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Source: (consider it) Thread: The CofE up North in the Guardian
Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingsister:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Relevant article to this discussion.

I do note the predominance of clergy children and HTB, mind. It's not a criticism, just an observation that age seems to be the only variable here!

St Mellitus is I believe affiliated with HTB - not sure if officially or not. A lot of the lecturers are vicars from their family of churches. And the press loves writing about HTB because it's the perfect combination of religion and poshness that gets the articles clicks and comments from left-wing atheists.
HTB surely also has the popularity factor as well as being the home of Alpha - I wouldn't really have called HTB posh actually, although I suppose it is.

The intersection of age and class in CoE ordinands is an interesting thing to explore.

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Blackbird Leys, incidentally, may be in Oxford, but that doesn't mean it isn't rough.

What, compared to the city centre?
Well, clearly compared to the city centre. But, also, apparently surprisingly to those who think Oxford's all dreaming spires, compared to the UK.

http://www.uklocalarea.com/stats/q/Blackbird+Leys/wc/38UCFU/l/E01028517

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbird_Leys

sorry it's wiki, but it's a start. Some choice facts about Blackbird Leys:

- it's one of the largest social housing estates in the EU
-it's in the 10% most deprived areas in England according to that article (and, according to something I've read but can't find, it's actually much closer to being in the 1%)
- it was where joyriding was invented
- bottom 30% English income deprivation
- bottom 10% English education
- bottom 10% barriers to services
- bottom 20% crime

However, given the proximity to a UNESCO world heritage site, I'm sure it's a huge consolation to the residents that in terms of environment it's better than 90% of England according to the first link!

None of this is to attack BL by the way - I go there pretty much every week and there is a very strong sense of community and some wonderful people. But Oxford's not all high tables, and to the surprise of many tourists who never get outside the centre, it actually contains some of the country's most challenging and deprived areas.

There's a similar picture in Brighton although Brighton's poshness is rather different, and I hear there are also similar situations in Cambridge.

Re Oxford and geography, it's always been on the Midlands Today map! [Big Grin] I don't think many Midlanders would consider it to be in the Midlands though, I'd put it in the Thames Valley which surely means the South.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:


Re Oxford and geography, it's always been on the Midlands Today map! [Big Grin] I don't think many Midlanders would consider it to be in the Midlands though, I'd put it in the Thames Valley which surely means the South.

I grew up in Kidderminster so am well used to seeing Oxford on the Midlands Today weather map. You'll notice though that they don't actually report on any Oxford news. ITV is different, because Oxford is served by Central, which puts it in with the Midlands for news.

It's the Thames Valley alright, I just struggle with the inclusion of west Dorset!

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:



There's a similar picture in Brighton although Brighton's poshness is rather different, and I hear there are also similar situations in Cambridge.



After the last round of censuses but one (maybe after the last one as well but I haven't seen it) the government statistical people did a cluster analysis of all local authority districts in UK (unsurprisingly Tower Hamlets was the outlying case).


If I remember correctly, Oxford, Brighton, and Edinburgh (but not Cambridge) all resembled each other more than they resembled anywhere else. And after each other they resembled some parts of London more than other cities of their own size. Basically working-class industrial towns with large amounts of students and high-tech light industry and significant numbers of very rich people. So literally billionaires and factory workers living within a few streets of each other. High unemployment (not so much Oxfford) and high crime rates, particularly drug-related crimes - where Brighton comes out number one nationally, followed by Edinburgh, followed by London.

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:


Re Oxford and geography, it's always been on the Midlands Today map! [Big Grin] I don't think many Midlanders would consider it to be in the Midlands though, I'd put it in the Thames Valley which surely means the South.

I grew up in Kidderminster so am well used to seeing Oxford on the Midlands Today weather map. You'll notice though that they don't actually report on any Oxford news. ITV is different, because Oxford is served by Central, which puts it in with the Midlands for news.

It's the Thames Valley alright, I just struggle with the inclusion of west Dorset!

Isn't there an argument that there's an area called the 'South Midlands' that includes Oxford? Not sure if I buy it myself.
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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:


Re Oxford and geography, it's always been on the Midlands Today map! [Big Grin] I don't think many Midlanders would consider it to be in the Midlands though, I'd put it in the Thames Valley which surely means the South.

