Vicar's View - August 2022

The Church, transformation and change 

Every few years in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation. Within a few decades society rearranges itself: its world view, its basic values, its social and political structure, its arts, its key institutions. Fifty years later, there is a new world and the people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived, and their own parents were born. We are currently living through such transformation.

The Church in the past has regularly managed to change to meet the challenges of a newborn culture. Often the Church has been in the vanguard as, for example, when the advent of the printing press ushered in a new age.

Every organisation goes through some change and not everyone agrees with it; some get hurt by the challenge of change. The Church Army I joined back in 2003 is a far different organisation now, and even further away, from Wilson Carlile’s Church Army back at its conception in 1882.

The Church is used to change and transformation: from the day of Pentecost to the Reformation, the Decade of Evangelism, Church planting, and Fresh Expressions of Church. Society has to keep up with cultural transformation; shifts in society mean the Church has to be relevant. New working patterns and leisure time have all had an impact on our Sunday worship.

We have to deal with cultural shifts. The current climate is therapeutic, not religious. People hunger, not for personal salvation, but for personal wellbeing. There is widespread suspicion of institutions because they represent static power blocks. People are happier being tourists than pilgrims (take a picture, but don’t let it influence you). All in all, it seems as if the Church is in a time of climate change - the whole cultural climate has shifted.

I will be honest, I’m not sure how the Minster community scheme will pan out. If it will work or not. But I believe the biggest and strongest voices belong to those who take hold of the reins and hold on tight. We may need to shout loud along the way and stick together as a Woodfield team, a unity of strength in the storm of uncertainty.

Let’s keep on praying, as we trust in God’s guiding hand.



Revd Rick Tett

Team Vicar

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