What are we getting wrong?: there is little doubt that the Church in some rural villages has just not adapted itself to 21st Century Life. The digital age has reached into most corners of modern life. A church service has to compete with lots of other activities for people’s time. We have a young generation currently obsessed with their Smartphones and X-boxes and social media to the extent that some even find normal communication methods like speech difficult and prefer putting their thoughts on F.B or Twitter. What’s worse is that an invasion of people’s minds by the latest in digital technology is being masterminded by huge, even slightly sinister and manipulative corporations. The result is the development of ever-widening technological generation gaps..
How can church services based upon the 2nd Century A.D. New Testament and the 3000 years Old Testament Book called the Bible match up with this kind of competition and not appear old-hat? It’s a problem that we have to solve somehow. The artificial intelligence technology, which seemingly provides for its customers’ every need, is starting to do our thinking for us. All we have to do is to “like “or “dislike” something. Everything is viewed in the light of being better or worse than something else which fits the digitalization of everything. Hence nothing can ever be left to stand alone as a work of creative art or a concept. How to accept or cater for such manipulation or channelling of people’s minds together with algorithms from which decision are mad or conclusions drawn as to the best approach to solving a problem. How these relate to Christianity’s message I am unsure. Perhaps they are the Devil’s works.? But Jesus Christ’s fundamental messages are simple: God Loves Us and We Should Love Each Other.
Putting things in perspective: despite the above, religious bodies in general are doing a huge amount of splendid work in helping others on a scale that is well beyond and outside of our small parish. Those involved in this in towns and cities are the backbone of the Christianity and the real workers at the coal-face of trying to improve an imperfect world. They do not demand that their clients sign up as Christians. There is no compulsion about it. Their activities make my comments about service attendance problems seem just trifles in the wider world.
Looking to the future: on the Plus Side, we are fortunate that Wormleighton has some energetic younger people who have decided to get involved in their church and started to organize village/church events like the forthcoming Winter Fayre on November 30th in the Church. We hope that such things will become part and parcel of our future church-related events calendar after today’ oldies start pushing up the daisies. These events are part of our church reaching out to its parishioners to create a better integrated community where people know, help and respect one another. Their main purpose is not just raising money although that is a constant factor these days but much more to help to make Wormleighton a better place to live based upon a caring cohesive community and going beyond it being : “a sought-after hamlet with nice old buildings, quiet location and fine views over glorious countryside” in Estate Agent-speak. All Wormleighton parish residents are urged to join in the fun, help and attend these events being organised by good young people. Away with “Us and Them” hang-ups. We have all got something to offer towards making our village a better place to live.