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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 (21-30):
..MoonShine..
by Redwood Witch on Jun. 22, 2013 at 10:26 AM
Very nearly everything you do as a Catholic was derived from Pagan belief systems. The stories that are the basid for Christianity are not a t all original.

Quoting AlekD:

I don't really understand what a pagan christian church is. Is it Pagan with a little Jesus thrown in? Is it Christian but outside with people standing in a circle? I just don't get this, sorry. I guess I'd have to see it.

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

 Maybe I haven't had enough coffee...but how do you "mesh" the two and keep them both the same?

I am Christian and I love the summer solstice..I don't think I do anything Pagan, but I might...we enjoy the longer day by spending the evening cooking out..maybe having a fire and some s'mores.

illogicalkat
by Bronze Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Do you string lights on a tree at Christmas? Do you hide Easter eggs, or have Easter baskets, or take your kids to see the Easter Bunny? Those are all Pagan traditions. In February, there's a Church service called Candlemas, that was originally known as Imbolc.

Most Christian holidays started as Pagan holidays, which were adopted and adapted by the Church to gain converts. It worked, which is why we still have those holidays.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Maybe I haven't had enough coffee...but how do you "mesh" the two and keep them both the same?

I am Christian and I love the summer solstice..I don't think I do anything Pagan, but I might...we enjoy the longer day by spending the evening cooking out..maybe having a fire and some s'mores.



Della529
by Matlock on Jun. 22, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Same thing, imo.

Quoting mikiemom:

 

No it's a christian church where paganism is very much at it's center. Begin worshiping the Goddess and they might be on to something.

Quoting Della529:

 Isn't it already “a pagan church where Christianity [is] very much in the centre”?

 

 

 

LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 11:15 AM
1 mom liked this
Are you disrespectful toward all religions or just paganism?


Quoting snookyfritz:

That story made me giggle.  Dress in your best Renaissance clothing and worship at StoneHenge!


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yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 11:15 AM

 

Quoting illogicalkat:

Do you string lights on a tree at Christmas? Do you hide Easter eggs, or have Easter baskets, or take your kids to see the Easter Bunny? Those are all Pagan traditions. In February, there's a Church service called Candlemas, that was originally known as Imbolc.

Most Christian holidays started as Pagan holidays, which were adopted and adapted by the Church to gain converts. It worked, which is why we still have those holidays.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Maybe I haven't had enough coffee...but how do you "mesh" the two and keep them both the same?

I am Christian and I love the summer solstice..I don't think I do anything Pagan, but I might...we enjoy the longer day by spending the evening cooking out..maybe having a fire and some s'mores.

 

 

 I am Catholic, I know there are a lot of Pagan traditions within the church.  As far as I am concerned though..not be snarky..they are just frosting...and have nothing to do with my relationship with God. 

LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 12:15 PM
1 mom liked this
Bump because I would like a particular poster to address her disrespectful remark.
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Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 12:21 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting -Celestial-:

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.”

What is so surprising about this?

It is what Christianity has always done.  Created missions to native americans, to romanii gypsies, to soldiers, to the poor, to the rich; each dressed in the protective colouration of the local culture.

How do you think we ended up with "christmas trees" and "easter eggs" in the first place?


JTROX
by Gold Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 12:23 PM

If it worked before, why not do it again?

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Here's a picture from one my of favourite of their outreach attempts.


It is from a church near me, and it is aimed at the goth culture.  The service is timed to be directly after the finish of a weekly vampire roleplaying event, and the whole church gets lit with red candles.


Here is a page of prayers and stuff, carefully selected to be appealing to goths.  Note the black background on their web page: http://www.thegotheucharist.org.uk/

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