I grew up in Kidderminster so am well used to seeing Oxford on the Midlands Today weather map. You'll notice though that they don't actually report on any Oxford news. ITV is different, because Oxford is served by Central, which puts it in with the Midlands for news.

It's the Thames Valley alright, I just struggle with the inclusion of west Dorset!

Isn't there an argument that there's an area called the 'South Midlands' that includes Oxford? Not sure if I buy it myself.
Well there is certainly a North Midlands! I tend to think of the 'South Midlands' as more like the 'South West Midlands' and including places like Hereford and Worcester. Certainly the original Oxfordshire accent is very like a west country accent. Historically Oxfordshire has had bigger links to the Midlands and West than to the South.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:


Re Oxford and geography, it's always been on the Midlands Today map! [Big Grin] I don't think many Midlanders would consider it to be in the Midlands though, I'd put it in the Thames Valley which surely means the South.

I grew up in Kidderminster so am well used to seeing Oxford on the Midlands Today weather map. You'll notice though that they don't actually report on any Oxford news. ITV is different, because Oxford is served by Central, which puts it in with the Midlands for news.

It's the Thames Valley alright, I just struggle with the inclusion of west Dorset!

Isn't there an argument that there's an area called the 'South Midlands' that includes Oxford? Not sure if I buy it myself.
I think you could reasonably carve out a cohesive area which would go north to Banbury and Chipping Norton, south to Reading, east to MK, and west to Swindon with Oxford in the middle (straight line borders so eg Cheltenham gets excluded as that's not really us) and call it something as that's what local/regional round here means in reality. South Midlands would be as good a term as any. We're not the south particularly, but then we're definitely not the Midlands either. Interestingly what I would think of as the boundaries of the South, South East, West Country and West Midlands are all about equidistant from Carfax, so I don't really know where that leaves us. I'd go with Thames Valley, but then once you get any further than Thame that doesn't really mean much to Oxford either. Even Henley, at the extreme southern end of the county, isn't really in Oxford's orbit IMO.

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Higgs Bosun
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
I'm not convinced. The mental image of a country parish in the West Country is rather more appealing than the same in Northumberland. It doesn't conjour the same image of bleakness or remoteness.

You might like to read this which might persuade you that the West Country is not all nice thatched cottages and cream teas.
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Higgs Bosun
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingsister:
It's certainly related to the point that most of the colleges ordaining clergy are in the South, so most of the new priests are from the South, and presumably their parents as well.

Where someone might serve their curacy and where they train are not related. It is a diocese which accepts someone for training, and unless 'released', it is the sending diocese which places ordinands for their curacies. The London diocese has more ordinands than curacies, so many are released.

Part of the problem of finding clergy for the North is that there are not many clergy coming from the North.

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Angloid
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It's just occurred to me that at least three of my friends are clergy-people who were brought up in the south and have happily settled, and now retired, in Merseyside. So there is another side to the picture.

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ken
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To me "South Midlands" would be the area including roughly Oxfordshire, north Buckinghamshire (i.e. Milton Keynes), Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, the parts of Warwickshire around Rugby. Lower Middle England.

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Ken

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american piskie
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Of course Oxford is in the Midlands; don't we have the word of a Bishop of Oxford for it?

Bp of Oxford [Strong, I think], on the train home from London to fellow passenger: "Excuse me, sir, can you help me? Do you know whom I am? I believe I hold a position of some responsibility in the Midlands."

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Jengie jon

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What the South does not have is Shrinking Cities (no not the worse case try Sunderland for that). That brings its own problems that makes the North distinctive from the South.

Jengie

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
To me "South Midlands" would be the area including roughly Oxfordshire, north Buckinghamshire (i.e. Milton Keynes), Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, the parts of Warwickshire around Rugby. Lower Middle England.

I'd put Northamptonshire, in the East Midlands, and regard the huge empty bit, Stow-in-the-Wold, Moreton-in-the-Marsh, Festering-in-the-Fosse, etc as of the essence of the South Midlands.

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Gwai
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Do you all need a separate thread to debate about the geography of England?

