In 1991 I completed three years Theological training. It was a difficult time of lessons, exams, term papers and physical duties around the college. I look back on it with fond memories as I met some very good friends at this time and it shaped the person I was back then.
An article on a Christian website discusses the current crisis in the Church of England. It addresses the problem that there aren’t enough people of a certain age coming forward for ordination. It does not surprise me at all. In returning from training I was asked to become part of the church youth group as a volunteer leader it was a certain member of the clergy that was switched on to the needs of the church. They needed to invest time and money in the large youth group it was an opportunity for the church to look at the next generation.
(This CartoonChurch.com cartoon by Dave Walker originally appeared in the Church Times)
There were some of my friends that did go for ordination. There were some that were unsuccessful in their application. The view of the church that I belonged to failed to embrace the new generation. The old guard of lay readers has barely changed in thirty years. This is unacceptable and should never have been allowed to happen. Now the Church of England as whole finds itself in crisis. The missed opportunities have passed and now they are left wondering if they will ever recover from this.
I am a different person that I was in the early 90s I have rejected the faith that I once had for a rational humanist view of the world. People expect me to be the same person championing the cause of Christianity and surprised when I tell them that it no longer holds any part of my life.