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Source: (consider it) Thread: Christianity for the council estate
Enoch
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Bishop Philip North of Burnley wrote an article in the Church Times a week or so ago comparing three festivals he'd been to, Keswick, New Wine (where he gave an address which has made him flavour of the month to some people who are not his natural constituency) and Walsingham. As one might expect of someone from what one might call the mysogonistic wing of Anglo-Catholicism, Walsingham is more his thing than the other two.

However, he also claims Walsingham is good because it is a truer Christian expression of working class culture than the other two.

Here is a link. It's behind a paywall, but you should get a few free viewings per month.

I have tended to dismiss Philip North as 'the Brexit Bishop'. However, is he onto something? Or is this just an odd sort of sentimental narodnicism?

I tend to see Walsingham as gin, lace and camp. Is it though an expression of Christian faith that is peculiarly simpatico for people from bleak council estates and other abandoned groups in society? It's a tradition that is very proud of the slum priests of 150 years ago, but I still doubt his claim. At the core of the Anglo-Catholic vision are priests heroically exhausting themselves doing great things for the working classes. They still, though, retain 100% custody of the metaphorical shrine. That is not the same thing as working class people being able to express faith or do things for themselves?

What do other shipmates think? What is your experience?

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DonLogan2
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I read this on Facebook, I don`t think any of these can be classed as church for the council estate or have anything that comes close to being more like "working class", whatever that may mean now.

I think that there is a divide between the church and any culture that they may be surrounded by and the only way to bridge that gap is to be where the other is, only then can you understand the culture a bit better. There can be no one size fits all scenario as even with a general culture there can be lots of differing homogenous groups among it. A bit like worship across different churches. I am coming to believe that we need to go out and make connections in all sorts of different groups by sharing leisure time with them and understanding a little of their lives, we can then ethically tell them about our culture and find out where the two meet.

But I might be wrong...

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Anglican_Brat
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Anglo-catholics do have a heritage of social witness and outreach but among some ACs, there is almost a snobbish feel to this pride as if ACs were the only ones in the Church to care about the poor.

In the 19th century, both evangelicals and Anglocatholics were, in their varying flavors, spoke to the lower working classes.

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Chorister

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I should think that large residential Christian festivals, of any sort, are more likely to attract people with a higher income. Daily Holiday clubs on the large estates where families live are much more likely to attract the residents, especially those who get bored because there is not much provided for them in their area.

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Baptist Trainfan
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I'm not convinced by +Philip's analysis - quite apart from anything else, he's not even mentioned the Nonconformist and Pentecostalist groups which may far more reflect working-class culture. However I do congratulate him for tackling the subject: rather more substantively, here is an address he gave a year ago which I read at the time.

This is an issue I myself am struggling with, having moved a few months ago to a church on an estate. We get squads of kids to our clubs but it's clear to me that the predominant culture of the church is alien to the majority of residents. I find this a challenge, not only because the church related much better to its surroundings 50 years ago (when the estate itself was more diverse in terms of social stratification) but also because I am well and truly embedded in middle-class culture myself.

Clearly we need to do things in new ways but I don't yet know what those ways should be.

[ 15. September 2017, 16:32: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Gamaliel
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Hmmm ...

I'd suggest that it's a bit both/and ... But then I would ...

I think that both Pentecostalism and forms of High Churchiness can appeal in working class areas - so it's not one or t'other but both.

That said, I think Anglo-Catholics do tend to exaggerate that aspect and blow the slum-priest trumpet rather too readily.

We all know that they simply like dressing-up and are trying to find some justification for that.

I'd rather they were honest and simply admitted that they like dressing up.

I would.

If I went to an Anglo-Catholic parish I'd make no bones about that. 'I'm here because I like dressing up. So you have a problem with that? If you do, then sod right off ...'

Why pretend otherwise?

Why try to make some kind of 'class' issue out of it?

'Look. Let's get this straight. I like bells and smells. Alright? If you want to fart around with New Wine and worship songs and all that dumbed-down shit, just sod off and leave me alone ...'

I'd rather they were honest and said that rather than trying to justify it with some cod sociology.

To be fair, some Anglo-Catholics do a lot of good work in run-down areas. But a lot don't. A lot of them are snobby bastards.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
'Look. Let's get this straight. I like bells and smells. Alright? If you want to fart around with New Wine and worship songs and all that dumbed-down shit, just sod off and leave me alone ...'

