Letter: David Fleming, November 25, 2014

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Recently I paid a visit to Sunday worship at St Edmund’s Church in Downham and made a few observations about the order of service.

Starting first with the hymns, I was left with a feeling I needed a voice for Gregorian chant, and the prayers were repetitive with the congregation being spoon-fed in their responses. This is a weekly ritual which would give me a cure for insomnia if I became a regular attender. The first analogy I applied to the sermon was one of a low-alcohol whisky watered down.

I have been a churchgoer for 65 years and any efforts I have made for the clergy in the Anglican communion to address declining standards have been demonized.

They cannot see that their role over the years has been transformed to one of museum curators.

One of my observations was most of the congregation were older than me, and I can hardly be accused of ageism considering my age.

For the reasons above, I cannot see younger people being attracted to St Edmund’s with the current format of worship. It is small wonder evangelical denominations are on the ascendancy with their dynamics. Consequently I have forebodings of this church discovering providence at God’s checkpoint in a decade’s time, or sooner.

St Edmund’s is being renovated in pursuit of improvements. Is it for health and safety reasons, or to make it more saleable to the arts?

Structural improvements suit an essential purpose in a church! A lack of spiritual modifications render a chapel ‘not fit for purpose’!

David Fleming,

Address supplied