How to simply grow the church

Yesterday I had a delightful, brief conversation with a friend about what is happening in different dioceses. Friend: Our bishop has turned our diocese around. Me: How has he done that? Friend: By not cutting clergy posts, and not appointing an archdeacon. Instead we have focussed on the question of stewardship. Me: Surely it isn’t … Continue Reading

Does Christmas preach the good news?

What are you aiming to do in your Christmas services this year? For many, it is an opportunity to make use of this season which is rooted in Christian festivities—though we hardly need reminding how far many Christmas traditions have moved from that. Five years ago, it was reported that one third of children aged … Continue Reading

What state is the Church of England in?

The Church of England statistics department released its Statistics for Mission report last week, quite a bit earlier than last year, and it is was not good news—though curiously there was almost no comment on it on the airwaves, in contrast to last year. We will be discussing this at the next meeting of the … Continue Reading

What is the best size for a church?

One of the fringe meetings at July’s session of the General Synod focussed on the needs of ‘mid-sized churches’, in this case defined as worshipping communities of 20 to 60. The reason for this was a question that William Nye, Secretary General of Synod and the Archbishops’ Council, had raised: Without meaning to, a lot … Continue Reading

Does measuring mission make the Church grow?

I was recently reading a discussion on using measures of performance in secondary-school education, about which the author was highly sceptical. He quoted this aphorism (from I know not where): ‘Weighing pigs doesn’t make them any heavier!’ There is a general sense that too many things are being measured inappropriately in our culture, causing multiple … Continue Reading