What might interest you is that our local RC priest (an excellent man) is very much into New Wine ... I'm not.

I did last week meet an Anglo-Catholic priest working in a working/lower-middle class environment (but not an estate) who is very mission-minded and has seen real church growth in the last couple of years. I was impressed.

[ 15. September 2017, 17:21: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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leo
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Yes, Walsingham gets very camp at big festivals but it is great in ordinary time.

I went on several parish pilgrimages there in the days when I was in an urban priority, inner city parish.

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Pomona
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Interesting that you assume that the Anglo-Catholics at Walsingham - clergy or lay - cannot possibly be working-class themselves.

I also find it interesting that FiF is classed as the misogynistic wing of the CoE but Anglican Mainstream/Reform et al are not....! I can't see how it is any more misogynistic or exclusive than conservative evangelicalism. The HTB crowd at New Wine may not be +Philip's usual audience, but there are charismatic Anglo-Catholics, albeit on a smaller scale than charismatic Roman Catholicism.

There's plenty of the upper-middle-class gin and lace action in conservative Anglo-Catholicism, but if anyone in that camp is working for more working-class inclusion and outreach it is +Philip. I am working-class and Anglo-Catholic, and I would certainly trust him on the issue over a great many liberal Anglicans who I might agree with more on Dead Horses - I think the class issues in the CoE are deep-seated and present in all parts of the church. I've experienced it just as much in charevo Anglican churches in urban areas.

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Enoch
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As ever, Gamaliel, you express so many things better than I do. It must be the open mic poetry.

Baptist Trainfan, I agree with you, if I'm picking up your suspicion that so many of us in the CofE seem to assume that it has nothing to learn from anyone else. If the original Pentecostals emerged from working class culture, it's worth asking what aspects of how they have done things were natural to their home culture.

There is though, I think, another puzzle, which I'm not sure anyone has thought much about. Perhaps they have, and I've just not encountered the discussion.

As recently as 50-60 years ago, the country contained large, relatively static communities, sometimes even working in what were sort of company towns. Now, that is no longer the case. Furthermore, many of those that grew up in those communities have prospered. They own their own houses, even if with mortgages, and have become middle class. But others haven't.

Another consequence, both of that and of universal education has been that the sort of people who used to be community leaders, union figures etc, have now also become middle class.

The Labour Party is often accused of being sentimental of the sort of working class that was the bedrock of its traditional support, and of wanting to recreate it, when a lot of people don't want to go back there. Are the churches doing the same sort of thing in a different way? Do we have a dream that everything would be much better if we could recreate church life as it was long ago, whether that is of processions of children clad in white at Whitsun, the days when the chapels were awash with hwyl, or when people knelt in the street when Father passed by?

I'd almost ask whether the formats both of old time Pentecostalism and of slum Anglo-Catholicism are both attempts to express faith in a format that resonates only to subcultures that don't exist any more.

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Martin60
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The mosques are full.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The mosques are full.

That, Martin, is a valid and significant point. Immigrant communities go to mosque. Indigenous communities whose grandparents and great grandparents went to church far more than people do now, don't.

All the same, I can remember the fifties. Churchgoing and a sort of implicit low level belief were stronger than they are now. But they weren't the glory days when the pews were filled every Sunday,
quote:
"When steam was on the window panes
And glory in my soul" *

that some people now imagine.

Asking the question a different way, did Irish Catholics in England in those times attend church more faithfully than indigenous Protestants because their priests told them they would burn in hell if they didn't go to Mass every Sunday, or because it was a home from home, a matter of identity?

* John Betjeman, Undenominational.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The mosques are full.

That, Martin, is a valid and significant point. Immigrant communities go to mosque. Indigenous communities whose grandparents and great grandparents went to church far more than people do now, don't.

But equally there are plenty of immigrant communities who go to church too. There are a couple of RC churches nearby that are filled with Polish immigrants (standing room only, people kneeling outside the church come Mass). A number of anglo-catholic churches with fairly pentecostal leanings that pull in African origin and so on.

I think it though that Gamaliel is correct even here - where those communities are ones from countries with a non-conformist tradition of any size, their own pentecostal/charismatic churches are what most of them attend.

