No magic — 4 Comments

  1. Ian, your final comment is an indication of the syndrome which is evident in many parishes. Sometimes it surfaces and a lot of the time it is simmering just below. Is the Church of Ireland prepared to look at itself head on and, more importantly, is it prepared to listen to things it may not want to hear? I’m not sure it is.

  2. I’m certain that the CoI is, on the whole, not prepared to ask awkward questions of itself. It’s not so bad in places where there has been and is a steady drip of new arrivals to fertilize (as it were) the existing ethos, but in rural places there is, I venture to suggest, no hope until death provokes renewal. Abp Michael Ramsey, I think, said that maybe the church needs to die before it can be renewed. Looking at the photos of the installation of the grew Dean of St Patrick’s Dublin (on Facebook) it is clear that we might not have long to wait. If ever there were needed an image of a staid gerontocracy, this would be hard to beat. Coming back to Ireland from England, I had forgotten just how unpleasant members of the CoI can be to each other.

  3. We had an extraordinary moment up in Seir Kieran a couple of weeks ago. Our community there is tiny, nine families, but has a strength and a confidence to be open. We hosted one of the evenings of the parish mission being held by our Catholic neighbours, the church was full and Fr John Hanna of the Redemptorists spoke on prayer – his words are still fresh in the minds of many of those present.

    I think the possibility of the ‘magical’ is so often blocked by an insecurity manifested in an obsession with the machinery of the church rather than with the purpose of the church.

    (By the way, I was part of the gerontocracy at St Patrick’s!)

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