World a very different place to 30 years ago
Thirty two years is a long time, which is how long I have been ordained.
It is amazing to reflect on the changes that have occurred over that time.
Mobile phones were gadgets that appeared in sc-fi films, the internet was something yet to hit us and you could count the number of TV channels on the fingers of one hand!
There is no question that technology has made an enormous impact upon all our lives.
The Church is also in a very different place to where it is today.
Men were the vicars and bishops, and women deacons were just being ordained.
Once the door was opened it would not be closed and women priests followed with promises that they would not be admitted as bishops.
They were, and today there are a significant number of women bishops in the Church of England and it would hold no surprise for the next Archbishop of Canterbury to be a woman.
The other significant fact of the Church of England is its shrinkage.
Church attendance has dropped according to some sources by as much as 47 per cent!
This is the same across the board for all of the major denominations.
Christianity will be as good as invisible in our nation by 2067 and the Church of England would have gone out of existence by 2033.
The clock is ticking!
These statistics can be matched by the fall in divorce rate, but that is only due to fewer people marrying and is around 100k less than in 1986, because more couples choose to simply live together.
Apocryphally there is also the general decline in morals and increase in criminal and anti social behaviour.
Whatever changes the Church has made over 30 years it doesn’t seem to have worked!
When something’s broke the only way forward is to realise it and work out how to fix it.
I fear we have a long way to go to find the solution to this one.
But nothing’s impossible with God, if we can give him a chance!