Both Keswick and New Wine are very middle class - but that's really a reflection of those particularly scenes, and not even always a good reflection of the churches from which most of the attendants come from.

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Martin60
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@Enoch. I meant to acknowledge your excellent comparison with the Labour Party and do so now on the 13:14 to Nottingham rather than the Hotel Dechampagnie. The working class 'en't what they used ter be.

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simontoad
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What do you want from people who live on council estates (I read that as 'poor people', I might be wrong)?

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Martin60
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Me? Nowt. It's what they want. Nowt. The church has nothing they want. Or need. In their dire need. In want. There is a 99% disconnect between what the poor need and what the church on a good day gives. Even the poorest, those on the street, get 1% of their needs met in time, may be 5% in subsistence. It's easy to quantify.

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Ethne Alba
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tbh, i couldn't care less who said what Bishop Philip said. It could have been anyone and from any church tradition.

I'm just glad it was said.
Coz i think it's true.

And talking about such matters makes lots of apparently important people squirm, which in this case anyway is also good.
.

Best piece of news this summer + the earlier talk mentioned is worth a listen too.

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Enoch
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Ethne Alba, forgive my temerity in asking, but are you commending what he said at New Wine and elsewhere about the church and the poor, or are you commending the specific point I raised in my OP about whether Walsingham is the true and most working class way of expressing Christian faith?

Those aren't the same question at all.

[ 16. September 2017, 20:42: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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simontoad
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Me? Nowt. It's what they want. Nowt. The church has nothing they want. Or need. In their dire need. In want. There is a 99% disconnect between what the poor need and what the church on a good day gives. Even the poorest, those on the street, get 1% of their needs met in time, may be 5% in subsistence. It's easy to quantify.

Yeah I agree. Who would voluntarily go to any type of church gathering if you weren't already connected to the Church?

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Martin60
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If Walsingham were Wythenshawe eh?

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Rocinante
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I think it's generalising wildly (and very patronising) to describe Anglo-Catholicism as the true expression of working-class Christianity. Possibly the case in Oxford or London, but in the North of England Methodism has historically done well in the mill towns; in Wales non-conformist chapels have dominated the scene.

Yes the mosques are full, but in my town there are several dozen churches but only about 5 mosques, so we're not comparing like with like. Conversation with muslim friends indicates that the mosques are currently in the position that the Church was 60 years ago; there's a certain cultural pressure to attend, and at least profess belief, but actual commitment to the faith is questionable.

Working class people who are actually working will often be quite genuinely too busy to go to church; they may well have minimum-wage jobs which require them to work long hours to make ends meet, including weekend shifts. Add family commitments to this and church will often get squeezed out, even among those who actually want to go.

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Holy Smoke
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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
I think it's generalising wildly (and very patronising) to describe Anglo-Catholicism as the true expression of working-class Christianity. Possibly the case in Oxford or London, but in the North of England Methodism has historically done well in the mill towns; in Wales non-conformist chapels have dominated the scene.

If a working-class person attended one of the central Oxford Anglican churches, they would stick out like a sore thumb (the Anglo-Catholic establishments included).
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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
In the North of England Methodism has historically done well in the mill towns; in Wales non-conformist chapels have dominated the scene.



And the working class identity of the South West might have Methodist echoes as well. But bearing in mind the thread's title, I imagine that most of the communities we have in mind here were pre-council estate.

Indeed, Anglo-Catholicism was a phenomenon of the inner city environment, so I understand. It would be interesting to know to what extent it followed those communities out to the council estates. It must have had more resources to do so than Welsh Non-conformity or the Methodist chapels elsewhere.

quote:


Yes the mosques are full, but in my town there are several dozen churches but only about 5 mosques, so we're not comparing like with like. Conversation with muslim friends indicates that the mosques are currently in the position that the Church was 60 years ago; there's a certain cultural pressure to attend, and at least profess belief, but actual commitment to the faith is questionable.



I think this depends on which Muslims we're talking about. In a mostly middle class Midlands or Southern town there might be more assimilation, since the Muslim community there will be smaller, and there'll be lots of social interaction with non-Muslims. But in areas with a larger, more confident Muslim community - and with the ongoing immigration of Muslims - secularisation may not seem so attractive.