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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
What the South does not have is Shrinking Cities (no not the worse case try Sunderland for that). That brings its own problems that makes the North distinctive from the South.

Jengie

Not disagreeing, but that link is several years old and presents (possibly with good reason) a one-sided picture. There is or was a Tory think-tank which proposed effectively closing down Liverpool and moving people to the south-east. Crazy when [a] we have lots of empty housing, and plenty of brownfield sites to build more, and workplaces; [b] the south-east is already overcrowded to the point of being dysfunctional; and [c] our climate, though never exciting or very tropical, generally avoids the extremes such as has been experienced in the south and west.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
There's a similar picture in Brighton although Brighton's poshness is rather different, and I hear there are also similar situations in Cambridge.
In Cambridge it's the Arbury Estate and bordering it, Kings Hedges. Other parts that used to be bad (Mill Road, Romsey Town aka Little Russia) have been gentrified.

There's one or two very tasty estates in the villages around Cambridge too. It's not all commuters

[code. And guys, what about another thread for this as Gwai has suggested?]

[ 21. February 2014, 17:37: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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ken
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Yeah, but the grotty bits of Edinburgh - and probably Brighton and possibly Oxford as well - are bigger than all of Cambridge put together.

Cambridge clearly has Britain's best university. Possibly the world's. No need to compete with other cities in the post-industrial desolation stakes.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
... Cambridge clearly has Britain's best university. Possibly the world's. No need to compete with other cities in the post-industrial desolation stakes.

Did it perchance have the privilege of educating Ken?

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Amos

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
... Cambridge clearly has Britain's best university. Possibly the world's. No need to compete with other cities in the post-industrial desolation stakes.

Did it perchance have the privilege of educating Ken?
No; IIRC ken's said elsewhere that he was at university in the north.

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Holy Smoke
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Re the Blackbird Leys...

quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
... it's one of the largest social housing estates in the EU
-it's in the 10% most deprived areas in England according to that article (and, according to something I've read but can't find, it's actually much closer to being in the 1%)

The latest deprivation studies are linked on this page, according to which, part of the Blackbird Leys falls (just) within the top 10% of deprived areas, according to the (relative) IMD measure. But part of the City Centre falls within the top 20%, and within the top 2% on health deprivation.

quote:
However, given the proximity to a UNESCO world heritage site, I'm sure it's a huge consolation to the residents that in terms of environment it's better than 90% of England according to the first link!
Presumably, since the BL are inside the city boundary, they are actually part of the world heritage site. [Biased]

quote:
None of this is to attack BL by the way - I go there pretty much every week and there is a very strong sense of community and some wonderful people. But Oxford's not all high tables, and to the surprise of many tourists who never get outside the centre, it actually contains some of the country's most challenging and deprived areas.
Oxford city centre is also pretty challenging, if you're homeless. But the BL (I'm also in the area quite regularly) do seem to be a favourite target for folk who go deprivation hunting, and it's no worse (and probably a fair bit better in some ways) than similar estates in other towns. And I think someone mentioned in another thread that the CMS (from their posh HQ just over the road from the Leys) were sponsoring someone from East Africa to 'mission' to the inhabitants, which seems somewhat patronizing, to say the least.
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Jengie jon

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My information is dated but Blackbird Leys is actually surrounded by estates that are private ownership mass housing popular in the 1980s and on. IIRC then Oxford United ground is very close by.

It is fine if you have a car but if you do not then the council policy makes for problems. There is one pub on the whole estate, limited shopping facilities and you have quite a journey by bus to get to the centre of Oxford. There is a single road in and out.

Yes there are churches which did work with CMS and I suspect that the person was actually associated with Holy Family Blackbird Leys. A lot of its reputation is ill deserved according to a former minister. I still say I have seen worse up North and I suspect the minister would agree.

However I suspect its ability to be classed as biggest council housing estate in Europe depends on places such as Wythenshawe in Manchester being counted as several council housing estates.

Jengie

[ 21. February 2014, 19:57: Message edited by: Jengie Jon ]

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:


The latest deprivation studies are linked on this page, according to which, part of the Blackbird Leys falls (just) within the top 10% of deprived areas, according to the (relative) IMD measure. But part of the City Centre falls within the top 20%, and within the top 2% on health deprivation.
.

