Church in the UK

Discussions on ecclesiology such as the nature, constitution and functions of the church.
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Nicki
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Church in the UK

Postby Nicki » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:09 pm

This is a little question for Storyteller and any other UK (well, mainly England) -connected people. I was reading a very interesting book on the history of private life - you know, what people did every day in the past - which focussed a lot on England. It said that country Church of England (known around here as Anglican and in the US as Episcopalian, I think) clergy in the 1800's only needed to have some kind of university qualification and didn't need to be particularly passionate about God at all; apparently they often just read a sermon from a book each week. Consequently they had a lot of time on their hands and some of them used it in interesting ways - coming up with useful inventions for example.

I was also a bit baffled by the titles they had - 'parson' signifying any C of E minister, then 'rector' which was senior to (or had a bigger congregation than, or something) 'vicar'. Of course I'd heard of and been confused by all these terms before, but I realised how little relation they bore to the titles of most of the church leaders I've actually known of, considering they've been the standard ones in England. I've also always had the impression that the C of E is still tradition-bound and pretty religiously hollow.

I have heard of some C of E churches that seem more like 'proper' Bible-believing, evangelistic ones (thinking of the Alpha course association) and I know there are lots of other denominations in the UK now, but I'm just wondering what your impression is of the C of E? Are they generally still pretty tradition-bound or does it vary a lot? I guess I'm wondering because there are lots of people with British ancestry in this part of the world but the Anglican churches don't predominate by any means - not these days anyway. There's the possibility that churches can be tradition-bound but still Bible-believing and genuine, but I really don't know much about it.

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Re: Church in the UK

Postby Storyteller » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:48 am

Not really sure how qualified I am to answer this really as I am fairly new to church. Been to a few, I think at least one considered itself C of E and I'm sorry to say, for me, it was dire. Too much hell and damnation, a kind of superiority. If you questioned anything you were frowned upon. Lots of Bible reading, without any depth or exploration to it, no discussion to what it means. Just relentless droning.

I actually went on an Alpha course, and although I enjoyed it, it didn't exactly inspire me to attend church. It did make me think a lot about what I believed though.

So far, the only church that has made me feel like I want to be part of it is the Catholic Church.
I have only been to Mass a few times but each time I do, while I'm there, and after, I feel lifted up, closer to God. Feel the same after talking to the priest. Maybe as my knowledge grows my expectations will change but for now I am learning so much about the Bible and how it relates to me thanks to my church.

I don't think I'd go back to C of E now, it's too "stuffy"

Not sure if any of that really answers your post, am just wittering away really.
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: Church in the UK

Postby Philip » Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:49 am

I always remember the line from "A Clockwork Orange," where Alex is being interviewed upon his arrival at an English prison.

Prison official: Religion?

Alex: "C of E, sir!"

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Re: Church in the UK

Postby Nicki » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:17 am

Storyteller wrote:Not really sure how qualified I am to answer this really as I am fairly new to church. Been to a few, I think at least one considered itself C of E and I'm sorry to say, for me, it was dire. Too much hell and damnation, a kind of superiority. If you questioned anything you were frowned upon. Lots of Bible reading, without any depth or exploration to it, no discussion to what it means. Just relentless droning.

I actually went on an Alpha course, and although I enjoyed it, it didn't exactly inspire me to attend church. It did make me think a lot about what I believed though.

So far, the only church that has made me feel like I want to be part of it is the Catholic Church.
I have only been to Mass a few times but each time I do, while I'm there, and after, I feel lifted up, closer to God. Feel the same after talking to the priest. Maybe as my knowledge grows my expectations will change but for now I am learning so much about the Bible and how it relates to me thanks to my church.

I don't think I'd go back to C of E now, it's too "stuffy"

Not sure if any of that really answers your post, am just wittering away really.


Interesting. I'd have thought the C of E would be the most similar to Catholic. I also thought a lot of those 'traditional' churches were a bit on the liberal side if anything - like one I remember in New Zealand (I think it was Methodist or something though) that had a lesbian minister. Maybe it's different in England though.


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