In my city, mosques may well outnumber churches by now. Islam is certainly more dominant than Christianity as a lived faith.

quote:

Working class people who are actually working will often be quite genuinely too busy to go to church; they may well have minimum-wage jobs which require them to work long hours to make ends meet, including weekend shifts. Add family commitments to this and church will often get squeezed out, even among those who actually want to go.

The challenge for churches in this case is to be more flexible, to be open when people are available. Perhaps to be places where tired people feel able to relax, not just places of formality and tradition.

[ 17. September 2017, 14:22: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
Interesting that you assume that the Anglo-Catholics at Walsingham - clergy or lay - cannot possibly be working-class themselves.

Hope that wasn't addressed to me - my parish was in the red light district. Many of our black women worked in a sweatshop making cheap clothes, we had a couple of men working in banks, a poistman (who taught me the importance of trade unions), a 'simple' bloke who always shared a room with his mother, several unemployed.
Our middle class types commuted in for the bells and birettas.
They've a woman as vicar now but are still firmly working class - I really miss it - the anglo-cats round here are all prissy.

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ThunderBunk

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I'm not convinced the problem is exactly class, although I'm not sure it's entirely not class either. To me, the problem is entitlement.

Outside chaplaincy contexts, the Church of England is simply no good at explaining itself to people on its edge or helping them to come in. To be able to come in, you have to be able to demonstrate your entitlement by climbing in under your own steam, to show that you know the rules without being told them. If you can't do this, you will forever be seen with suspicion as an outsider, and get the "ecumenical response" which is also characteristic: "smile; nod; ignore".

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:
quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
I think it's generalising wildly (and very patronising) to describe Anglo-Catholicism as the true expression of working-class Christianity. Possibly the case in Oxford or London, but in the North of England Methodism has historically done well in the mill towns; in Wales non-conformist chapels have dominated the scene.

If a working-class person attended one of the central Oxford Anglican churches, they would stick out like a sore thumb (the Anglo-Catholic establishments included).
I have attended some of them (and some of the college chapels, if they count), and I don't think I particularly stood out - remember that the central Oxford Anglican churches will have plenty of tourists, particularly at midweek or evening services. Like London, I think areas where churches form part of the tourist trail are quite different - there's a far broader and more transient mix of people in attendance. They would stand out far more in a church in a leafy suburb.

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simontoad
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I guess when God got me, I turned to Christianity rather than bells and smells of a hippie nature to interpret my religious experience. Perhaps if I had been bought up in a commune, I might be on a Rastafarian discussion board at the moment. Maybe then summer youth conferences have a point, however manipulative and alienating they seem to this little black duck.

And yes, Walsingham seems incredibly posh as a name to this colonial, and not at all working class.

In my town, where we are either working class, hobby farmers or FIFO horse stud owners, families who are Christian go to the American-style mini-mega-Church, where they are ministered to by emigres from the liberal mainline denominations, or the Catholics, sustained by the running of quality schools.

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Martin60
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There were no coach loads of working class families when I went either time.

There was an angry looking, scurrying, thirty-forty something, dark and handsome vicar in the bookshop. I was caught in his anger in a meeting of eyes. I think he was projecting. I'm bound to be wrong.

[ 18. September 2017, 09:26: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Rocinante:
Yes the mosques are full, but in my town there are several dozen churches but only about 5 mosques, so we're not comparing like with like. Conversation with muslim friends indicates that the mosques are currently in the position that the Church was 60 years ago; there's a certain cultural pressure to attend, and at least profess belief, but actual commitment to the faith is questionable.

Both of these points are pertinent, and IMO correct.

Mosques have such a high attendance because there is still massive cultural pressure within Islamic communities that makes people go. As I live and work in Birmingham I know many muslims, and from those interactions I'd say about the same percentage of them are genuinely religious as is the case for the traditionally Christian communities.

But the question of how many churches there are versus how many mosques there are is also important to bear in mind, especially when the myriad varieties of Christianity are taken into account. Even adjusted for percentage of population there must be at least two churches for every mosque, so is it any wonder the mosques would be twice as full?

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SvitlanaV2
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I live and work in Birmingham too, but my impression is slightly different.

