Churchless Faith - some thoughts from a church member

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A few of you know I'm currently struggling with "church" : not with God — at least not any more so than usual — not with faith, which is probably even deeper than it was 5 years ago, but with " church" as an institution.

I have discovered I am not alone: 2 friends have already trod this path before me; another currently wrestles with her church's stance on human sexuality; while yet another, after a lifetime's commitment, is deeply ashamed of her church's continued cover-up of clerical child abuse cases.

The Church of Scotland commissioned a study, with the findings being published this month in a new book " The Invisible Church" by author Dr Steve Aisthorpe, who also writes for BRF (for whom Debbie Thrower works).

The findings highlight an emerging phenomenon of " churchless faith": modern Christians are increasingly turning to the Internet and other less formal surroundings to practise their beliefs, thus challenging the assumption that falling attendances at services is synonymous with the rise of secularism. It would seem that Christianity in Britain is instead "in transition".

My personal "transition" feels more like walking through mist. Who knows where this will lead after 31 August when my present role ends? Yet, I try to hold on in trust that God knows what He is about, and does nothing in vain.

May you too share that trust through your own times of "transition".

"God has created me to do him some definite service; he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission — I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next." John Henry Cardinal Newman

KL Booker (Pastoral Assistant)

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