The CofE has always had some "pagan" leanings anyway- I'm.thinking mostly of their harvest services which are quite different than something you'd find in an American protestant church. I actually think that within Christianity there is a thirst among some to feel connected to the natural world and that's where the church has fallen down so mightily for many years. People find meaning in the seasons and world around them-bringing some of that in to the church might make it a more holistic experience for members already there.

I don't necessarily see this as trying to convert new members as trying to retain members.

Also, back in 2007 or so, there were several groups here on.CM that were for pagan/Christian hybrids.






SunshneDaydream
by Silver Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 5:06 PM

That's true and I agree, but that whole aspect of converting annoys the crap outta me.  It's probably my #1 issue with Christianity as a whole and even if I believed in Jesus as my savior and crap, I still wouldn't identify with the church for that very reason.  It's arrogant as hell!

Quoting Raintree:

Because the great commission applies not just to non-believers, but to anyone who hasn't "found Christ". It's part of the Christian religion to try and convert people. I see this as a whole lot less annoying than being proselytized at on your own doorstep. If a person doesn't want to participate- don't go. Non-Christians have total control in this scenario.

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

That's cool, I had no idea the CofE was like that.  However I will never understand why Christians feel the need to reach out to people of other religions and try to "attract" them to the faith.  Reaching out to people of no faith who seem lost is one thing, but trying to recruit pagans to Christianity is just absurd.  They already have a religious path that they chose and are connected with.  If they wanted to become Christian they'd just do it.  It's not like there are people that have never heard of it. 

Quoting Raintree:

Look, the CofE is a little different. They aren't quite the evangelicals we see over here, ranting about hell and asking for people to give them magic money that the giving away of which will somehow make them prosperous. The Episcopalian churches I've attended have been full of none of that and lean more towards harvest festivals, and the blessing of the animals.

Frankly, I think they know that people have caught on to the beginnings of Christianity in general and they have to play catch-up with the doctrines to sway more people into their ranks. For a Christian church to even consider something like this, it suggests that they're essentially bending away from their known path. 

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

I didn't say anything about a straight-up pagan church either.  You said you didn't see this as an attempt to convert but as more of an attempt to incorporate more connection to the natural world into Christian teachings.  I'm saying I think the article is the complete opposite of that.  It's not talking about modifying Christian churches to incorporate pagan leanings, it's talking about starting an entirely new church that appeals to pagans (how? I'm not sure...) but teaches the Bible...which sounds to me like a direct attempt to lure people in in order to convert them.  

Quoting Raintree:

Right. So they'd have more pagan leanings. I don't believe I said anything about a straight-up pagan church. 

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

No, that would be inocorporating some Pagan aspects into a Christian church, not creating a "Pagan church"--to attract Pagans--and then preaching Christianity to them, which is what the CofE seems to want to do here.
Quoting Raintree:

The CofE has always had some "pagan" leanings anyway- I'm.thinking mostly of their harvest services which are quite different than something you'd find in an American protestant church. I actually think that within Christianity there is a thirst among some to feel connected to the natural world and that's where the church has fallen down so mightily for many years. People find meaning in the seasons and world around them-bringing some of that in to the church might make it a more holistic experience for members already there.

I don't necessarily see this as trying to convert new members as trying to retain members.

Also, back in 2007 or so, there were several groups here on.CM that were for pagan/Christian hybrids.







Raintree
by Ruby Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 5:34 PM

I can understand how you feel that way and I agree that there is a danger of arrogance when you believe you've found the truth- we see it in this group all the time. That said, I think there is a chance for some Christians to sharr... editing.. kindle gone wild.. anyway, 


To share out of love. I've seen that. I've also seen Christians embrace the idea of actions speaking louder than words- very effective and lacking in most of the obnoxious aspects of sharing faith. And it's more authentic.

In this case, yeah they're desperate. The CofE is more conservative, generally, than its American cousin. Might be part of their issue. 

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

That's true and I agree, but that whole aspect of converting annoys the crap outta me.  It's probably my #1 issue with Christianity as a whole and even if I believed in Jesus as my savior and crap, I still wouldn't identify with the church for that very reason.  It's arrogant as hell!

Quoting Raintree:

Because the great commission applies not just to non-believers, but to anyone who hasn't "found Christ". It's part of the Christian religion to try and convert people. I see this as a whole lot less annoying than being proselytized at on your own doorstep. If a person doesn't want to participate- don't go. Non-Christians have total control in this scenario.

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

That's cool, I had no idea the CofE was like that.  However I will never understand why Christians feel the need to reach out to people of other religions and try to "attract" them to the faith.  Reaching out to people of no faith who seem lost is one thing, but trying to recruit pagans to Christianity is just absurd.  They already have a religious path that they chose and are connected with.  If they wanted to become Christian they'd just do it.  It's not like there are people that have never heard of it. 

Quoting Raintree:

Look, the CofE is a little different. They aren't quite the evangelicals we see over here, ranting about hell and asking for people to give them magic money that the giving away of which will somehow make them prosperous. The Episcopalian churches I've attended have been full of none of that and lean more towards harvest festivals, and the blessing of the animals.

Frankly, I think they know that people have caught on to the beginnings of Christianity in general and they have to play catch-up with the doctrines to sway more people into their ranks. For a Christian church to even consider something like this, it suggests that they're essentially bending away from their known path. 

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

I didn't say anything about a straight-up pagan church either.  You said you didn't see this as an attempt to convert but as more of an attempt to incorporate more connection to the natural world into Christian teachings.  I'm saying I think the article is the complete opposite of that.  It's not talking about modifying Christian churches to incorporate pagan leanings, it's talking about starting an entirely new church that appeals to pagans (how? I'm not sure...) but teaches the Bible...which sounds to me like a direct attempt to lure people in in order to convert them.  

Quoting Raintree:

Right. So they'd have more pagan leanings. I don't believe I said anything about a straight-up pagan church. 

Quoting SunshneDaydream:

No, that would be inocorporating some Pagan aspects into a Christian church, not creating a "Pagan church"--to attract Pagans--and then preaching Christianity to them, which is what the CofE seems to want to do here.
Quoting Raintree:

The CofE has always had some "pagan" leanings anyway- I'm.thinking mostly of their harvest services which are quite different than something you'd find in an American protestant church. I actually think that within Christianity there is a thirst among some to feel connected to the natural world and that's where the church has fallen down so mightily for many years. People find meaning in the seasons and world around them-bringing some of that in to the church might make it a more holistic experience for members already there.

I don't necessarily see this as trying to convert new members as trying to retain members.

Also, back in 2007 or so, there were several groups here on.CM that were for pagan/Christian hybrids.








glitterrain
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 5:37 PM

my husbands pagan, idc. i was raised in very strict catholic family, but i choose not to have a religion bc of people being so biased and prejudice about it! it causes more pain the good!

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