Thanks for that very interesting link.

It also links to this really good interactive "Booth" map from UCL which attempts to summarise the 2010 deprivation index. Hours of browsing. Take a look!

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Curiosity killed ...

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I mentioned missionary work in Blackbird Leys on this thread here:

quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
I heard Helen and Patrick Mukholi speak a few years back. They are CMS partners from the Mombasa Diocese in East Africa who came to the UK to do this missionary work in the Blackbird Leys estates near Oxford, so not the north of England, but definitely missionary work in a deprived area. They found the effects on their son hard - and the choices about his schooling.

A previous curate brought them along to the church and I remember finding the whole thing a bit embarrassing.

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MrsDoyle
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The Wescott House project has placed ordinands in The Manchester Diocese for many years for short periods and although I don't know how many of these students on completion of their training returned to the North it certainly did seem a worthwhile way of giving southern students a "taste" of the North.

http://www.westcott.cam.ac.uk/urban-life-and-faith/

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
Strangely enough our mostly black church has just recruited a double-barrelled vicar from a neighbouring parish which is uphill and upmarket of us...

It will be odd to have a white middle-class middle-aged clergy couple with kids. None of them have fitted that description for 20 years or so. In fact none of our regular congregation fit that description. No married couples where both are white as far as I know.

quote:
Originally posted by seekingsister:
We've chatted before - yes we're talking about the same gentleman. Very nice man.

And I'm sure you can grasp that the demographics of the church he's leaving and the one he's going to are very different. Enough that I'm unwilling to accept that poshness alone, keeps Southern clergy away from the North. I think there is an attitude of service within the CofE clergy and willingness to live in less desirable areas when required, but there are larger regional/national dynamics that might explain the North/South divide.

I don't doubt that this man is a wonderful and caring vicar, but I find it hard to see his move to a largely black church in the same city as a sign of tremendous self-sacrifice.

Over half of London's churchgoers are non-white, and any London-based vicar who wants to continue to enjoy the benefits of London life will surely have to consider moving to a similar kind of church?

FWIW, the congregation at his new church is highly likely to be much larger than it would be in somewhere like Hartlepool!

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Liturgylover
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Over half of London's churchgoers are non-white, and any London-based vicar who wants to continue to enjoy the benefits of London life will surely have to consider moving to a similar kind of church?




I don't think that over half of London's churchgoers are non-white. That is almost the case in Inner London, but in London as a whole 28% of churchgoers are black compared with 13% of the population. We have a strong Nigerian community in our area who represent one-third of churchgoers, and we are probably the most diverse Anglican church in the locality.

[Code fixed -Gwai]

[ 22. February 2014, 17:04: Message edited by: Gwai ]

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SvitlanaV2
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Thanks for establishing the difference between Inner London and Outer London. This isn't made clear on the summary of the English Church Census of 2005.

The summary states that:

44% of churchgoers in [Inner] London are black.
14% of churchgoers in [Inner] London are other non-white.

http://www.eauk.org/church/research-and-statistics/english-church-census.cfm

(See No. 2 - General Findings)

[ 22. February 2014, 16:26: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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seekingsister
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I don't doubt that this man is a wonderful and caring vicar, but I find it hard to see his move to a largely black church in the same city as a sign of tremendous self-sacrifice.

I never said it was. I'm disagreeing with the view that posh Southerners prefer to stay in the South so as to be around other post people. I don't think that's the reason people are not going to the North - because of perceptions of social class.

The vicar ken and I were speaking about has school-aged children, and the distance is such that they will almost certainly changing schools. The area they are moving to is mostly black and much more deprived. Where they live now is largely bankers and middle class professionals with a few luxury German cars in the driveway. It's not just a quick trip around the corner.

