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Anglicans to make room for Pagans in the Church of England- Pagans Decline


Excerpted from an article by Dakota O’Leary in “God Discussion.”

Summer solstice was celebrated on June 21st this year, and in England, Pagans and Druids gathered at Stonehenge 20,000 strong to watch the sunrise at the famous monument after a 27 million (pounds) restoration of the site.  And in light of that celebration, the Church of England got a revolutionary idea: to make a place in Anglicanism for Pagans.  The Telegraph reports:

The church is training ministers to create “a pagan church where Christianity [is] very much in the centre” to attract spiritual believers.

Ministers are being trained to create new forms of Anglicanism suitable for people of alternative beliefs as part of a Church of England drive to retain congregation numbers.

Reverend Steve Hollinghurst, a researcher and adviser in new religious movements told the BBC: “I would be looking to formulate an exploration of the Christian faith that would be athome in their culture.”

He said it would be “almost to create a pagan church where Christianity was very much in the centre.”

The Church Mission Society, which is training ministers to “break new ground”, hopes to see a number of spiritual people align themselves with Christianity.

Commenters on the article were not impressed. Some saw it as trying to put a Christian gloss over Paganism which has already been done by the Catholic Church. One commenter said:

Then again, maybe this is just what we need. Converting the pagans by coopting some of their beliefs worked wonders the first time, and made Christianity a whole lot more fun in the bargain. Where would we be without Christmas trees?

Then again, its worth pointing out that the Church of England seems to think they are dealing with real druids here.

Excuse me while I go watch the wicker man. The old one, not the Nicolas cage version.

Another added:

given that much of Christian culture is the result of putting a monotheistic gloss on pagan ritual, this seems like the only way that Christianity will survive in England (or did you think that a Xmas tree was part of the nativity)

Another expressed indignation that once again, Christians of another stripe were dissing Paganism out of one side of their mouth while trying to co-opt Pagan beliefs:


Let’s see if I have this correct? The Anglicans are trying to co-opt their religion to get people who believe in a god or goddess or gods and goddesses who is/are not the Christian god and who don’t believe in Jesus, to drop their existing religious beliefs and to follow the Christian god and to believe in Jesus?!

I have a prediction on how this will result: MASSIVE FAIL!

Author: Daniela

I will forever be grateful that, early in life, I was introduced to the utility and beauty of hand crafted products - from the symbolic motifs sewn into the coarse linen fabric of Croatian traditional wear to the colorful Kilim carpets that decorated the parquet floors in my grandmother's living room. I treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," the smell of the flower stalls in the open air market where my grandmother bought produce early every morning for the day’s meals, and the summers spent at my great grandmother's where the village wags would come to gossip over thick, black Turkish coffee in the cool stone kitchen. Someone noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world - one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

5 thoughts on “Anglicans to make room for Pagans in the Church of England- Pagans Decline


    It might be worth reading the response from the guy who has been badly misquoted on the Telegraph website in order to understand just how bad the journalism in the article is.

    • Matt, thank you for the clarification and the link. I will upload his whole post to the blog. I have to admit I didn’t take the article very seriously and posted it mainly because I thought it was humorous. I can see, though, where the guy who was badly misquoted would be upset and I don’t want to be responsible for propagating something that is untrue.

  2. Pingback: Church of England creating ‘pagan church’ to recruit members | Your Dog Wouldn't Like It

  3. Pingback: Getting To Know The Gods | Deaf Pagan

  4. I think it’s a fantastic idea. I have a love and loyalty to my British roots: this includes the Christianity we practiced for the last 1000 years, and the polytheisms we practiced for several tens of thousands of years prior. I also like modern science, philosophy, etc. I think all of this should be incorporated into the Church of England and Scotland (rename them the British Church). We should also add real history to the sermons (especially British history), and British culture.

    It’s not so much about the myths, but being with one’s British tribe, so that we network and stay strong as a community and nation, like the Jews and their Middle Eastern, Israeli folklore that cements them as a nation and people.

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