Our church is to become a resource church. We go from High Anglo-Catholic to HTB, with no consultation. Our new Rector has told us God wants us to be “generous” in losing what we love. He has told us that we have asked for the Resource Church (we haven’t) and that only 0.4% of the people who live in our town are churched (which ignores, I am assuming, all of the people who are of other Christian denominations and all of the people who chose to recognise God’s love through other conduits than the ministry of Jesus Christ, for example, our wonderful and vibrant Hindu and Muslim communities). We were presented with two services which failed to recognise our style of worship or many years of Christian discipleship and seemed deliberately designed to alienate. We were told that our church, founded in the Middle Ages, was going to get a new name and lose the one it had carried for centuries.
I cannot articulate the level of grief that this has generated for my family (my husband and I are in our mid-40s with young and teenage children, who have all elected to be part of this Christian community). We don’t know where we will go. We were told that soon every church in our town would want to become part of the HTB as they would want in on something so wonderful. The services and prayers with which were we presented reminded me very much of the offerings at circle time during church-based toddler groups. I asked my eldest child what they thought of the sermon with which we had been presented and was told “well, it doesn’t mean anything. I’ve already decided to become a Christian. I already know God loves me. The sermon was telling me stuff I already knew.” It absolutely feels like a decimation, but for my open and inclusive, profundity seeking, socially active community. I feel broken, and I don’t know what to do.