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SvitlanaV2
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Okay, well I hope everyone can deal with the great culture clash that's about to take place!
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Angloid
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Culture clashes can be unpredictable. I moved from one of the most deprived towns in the NW of England to a part of south London that is now pretty affluent, and even then was fast heading that way. Yet it was like moving from the 1980s (it was then) into the 1950s. We moved from a late 20th century fashion-conscious (albeit Primark version) telly-and-concrete new town to a district of Edwardian terraced houses where people kept themselves to themselves and read the Daily Mail and decorated their houses in embossed beige wallpaper. Admittedly the upmarket newcomers soon began to change that, but the shock was real.

There were still a few people with a single cold tap in a tiny scullery, and even one whose house was lit by gas (in 1990!) And some who had never moved more than a few hundred metres from where they were born, and had never seen the Tower of London.

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OddJob
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Changing direction a little - and I hope not frustrating interesting discussion on ancillary topics - it's significant that the OP related only to the C of E. What about other denominations in the North?

Traditional RC attendance in major cities - Liverpool especially - is probably still there, but my experience of living in Yorkshire in the 1980s was that although the C of E looked increasingly dated and 'over-posh', the newer, independent house churches were alive and doing very well. In more recent years whilst on holiday in obscure but scenic parts of the north, we've had no difficulty in finding low-budget, cosmetically tatty but enthusiastic, worshipping house churches in the north where we've felt welcome as Christians. Has anyone else noticed this?

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Charles Read
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On statistics, here are some from the Church of England:
Look - here is a General Synod officer who can count

Somewhere there is a list of training institutions with numkbers of students - but generally there are more people training on regional courses than in colleges.

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SvitlanaV2
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When I was living in Hull in the late '80s/early '90s the Methodist and URC churches I came across seemed relatively well-attended. They're likely to be less well-attended now since according to Wiki and the 2001 Census the city has the lowest rate of churchgoing in the country. Bob Jackson's recent book says a large decline occurred in the '90s.

The English Church Census of 2005 states that North East Lincolnshire is the area with the lowest rate of churchgoing. The link below adds that: 'The ‘bottom ten’ range from 3.6% in South Holland in Lincolnshire, followed by Kirklees, Wychavon (Worcs.), Telford and Wrekin, Doncaster, Fenland, Ashfield (Notts.), Bolsover (Derbyshire), Rotherham (S. Yorks), and North East Lincolnshire, which pulls up the rear at 2.6%.' Reasons weren't given.

http://www.brin.ac.uk/news/2010/church-attendance-in-england/

Despite this, though, according to Linda Barley's book Time to Listen: Churchgoing Today the 2001 Census revealed 'a greater level of indigenous Christianity north of a line from the Wash to the Bristol Channel. However, it has not always been like that. At the beginning of the twentieth century, religion was much stronger in the rural south than the industrial north.' (p. 2. See Googlebooks) This must refer to greater levels of self-proclaimed faith rather than actual churchgoing, which isn't recorded on the 2001 Census. Mind you, it's a long time since 2001....

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Culture clashes can be unpredictable. I moved from one of the most deprived towns in the NW of England to a part of south London that is now pretty affluent, and even then was fast heading that way. Yet it was like moving from the 1980s (it was then) into the 1950s. We moved from a late 20th century fashion-conscious (albeit Primark version) telly-and-concrete new town to a district of Edwardian terraced houses where people kept themselves to themselves and read the Daily Mail and decorated their houses in embossed beige wallpaper. Admittedly the upmarket newcomers soon began to change that, but the shock was real.

There were still a few people with a single cold tap in a tiny scullery, and even one whose house was lit by gas (in 1990!) And some who had never moved more than a few hundred metres from where they were born, and had never seen the Tower of London.

I found a similar time-warp experience in moving from Lancaster to West Yorkshire. Little things like a small market town with 4 excellent butchers, a regular, well used market and a fairly wide range of independent shops and very few chains. People hanging their washing on lines stretching across the street (many of the streets cobbled) between tiny back-to-backs that I had until this point thought had all been demolished due to poor ventilation. And a real sense of a community whose glories were in the past, the ward I lived in was pretty high up in the IMD lists.
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Jengie jon

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Charles Read's link makes it interesting. There are probably two areas that are particularly clergy scarce, Newcastle/Tyneside and South Yorkshire. These to areas are highly dependent on stipendiary ministry and also have the highest ratio of population to stipendiary ministry.

