Thursday, 8 March 2007

Back to the Conversion of England

Ed: Towards the Conversion of England was the report of a 'Commission on Evangelism' appointed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in response to a resolution of the Church Assembly (forerunner of the General Synod) in 1943. This is from the end of the introduction. Sound familiar ...?

We are called to a far harder task than to evangelise heathen who do worship (however ignorantly) a Power higher than themselves. In England the Church has to present the Christian Gospel to multitudes in every section of society who believe in nothing; who have lost a whole dimension (the spiritual dimension) of life; and for whom life has no ultimate meaning. The paramount spiritual need of the non-worshipping members of the community (as evidenced by this survey) is the recovery of their consciousness of God. Only so can they regain a doctrine of man morally responsible to God, and a philosophy of life that sees the material world as the sacrament of the realities of the Eternal. But the Church is ill-equipped for its unparalleled task and opportunity. The laity complain of a lack of creative leadership among all ranks of the clergy. The spiritual resources of the worshipping community are at a low ebb. Above all, the Church has become confused and uncertain in the proclamation of its message, and its life has ceased to reflect clearly the truth of the Gospel. It is for the Church, in this day of God, by a rededication of itself to its Lord, to receive from Him that baptism of Holy Ghost and of fire which will empower it to sound the call and give the awaited lead. (Towards the Conversion of England, London: Press and Publications Board of the Church Assembly, 1945, para 33, p 16)

Link to more quotes.


Ballifield said...

Should we be praying for the Church to present the Christian Gospel to the multitudes in every section of society?
Perhaps we should be praying for 'the Preachers', the modern day Wesley, Spurgeon, Wimber, Graham and Martin Luther King, Jr and the like to rise up and preach the Word of God.

Father Edmund said...

This stuff is brilliant. I know its easy to get cynical because every decade a new report comes out apparently saying exactly the same thing and nothing changes on the ground - but the OT prophets probably felt the same way when they kept telling God's people to repent and nothing changed.
I think it is an excellent idea to re-present the material from this report and we should spread it more widely.