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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 (31-40):
Arroree
by Ruby Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 12:33 PM



Quoting kit_manson:

They're painting this like theyre being accepting or something but it's just insulting. I don't want christianity at the center of my paganism. What would happen if they announced they wated to make a muslim church with christianity at the center, or a jewish church with it? Why do people think it's okay to do thses things to pagans?

People would freak out, there would likely be protests and marches etc.

snookyfritz
by Platinum Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM

I'm sorry, it is funny to think that The Church of England is so hard up for members that they are willing to include Pagans just to get their numbers up.


Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

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!




Arroree
by Ruby Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 12:43 PM
1 mom liked this


Not just that but many of the old priests actually very much believed in magic and some even had their own spellbooks. I have a book called A Treasury Of Witch-Craft, it's a fascinating read, it's all about how people have seen witchcraft and magic throughout history all around the world. It has quotes and writings from people  over the last couple thousand years and it includes quite a few quotes and written spells by many in the Catholic church. It's an old book from 1961, i found it buried in a pile of books at a thrift store years ago. Love it :)

Quoting mikiemom:


Are you denying that most of the catholic ritual was stolen from paganism.

Quoting AlekD:

/facepalm



ok.

Quoting mikiemom:


in order to get it all you have to do is go to church on sunday, all the catholic church is missing is the Goddess being equal with the God.

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.








JTROX
by Gold Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 1:02 PM

The Catholic Church only has one God.

Quoting mikiemom:


in order to get it all you have to do is go to church on sunday, all the catholic church is missing is the Goddess being equal with the God.

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.




glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM
1 mom liked this

Ya right... never mind that uptight guy in the robe and collar. look over hear at the trippy incents and tie die...ugh...

Quoting doomshroom:

so wait ... a christian centered pagan church?

o.O


Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Jun. 22, 2013 at 1:10 PM

 bump

gdiamante
by Silver Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Yes, and the other motive for adopting pagan holidays was to "hide in plain sight" during the days of early Christianity. 

The "reason for the season," no matter which one you're talking about, is really that people enjoy celebrations! 

I don't really get what the CoE is up to here.

Quoting illogicalkat:

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.


..MoonShine..
by Redwood Witch on Jun. 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM
2 moms liked this
Fortunately, now people are more educated about what their choices are. They also can't (legally) be threatened, injured, or killed for not choosing Christianity.

This only serves to make them look desperate in addition to looking arrogant.


Quoting JTROX:

If it worked before, why not do it again?

gdiamante
by Silver Member on Jun. 22, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Interesting. Thanks for sharing that.

This discussion reminds me of something I saw a couple of years ago here in my town. One of our local "nondenominational" churches got its hands on one of the monster trucks from the Transformers movie . I remember it was Ironhide. They plastered their church logo and info right alongside the Autobot symbols and had the truck on display outside WalMart.

To this day, I can't figure out what the Transformers have to do with the worship of Jesus. But when you take it from a marketing standpoint, it is one way to get the attention of certain groups, like children and teens and men.

Quoting Clairwil:

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/


RandRMomma
by Maya on Jun. 22, 2013 at 1:43 PM
That's extremely disrespectful. But, the church has been doing this for centuries.
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