Jengie

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Charles Read's link makes it interesting. There are probably two areas that are particularly clergy scarce, Newcastle/Tyneside and South Yorkshire. These to areas are highly dependent on stipendiary ministry and also have the highest ratio of population to stipendiary ministry.

Jengie

That is particularly interesting considering that both areas have a nearby CoE theological college (and both producing priests of a mix of churchmanships). I have no idea what the churchmanship of those areas tends to look like though.

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Angloid
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# 159

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quote:
Originally posted by Charles Read:
On statistics, here are some from the Church of England:
Look - here is a General Synod officer who can count

Interesting (if confusing) that the Church seems to approve of SSMs in this context. [Biased]

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Ethne Alba
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Charles Read.....fabulous, thanks for that!
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Jengie jon

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Well I cannot speak for Tyneside/Newcastle, I do know a bit about Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

South Yorkshire is old Yorkshire Bible Belt, where non-conformity was the dominant form of church going a century ago, in the case of Sheffield Methodist of various colours. It has largely gone and the people who were once Non-conformist have not gone to Anglicanism.

There are a variety of church styles within the area. The deanery where I live has an small Anglo-Catholic (FiF) congregation (my parish church), a large AffCaff one, a large LEP (Baptist/Anglican) that is Charismatic Evangelical and a large Conservative Evangelical Congregation. It also houses the Church Army College. More widely there seems to be a fair mix of church styles. I know of moderate Anglo Catholics, fairly liberal and smaller evangelical parishes. I am not sure how relevant the Cathedral is to the overall style. It is not central to the diocese as it is not located centrally but very definitely to the West. As a result there are other Churches such as Rotherham Minster that are central churches for other parts and church house is in Rotherham. There must be a church in Doncaster that also serves. The bishop I would characterise as mainstream with evangelical tendencies.

Mirfield is not in South Yorkshire. Indeed it would take best part of an hour to get from Sheffield Cathedral to Mirfield even by car, by train it is more like two hours (I have done it).

Jengie

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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:


South Yorkshire is old Yorkshire Bible Belt, where non-conformity was the dominant form of church going a century ago, in the case of Sheffield Methodist of various colours. It has largely gone and the people who were once Non-conformist have not gone to Anglicanism.

Would that explain this?
[Originally posted by SvitlanaV2]
quote:
The English Church Census of 2005 states that North East Lincolnshire is the area with the lowest rate of churchgoing. The link below adds that: 'The ‘bottom ten’ range from 3.6% in South Holland in Lincolnshire, followed by Kirklees, Wychavon (Worcs.), Telford and Wrekin, Doncaster, Fenland, Ashfield (Notts.), Bolsover (Derbyshire), Rotherham (S. Yorks), and North East Lincolnshire, which pulls up the rear at 2.6%.' Reasons weren't given.
Interesting that with two exceptions they are all in the north-east Midlands/the southern part of Yorkshire (Kirklees, as Jengie Jon points out, is not in 'South Yorkshire' but it is east of the Pennines and in the southern part of West Yorkshire.)

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Oxonian Ecclesiastic
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Kirklees is interesting. It has two halves: the northern half is known by wags as 'Cleckheckmondfax' - a conflation of Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Halifax (which is not actually in Kirklees, but rather Calderdale). Perhaps the principal conurbation of this part is Dewsbury. It is not a glamorous part of the world.

The southern half is centred on Huddersfield and takes in the 'Last of the Summer Wine' country of the Holme Valley, as well as the Colne Valley. Much of this half is distinctly posh.

My suspicion would be that while the population of north Kirklees far outweighs that of south Kirklees, church attendance would be stronger in south Kirklees. But that's just a hunch.

As far as Newcastle is concerned, there are some significant evangelical parishes such as Jesmond Clayton Memorial (known as Jesmond Parish Church) and Jesmond Holy Trinity, which attract large congregations. There is also a biretta belt going east of the city centre along the Tyne, taking in Norman Banks's former parish of S. Ann's, S. Anthony of Egypt Byker (which used to be very exotic), and Wallsend, which was till fairly recently a strong churchgoing town and still has a strong traditional Anglo-Catholic presence.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:


South Yorkshire is old Yorkshire Bible Belt, where non-conformity was the dominant form of church going a century ago, in the case of Sheffield Methodist of various colours. It has largely gone and the people who were once Non-conformist have not gone to Anglicanism.

