Thread: Who have you got in your congo.....? Board: Oblivion / Ship of Fools.

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Posted by Bishops Finger (# 5430) on : terms of ethnic minorities, peeps from other faiths etc.

Looking back over the last few years at our small inner-city UPA Anglo-Catholic C of E congregation, we have/have had worshipping with us peeps from the following backgrounds:

1. High-Church Buddhist (Thai)
2. Hungarian Catholic
3. Chinese and/or Polish Catholic
4. Hindu/Christian
5. Sikh
6. Muslim (converting to Christianity, and baptised on Easter Day!)
7. Greek Orthodox (with special dispensation to receive the Blessed Sacrament)
8. Lutheran

Now, I have to say that we do not water down the Christian Faith in any way, but........ [Eek!]


Ian J.
Posted by Heavenly Anarchist (# 13313) on :
A recent head count at one of our services counted 22 nationalities in a congregation of about 250. Some are better represented than others, we have quite a few South Africans and Nigerians for instance. We have a collection of full size flags at the front of our church and encourage members to add to it. Most of these people probably have at least nominally Christian backgrounds, though I dare say there may be some alternatives from our Indian and East Asian members.
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
At the moment people whose family background is in Nigeria (speaking at least three languages), Sierra Leone, Ghana, Uganda, Cameroon, Congo, South Africa, Togo, Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, Antigua, (and probably some other West Indies as well), England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Czechkia, Poland, Colombia, Israel (and Latvia before that), Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Japan

There is quite a high turnover of worshippers. In the recent past I remember folk from Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania (those last three members of one Tutsi family that moved around a bit) Zimbabwe, Zambia, somewhere in West Africa they speak French, the other bit of Ireland, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Italy, USA, Brazil, China, Korea, and there are probably some I've forgotten.

Most of those are just individuals or single families of course. There is no majority national or ethnic group in the congregation but the largest national minority is Nigerian, followed perhaps by Sierra Leone or Ghana or maybe Jamaica or Barbados or even Britain.

Quite a lot of mixed couples as well, though that's usual for inner south-east London. We've had a few African men married to Eastern or Central European women - something at is probably both more common and more socially acceptable in London than in most places (despite torrents of government propaganda trying to brand such couples as evil illegal immigrants and welfare scroungers)
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
I was going to 'boast' that my brother-in-law's congregation boasts (at Christmas, anyway) one Chris de burgh (sp?) - but now I see that this is not the point of this thread... [Big Grin]

At church I'm one of two white blokes, but I haven't the energy to work out where everyone is from. Mostly 1 or 2 gen Carribean (loads of different islands), but the balance is moving towards West Africa.
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
Ours is overwhelmingly white Newfoundlanders, with a few CFAs* and a couple of Afro-Caribbean students who attend occasionally.

* Comes From Away (i.e. anywhere outside Newfoundland). [Smile]
Posted by Deputy Verger (# 15876) on :
Wot Ken said... certainly at least the start of his list, with enough Ugandans, Sierra Leonians and Ghanaians (sp?) to celebrate those countries' national days. Also the odd individual from other places, such as Korea, Germany, Australia, Finland and Malaysia! Very diverse, age, race and colour-wise. Some Buddhist origins (Korea) and Muslim (Malaysia). And a fair sprinkling of English-as-a-first-language Londoners too! Gotta love Souf London, innit?
Posted by ArachnidinElmet (# 17346) on :
All manner of people. My parish is made up of 2 churches, the larger one in the City centre with a higher proportion of eastern European people, and mine sat inbetween 2 council estates up the road with a higher proportion of African families, including from Zimbabwe, Tanzania and South Africa. Until recently we had a full complement of Eritrean altar servers.

Also, off the top of my head, an Indian family, a Spanish father and son, and a brace of women from the Philippines.

The 'people who do stuff' are still mostly white British, but include a number of Scots, whose families moved here in the 1960s and 70s for jobs in the coal mines.

[ 03. February 2014, 18:21: Message edited by: ArachnidinElmet ]
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
As a contrast to the above posts, mainly white British - reflecting the area. We have had the occasional black member, again that is rare in my town and surrounding area. One child is of mixed race / religious parentage but comes to church with English grandparents. It is interesting for me to read this thread, to be reminded that my area / church is probably quite unusual in this respect.
Posted by comet (# 10353) on :
the church I attend occasionally has two canadians and a brit. [Biased]

with a total regular congregation of 10 people, I think that's terribly international of us.
Posted by LutheranChik (# 9826) on :
Our present congregation seems pretty homogenous -- mostly German-Americans of Lutheran background, although not always within our Lutheran church body (lots of exiles from the LCMS and WELS). One of our frequent AM's, though, is from Slovakia; came here on a seminary internship, wound up marrying an American.

Ironically, the even smaller and more rural congregation we left had more of a mix -- at one time an Anglo-Latino family; two Buddhists; an extended family that, for reasons I don't quite understand because of the theological/practical differences involved, spent about half the year at our church and half at a local Nazarene church; some regular visitors who were an African-American/Anglo couple; several renegade RCs or couples where one partner was Lutheran, one RC.
Posted by Augustine the Aleut (# 1472) on :
When I began at S Vartan's many years ago, there was an interesting combination of old Anglos and West Africans-- for some reason many of the local university's black students from Sierra Leone, Gambia, and Ghana. They came and then stayed with the congregation after their immigrant status came through and just beginning their families, but they disappeared entirely when the praise bands came as they were big fans of the BCP. The new régime, however, brought in the very rare phenomenon of about five converts from Judaism.

I am currently hanging about at Our Lady Joy of All Who Procrastinate and it is primarily Ottawa Valley Anglo & Irish, with an occasional immigrant and Franco-ontarian thrown in. The choir is pretty polychromatic on account of the transcultural appeal of Tallis and Dowland and features at least one Jew and a couple of non-believers. Choral evensong seems to bring in a few of the spiritual-not-religious crowd, including a Shintoist yoga teacher of my acquaintance.
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
We are a small rural village so entirely white, mainly British. Because of lack of other places of worship we have people of every tradition, plus people who would (prefer?) be Baptist, UnitedReform - and a liberal Jew!
Posted by Sir Kevin (# 3492) on :
As well as the Anglo and Hispanic parishioners you'd expect in a big-city Roman Catholic parish on the west coast of the US, we have some people from India plus a few Nigerians and Jamaicans. We had a Nigerian priest briefly, but he was transferred elsewhere in the diocese.

All of our nuns are Irish and come from County Cork, West Meath, Galway and several other counties. Our Irish Monsignor retired a few years ago but did not move away. I really enjoy the diversity!

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