Being in the Church of England

As I approach the next step in the ministry discernment process I think I am probably getting what is usually termed ‘cold feet’. I don’t know maybe it is that, or maybe it’s the illness worrying me, or maybe it is that I am really not sure I want to go into the Church of England. I feel very strongly about the CofE and I know that is part of my calling. I am not naive about it either, I know the kind of organisation I would be getting in to. I don’t always agree with decisions from the top, I worry about the place of women, I worry about the treatment of homosexuals, I worry about the treatment of priests in some individual circumstances. But I still feel that I need to be in it. I often say to people that a friend in ministry, said to me that I should not go into this thinking I can change the Church of England from the iniside, it will eat you up and spit you out (or something along those lines), but I do feel that God is raising people up to have an impact, people who are strong enough and prepared enough to take a stand, prepared to fight for change.

BUT.. I find myself at a point where I am really not sure this is where I want to be, there is so much bad feeling around the CofE at the mo, and I find myself thinking, why on earth would I want to be part of that? I don’t know maybe I’m feeling too tired for a fight right now, but I am really not sure…

In this weeks episode or Rev the archdeacon says to Adam: ‘young dynamic women are not exactly queuing up to joing the church you know…’ to which my husband and I chuckled as we know a few who are! But really a truly it seems like I am at the bottom of a huge hill and I am just not sure I want to climb it…

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  • Reply
    November 19, 2011 at 10:10 am

    have just read Lesleys post this morning:

    for anyone feeling the same as I am!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Stick with it – People need to be passionate in the C of E and be prepared to stand up and be counted. And be prepared to listen to others and back down. Don't stay out, just to stay in a comfortable place with what you believe – today's people need to be challenged to think. Not preached at ..but to think. The C of E needs people to help them explore ways into faith and widen their thinking, not stick with what they were taught in Sunday school.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Red you are just what we need. Let's all support one another and follow our callings…. I think it will get better from here, even if it temporarily gets worse.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2011 at 10:50 am

    If you go into the Church, go into it to serve God and others in what ever way you can. It is not a perfect institution, in fact it is deeply flawed, but the Church's biggest secret is grace. I also think it is at the grassroots, which is presumably where you will serve at first, that grace is found in surprising measure and not always where you most expect to find it. Good luck.

  • Reply
    Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold)
    November 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Whilst there are local places that have good people and intentions, I am pleased I am out. When you are out you realise the artificiality of a lot that goes on when in, including many of the religious arguments. They only exist in an institutional setting.

  • Reply
    Nancy Wallace
    November 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    No church is a perfect institution. All churches include a rag-bag of saints and sinners. Follow your deepest calling – whatever that turns out to be.

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