Would that explain this?
[Originally posted by SvitlanaV2]
quote:
The English Church Census of 2005 states that North East Lincolnshire is the area with the lowest rate of churchgoing. The link below adds that: 'The ‘bottom ten’ range from 3.6% in South Holland in Lincolnshire, followed by Kirklees, Wychavon (Worcs.), Telford and Wrekin, Doncaster, Fenland, Ashfield (Notts.), Bolsover (Derbyshire), Rotherham (S. Yorks), and North East Lincolnshire, which pulls up the rear at 2.6%.' Reasons weren't given.
Interesting that with two exceptions they are all in the north-east Midlands/the southern part of Yorkshire (Kirklees, as Jengie Jon points out, is not in 'South Yorkshire' but it is east of the Pennines and in the southern part of West Yorkshire.)

I actually looked at that list though and wondered if there's something else going on - based on the two that I know intimately, Wychavon and Telford. The Fens could be accounted for by the fact that a) pretty much no one lives there, and b) the church they don't go to is non-conformist. But the two in West Mercia are both substantially areas of post-war new town.

Is there something in the experience of mass displacement from previous towns/areas and having to build a community from scratch? Ie, if everyone is living in a box on a vast estate, rather than the "mixed economy" of the traditional city centres from which they were moved (with slums hard up against civic institutions), then they have to go a lot further than the end of their street to go to church.

Wychavon and Telford I think probably come from that.

The common factor between Roth, Donny, Ashfield and Bolsover is the S Yorkshire/North Notts coalfield. Non-conformity again was stronger in mining towns, but I think there's something else going on there to do with post-industrial decline.

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Ondergard
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quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
This has some interesting echoes for this Methodist. In theory, Methodist ministers commit at ordination to full itinerancy, and are stationed for 5 years in each appointment.

In reality, extensions to appointments are commonplace nowadays, frequently to avoid interruption to schooling. Geographic restrictions are common as well - sometimes they are to allow care of an elderly relative, but increasingly nowadays spouses employment is an issue - "I need to be within an hour of XXX in order for my spouse to continue their job".

Well, THIS Methodist would suggest that ministers have always committed to full itinerancy at acceptance for training (not ordination), since there are now no separated MLA's (LOM's to the Anglicans)... and I would say that such a commitment is in principle, not in theory. The fact that so many of my presbyteral colleagues (unlike most deacons of my acquaintance) appear to cross their fingers when they make such a commitment (judging by how many of them seem to commute around the M25, or Lancashire, or Birmingham, at five year intervals), thus rendering itinerancy something more honoured in the breach than the observance, does not detract from the Church's commitment to the principle.
Having said that, although I have always (until recently) been willing to go wherever and whenever the Church has wanted me to go, it just so happens that in twenty five years in ministry I have never been asked to serve anywhere north of Birmingham.
I must admit that I feel no impoverishment from this lack, but neither do I feel dread at the prospect of such a move should it be mooted when next I am re-appointed. Whether "The North" would feel the same remains to be seen.

[ 24. February 2014, 09:14: Message edited by: Ondergard ]

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:


Yet it was like moving from the 1980s (it was then) into the 1950s. We moved from a late 20th century fashion-conscious (albeit Primark version) telly-and-concrete new town to a district of Edwardian terraced houses where people kept themselves to themselves and read the Daily Mail and decorated their houses in embossed beige wallpaper.


The first time I saw Sheppey was a shock. Young women on the bus past the council estate dressed the way our neighbours on our estate did in the early 60s.

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Gwai
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quote:
Originally posted by Ondergard:
Well, THIS Methodist would suggest that ministers have always committed to full itinerancy at acceptance for training (not ordination), since there are now no separated MLA's (LOM's to the Anglicans)... and I would say that such a commitment is in principle, not in theory. The fact that so many of my presbyteral colleagues (unlike most deacons of my acquaintance) appear to cross their fingers when they make such a commitment (judging by how many of them seem to commute around the M25, or Lancashire, or Birmingham, at five year intervals), thus rendering itinerancy something more honoured in the breach than the observance, does not detract from the Church's commitment to the principle.

