Anglican Enclaves

"They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer", Acts 2:42.

There are dioceses throughout the Anglican communion where the destruction of our reformed catholic shape is all but complete. The Sydney diocese in Australia is one such example. The majority of parishes have adopted the happy-clappy club style and it is just not possible to return these congregations to a liturgical form of worship.

The rot started in the 1950's when we removed our children from the worshiping congregation and trained them in a non-conformist worship style in Sunday School. These young people are now the "movers and shakers" in the diocese. The old Anglicans are relegated to the early morning Communion service where they are quietly fading away. The dynamism of most parishes is found in the mid-morning family service and the semi-charismatic evening youth service. Try singing a canticle in either of these services and there would be a riot. Tis broke, and there is no fixing it.

The way forward, for those committed to a reformed catholic shape, is the development of a network of regional worship centres committed to the preservation of an Anglican liturgical tradition. A suburban Parish would need to draw on a population base of up to a half hour drive from the church centre. In Sydney there are many churches still committed to liturgical excellence in the Anglican tradition, but sadly some geographical regions of Sydney are devoid of such churches. Clergy with an eye to the opportunities that exist in areas lacking the beauty of liturgical worship, could easily create a specialized future for a well-placed Anglican church.

There will always be people moving from toe-tapping-times toward the substance of liturgical worship. Most often they will be mature adults, and for this reason few liturgical Anglican churches have much in the way of an evening service. Adults relax at home on a Sunday evening. Only teens want to escape. Yet substantial liturgical worship will always have its following. It will not necessarily be large, but large enough to drive regional Anglican enclaves in a sea of non-conformity.

[Pumpkin Cottage]