I feel that Islam is very much a way of life, rather than a sophisticated set of doctrines that every Muslim has to sign up to. Going to the mosque, for some Muslims, is part of that way of life, and isn't necessarily a sign that one is some kind of highly thoughtful, theological person.

By comparison Christianity probably suffers by being a much more cerebral, inward-focused religion, almost detached from 'real life'. If one has problems with any aspects of Christianity (or with the church) it seems easier to drift away, because there isn't really a well-defined and public way of life that validates the whole thing and holds it together.

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Enoch
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Nobody seems to have picked up on this point in my OP, which to me was an important part of what I was airing.
quote:
... At the core of the Anglo-Catholic vision are priests heroically exhausting themselves doing great things for the working classes. They still, though, retain 100% custody of the metaphorical shrine. That is not the same thing as working class people being able to express faith or do things for themselves? ...
Do you agree or disagree? Was I being fair, unfair, or just out of date? Do you think this applies just as much to all other Christian endeavour, except perhaps the Great Welsh Revival of 1904?

Or if not, which endeavours successfully avoid potential charges of being patronising or condescending in a well meaning sort of way?

And as a matter of comparison, do you think this has now come to apply just as much, or at least, nearly as much, to the Labour Party?

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mr cheesy
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I'd be surprised if any Anglo-Catholics are heroically working in places where others (inside or outside the Anglican setup) aren't. That might have been true in the long-distant past, I don't think it stands up now.

The idea that Anglo-Catholicism is somehow working-class whereas New Wine is Upper Middle Class seems like bunk and wishful thinking to me.

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arse

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keibat
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ScitlanaV2 wrote:
quote:
I feel that Islam is very much a way of life, rather than a sophisticated set of doctrines that every Muslim has to sign up to. Going to the mosque, for some Muslims, is part of that way of life, and isn't necessarily a sign that one is some kind of highly thoughtful, theological person.

By comparison Christianity probably suffers by being a much more cerebral, inward-focused religion, almost detached from 'real life'.

etc...

In parish ministry in an area with relatively low educational levels, seeing families coming to church for the 'occasional offices / rites of passage: baptism, marriage, and burial, I have to say that for many Christians Christianity is also a way of life, not a cerebral system. Hereabouts, it still has some traction; clearly, over massive swathes of contemporary Britain, it has lost that traction. It isn't, it really isn't a question of doctrine, but of practices.

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keibat from the finnish north and the lincs east rim

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Nobody seems to have picked up on this point in my OP, which to me was an important part of what I was airing.
quote:
... At the core of the Anglo-Catholic vision are priests heroically exhausting themselves doing great things for the working classes. They still, though, retain 100% custody of the metaphorical shrine. That is not the same thing as working class people being able to express faith or do things for themselves? ...
Do you agree or disagree? Was I being fair, unfair, or just out of date?
I think the description is out of date. It was true to an extent in the past (though never to the extent that it's repetition bears) but in general the bits of the inner city where it used to be true have gentrified, as have the churches in those areas. And any working class communities nearby no longer attend church.
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Enoch
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Yebbut. Bishop North is definitely talking about bleak council estates, not gentrified urban bits of inner cities. And the city where I live (see below) has some inner gentrified bits and some inner very ungentrified bits. I suspect that's the same in at least some other cities.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Yes, and those areas can be cheek-by-jowl.

To me, the person who has best explained the history of social housing, in particular large estates, is Lynsey Hanley, herself a native of the Chelmsley Wood estate in Birmingham. Her book "Estates", although not exactly politically neutral, tells us a lot about how the large self-contained estates came to be as they are today, although it says little or nothing about the church as a focus of community. She does however have a highly relevant chapter about what one might call the estate mentality, or "Wall within my head".

The church I serve is on a 1960s estate which still has more of a social mix than many such - ironically this has been preserved by the much-maligned "right to but" policy. Four things are of interest. One is that the estate is almost self-contained, with very few (vehicular) access points from the surrounding area. Second is that visionary Christians in the area planned the church to be there right from the start of construction. Then comes the fact that the church hall (the church itself came later) was initially the only community resource and even housed the local Post Office before the shops were built, some time later. And finally we have the issue that most of the church members today, probably through "culture lift", no longer live on the estate but nearby (the same is true for me).