American Methodist here (UMC) so there are some differences, but we're still theoretically itinerant within our district (so an ordained elder here could be sent anywhere in Northern Illinois, an area that one could spend most of a day driving across.) I hear rumours that people are thinking through how much the denomination should remain committed to itinerancy, and I do not know what the morrow will bring. However, I do know that I am married to someone who may be commissioned and eventually ordained in the church. And I am fully committed to him and his job, but I also have a career that I care about. A hundred years ago, even fifty, I'd have been much less likely to have said career. If he were asked to go far away, too far for me to commute, it wouldn't have mattered. Now you can say that either I support his career and would thus happily become itinerant myself or I do not support him. But thank God we do not view women as secondary beings unable to hold down a thinking job these days, and I am not so sure I think it reasonable to ask a family to make that choice. Now maybe I will quit if Bullfrog is commissioned and sent far away, I have some plans of my own certainly, but I think the church had better remember that clergy spouses who need to commute to the/a big city are real too. And until the church starts to pay my salary, they aren't my bosses. Perhaps it would behoove them to respect that its clergy have spouses with lives of their own.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:

Is there something in the experience of mass displacement from previous towns/areas and having to build a community from scratch? Ie, if everyone is living in a box on a vast estate, rather than the "mixed economy" of the traditional city centres from which they were moved (with slums hard up against civic institutions), then they have to go a lot further than the end of their street to go to church.

I've read that housing estates have always had a low rate of churchgoing. One reason given is that it's difficult for the denominations to respond quickly enough to movements in the population and to establish churches at the heart of these communities. In my region (W. Midlands) I've noticed very few churches in the outlying estates. There's perhaps the CofE, the RCC (if it's an older ex-council estate) and an independent church (if it's a newer estate). You sometimes see a JW Kingdom Hall if there are lots of houses rather than flats.

Following the post-war slum clearances you mentioned working class people were rehoused in the poorly designed concrete jungles, and the old sense of community was destroyed. It's unsurprising that the new environment was uncongenial for churchgoing, even if a few churches and clergy were available.

More generally, apparently people do often give up churchgoing when they move house, and of course a new housing estate is full of people who've moved house.

[ 25. February 2014, 12:38: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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May I ask what you exactly mean by "estates"? ISTM that you are thinking of Social Housing/largely rented areas; the folk in these areas largely come from the social categories which are low in church attendance anyway. Of course there is the other kind of estate, i.e. large private developments - here I suspect the community dynamic is quite different.

Your last comment is bang on the mark and shows how much churchgoing is related to social context and family tradition.

Something quite different: many older estates left spaces for churches or community buildings, even if they didn't actually build them. I suspect that's less common now unless it forms part of a Section 106 agreement.

[ 25. February 2014, 12:47: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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SvitlanaV2
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BaptistTrainfan

I'm sure the dynamic is very different in the large modern private estates, but I haven't noticed many churches there either. If there's a village nearby the parish church may serve for the CofE contingent, but any new church is more likely to be an independent. That's how it seems to me, but of course I'm only talking about the areas I'm aware of and what I see when I'm going past on the bus or in the car.

Of course, since churches aren't always indicated by distinctive buildings it's possible that in some of these areas there are church fellowships in alternative venues. The casual passer-by might not be aware of this.

Talking of alternative venues, it occurs to me that the North might be a more attractive destination for the clergy if it could be presented as a radical option for dynamic people who want the chance to really make a difference and to develop more relevant forms of church for those communities. It doesn't sound as if the North is going to appeal to many 'regular' vicars for the reasons mentioned earlier in the thread, but for a different personality type it might be a great opportunity.

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Higgs Bosun
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:


Something quite different: many older estates left spaces for churches or community buildings, even if they didn't actually build them. I suspect that's less common now unless it forms part of a Section 106 agreement.

I don't know if Milton Keynes (the New Town, rather than the now-swallowed village) counts as 'older'. I was told that when it was set up, each residential grid square had reserved a plot for a place of worship.
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