The Church Commissioners have kindly sent me a copy of their review of 2013. Nice coloured brochure stuffed with bullet-points, task groups, significant difference, something called the “Joint Simplification Group” and a smiling photograph of the Arch of Cant. We learn that the Commissioners manage a portfolio of £6.1billions. Then they tell us what they spend our money on. There are some exotic ventures. For instance a programme called “Jesus-shaped people” in Bradford with “special priority for those on the edge.” The edge of what – the Yorkshire Moors, the verge of insanity? This project “challenges evil and injustice” and operates a “development strategy.” I hope it’s a better strategy than the one employed by the Commissioners some years back when they lost £800millions of parishioners’ money donated through the collecting plate.
If it’s excitement you’re seeking, i suggest you go to Liverpool and pay a call on something called “Zone 2 – an all-age, cafe-style worship service that meets every Sunday at the same time as the traditional Choral Eucharist.” Why not just invite people to the traditional Eucharist? But it isn’t traditional in any sense other than that it’s not quite so barmy as as cafe-style worship. And it’s all modern language liturgy anyhow. They claim to be trying to “…replicate this type of initiative into deprived parishes.” So that these parishes become even more deprived? And St Mary’s Church, Bramall lane, Sheffield has “established a monthly Messy Church.”
The whole damned thing is a mess