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Yebbut. Bishop North is definitely talking about bleak council estates, not gentrified urban bits of inner cities. And the city where I live (see below) has some inner gentrified bits and some inner very ungentrified bits. I suspect that's the same in at least some other cities.

OK, but I don't see that there is a whole lot of evidence that Anglo-catholicism in particular has more stickiness in those areas than other forms of Christianity.

In the absence of real facts, we can only deal with anecdotes - and mine from various places I've lived suggest that working class communities in general are turned off church.

When I lived in England, the Anglican parish setup struggled to continue with a presence in council estates. And where it was still present, I don't believe there was any great bias towards Anglo-catholicism. In fact, I'd say if anything the bias was in the other direction: for example local parishes in one place were working with a Church Army evangelist to put on ultra-low church services for people who had no connection to any kind of church at all.

Here in Wales, I'd say that the Anglican churches are probably more inclined to be Anglo-Catholic than in England, but it seems like they're almost entirely absent from the poorest council estates. It looks to me like the Salvation Army have a bigger presence in those places and there are a scattering of Methodist, Baptist and other chapels.

In general it seems like most of the smaller churches and chapels are in steep decline (however high they are up the candle) but there is growth in various "house church" setups. I don't know what is happening in the SA, but everyone else seems to be generally coalescing in the towns and abandoning the estates.

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arse

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Here in Wales, I'd say that the Anglican churches are probably more inclined to be Anglo-Catholic than in England, but it seems like they're almost entirely absent from the poorest council estates.

Speaking only for my local situation, the CinW has two churches that meet in church schools (at least during term time). They come under the aegis of the wider Ministry Area which, at present, is seriously understaffed and struggling to fulfil all its duties.

I do not know how successful these school-churches are, either in terms of numbers or of drawing from the local community, but I think the idea is a good one. It's perhaps significant that the "mother church" of the Ministry Area is not on the local estates but in a "posher" area, although (to be fair) that area was built up some decades earlier.

[ 19. September 2017, 07:49: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Speaking only for my local situation, the CinW has two churches that meet in church schools (at least during term time). They come under the aegis of the wider Ministry Area which, at present, is seriously understaffed and struggling to fulfil all its duties.

I do not know how successful these school-churches are, either in terms of numbers or of drawing from the local community, but I think the idea is a good one. It's perhaps significant that the "mother church" of the Ministry Area is not on the local estates but in a "posher" area, although (to be fair) that area was built up some decades earlier.

One of the differences between South Wales and parts of England is that in the Valleys (and elsewhere) whole (or large parts of) towns are basically council estates and are quite some distance from "posher" areas.

Even in Cardiff the areas aren't so far apart - whereas that's quite different in an area which is a string of small towns and estates with no centre of gravity and wealth.

I think the CiW is doing better in Cardiff than elsewhere because people can relatively easily commute to neighbouring areas, whereas that's much more difficult to do elsewhere.

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arse

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Even in Cardiff the areas aren't so far apart.

Here they literally adjoin - though the planners have made it difficult to get from one to the other, at least by car (there are footpaths), and the road layout means that you don't "naturally" drive through the estates but go round the edges. I'm sure that the idea was to prevent through traffic "rat running", but the effect is to cut off the estates from the wider world. There's a good bus service though.

[ 19. September 2017, 08:09: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Here they literally adjoin - though the planners have made it difficult to get from one to the other, at least by car (there are footpaths), and the road layout means that you don't "naturally" drive through the estates but go round the edges. I'm sure that the idea was to prevent through traffic "rat running", but the effect is to cut off the estates from the wider world. There's a good bus service though.

OK, what I meant was that it is possible to walk between different types of Anglican church in Cardiff (say if one wanted to go to an Anglo-Cath joint when the local one is a low church). That's not possible where I am.

But the point you make is a good one too - the estates in eastern Cardiff are arranged in a particularly weird way so that traveling around isn't exactly easy there either.

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arse

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wild haggis
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I find this discussion very illuminating, disturbing and ...... better not go there, I might use some very rude words.

I don't think anyone in this discussion is actually working class or from a working class background. These questions and answers would not be coming up if they were.

Can I suggest that instead of discussing what "you" think so called working class people are like, that you get off your backsides and actually go and engage with, talk to and more importantly listen to ordinary "working class" folks. Then you might be able to come to some reasoned ideas of how to communicate God to them.

