Convert or be converted – the challenge for Anglican cathedrals today

Aug 10, 2019 by

By Gavin Ashenden, Anglican Ink:

Three Anglican cathedrals have set out to increase both their appeal to the  public and to get more people into the building.

One has chosen a gin festival, another has built a mini golf course over the flagstones where pilgrims have knelt in prayer since the 7th century, and one has built a helter skelter at the heart of the building.

Pretty predictably, there have been two sets of responses. One group has hailed these as imaginative imitative which will catch the imagination of the public, and make the buildings seem a little more relevant to people who otherwise would not give the faith of the cathedral a second thought; and the other group has protested that the cathedral authorities have misunderstood the purpose of the buildings and their relationship with the public

In every generation the Church faces a live or die challenge. Convert or be converted. Act as an agency for people to encounter the Living God and be forgiven, turned and transformed; or fit into the unforgiving contours of a society that is driven by other forces, other appetites, and smear over their agenda a patina of spirituality that confers a thin covering of political and cultural legitimacy.

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