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Anglican Church and Pagans – Cont.’d

It appears Reverend Steve Hollinghurst was badly misquoted in a recently posted article about the Church of England’s nacent policy to recruit Pagans by starting a new “Pagan Church.”  His response in its entirety is  below:

OK if you have been reading the press over the last few days you may have come to believe the Church of England has a new policy to recruit Pagans by training pioneer ministers expressly to do this by starting a Pagan church – and that i am one of the key people doing this. Well that’s what this article in the Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10133906/Church-of-England-creating-pagan-church-to-recruit-members.html certainly implies and it has drawn a lot of comment both from Christians and Pagans.  But there is a big problem with this article – it is highly misleading and there is no such Church of England policy.  I thought it was about time to expose the spin and let the real story come out. Continue reading


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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. Continue reading