Thank you.

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wild haggis

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Martin60
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Show us.

I'm middle class by education and work. From a council estate. I've roughed it too. A thousand miles from home with nothing in my pocket. Which helps. In 8 years of working with the homeless.

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Love wins

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by wild haggis:
I find this discussion very illuminating, disturbing and ...... better not go there, I might use some very rude words.

I don't think anyone in this discussion is actually working class or from a working class background. These questions and answers would not be coming up if they were.

I live in the cheapest accommodation in one of the cheapest areas of Wales. There are estates that are worse than where I live, but I'm not sure what one could possibly call this area if not working class. It has a history of mining and then generations of unemployment. Most people live in small terrace 1890s housing, some live in poor quality pebble-dashed housing from the 1960s. A smaller number live in larger detached or semi-detached housing.

quote:
Can I suggest that instead of discussing what "you" think so called working class people are like, that you get off your backsides and actually go and engage with, talk to and more importantly listen to ordinary "working class" folks. Then you might be able to come to some reasoned ideas of how to communicate God to them.
Can I suggest you might want to make fewer assumptions about the people you're talking to?

quote:
Thank you.
No no, thank you. It is always good to read ill-informed rants which masquerade as I-know-better-than-you knowledge.

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arse

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Ethne Alba
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Enoch, sorry...I'd missed your clarification question.
.

Is a Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage the true and most working class way of expressing Christian faith?
I haven't got a clue.
I have never been so have nothing to base such a declaration on.

But Bishop Philip does think that it is a true and most working class way of expressing Christian faith
No doubt because he has seen people's lives changed as result of attending.
So he'd like to big-up a part of the C/E where what he says are working class youngsters are actually connecting with God.

He's excited. It's post-festival time. This was what that article was about....imho

Walsingham, Kewsick, New Wine...who cares? Everyone's welcome anywhere

[ 19. September 2017, 15:44: Message edited by: Ethne Alba ]

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Ethne Alba:

Is a Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage the true and most working class way of expressing Christian faith?
I haven't got a clue.
I have never been so have nothing to base such a declaration on.

But Bishop Philip does think that it is a true and most working class way of expressing Christian faith
No doubt because he has seen people's lives changed as result of attending.
So he'd like to big-up a part of the C/E where what he says are working class youngsters are actually connecting with God.


I wouldn't know either, as I've only been to the RC Walsingham, so to speak.

But I can sort of imagine that Walsingham represents quite a visible expression of indigenous working class Christian spirituality in the CofE.

But is visibility what the bishop means? Or is he talking about the numbers of people involved? Or perhaps the content of their faith or the degree of their devotion, as compared to working class Christians of other traditions?

And is he talking of something that can be quantified, or it is more about a gut feeling?

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Martin60
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How could it do that? I couldn't see that at all either time. The visible expression of indigenous working class Christian spirituality in the CofE. Apart from the kitsch. What was I missing? Or is it a matter of having eyes to hear?

[ 21. September 2017, 16:49: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Enoch
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But the question I'm asking is whether this is a genuinely working class expression of Christian faith, or whether it is something being provided for the working classes by a tradition of middle class clergy who think it's good for them?

After all, what ever social background we came from, or would like to think we still belong to, by the time a person gets to post on this board, or, for that matter to write an article in the Church Times, I suspect we're all bourgeois and middle class.

[ 21. September 2017, 17:55: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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Martin60
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Then you've answered your own bizarre straw man question. I just don't understand why it's being asked.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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One of the things we've largely lost in the UK is the sense of there being 'folk Anglicans' in the way that there are 'folk catholics.'

So, for instance, my maternal grandfather's family were very working class and generally devout in a very tangible way that wasn't pietistic in the evangelical sense. It wasn't quite 'catholic' as such but they made a big deal of graves and prayer books in an almost talismanic sense at times.

They valued communion and respected clergy - and other religions.

You wouldn't have heard them citing chapter and verse but their faith was very down-to-earth and unselfconscious. At times you suddenly had a sense of the numinous and the divine,even amidst harsh conditions they lived in, the ailments and set-backs they suffered.

I still see elements of that in some rural areas but it's largely vanished in the cities other than in some parishes.

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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