CONFLICT IN OUR CHURCH
In this conflict we faced the heart of religious idolatry,
challenged the shiboleths of the established church,
brought new vibrancy to a stagnant spirituality,
undid the unworthy foundations of tradition,
but also sank into the controlled ranks
of a dubious, unthinking, theology.

The Priestly Position The Priestly Position

One of the first steps of the new wave was lay involvement;
at first in reading the bible, then in the intercessions,
then, unforgivably, in leading the Easter morning service.
Lack of an ordained leader upset the lines of authority.
Lay chairmanship of the PCC upset the lines of power.
The traditionalist were horrified and enraged.


The Book of Common Prayer The Book of Common Prayer

This book, written in ancient language,
embraces the doctrine of the Church of England.
It is a compromise between new and Catholic ideas
that was devised in 1662, shortly after its formation.
Failure to use this book, infuriated 'frozen church'.

Use of unholy language denied the efficacy of the rites.
The familiar phrases were replaced by modern words;
the beauty of cadence and flow was disturbed.
It was unsettling, unworthy, wrong!


The Choir and Organ The Choir and Organ

The Choir opposed all change!
Resisted any move to modern songs;
Refused to abandon the old hymn book,
entitled, protectively,'Ancient and Modern';
cleaved to organ music over any other,
longed for its robes and position.

As keyboard and guitar replaced the organ,
so worship leader and microphone replaced the choir.
For some, the church lost its religious heritage.
Many voted with their feet,
others vocally, angrily.


The historic building The historic building

The cry of tradition reached its peak
in protection of the historic building,
an idol massive in its impact over the parish,
a structure longing to be updated with modern facilities;
a fortification proclaiming the majesty and power of religion;
the dominance of priest and clergy in the parish.



The Church Split The Church Split

The church was divided. Poisoned letters flew.
Meeting followed meeting without resolution>
Vicars vaccilated. Bishops and Archdeacons had their say.
In the midst, the Alpha clique and I forged on,
creating a new church, new liturgy, new ideas.
The church split into two congregations
which seldom interacted.



Maybe I have come to regret this clamour for change.
Maybe, now, I even value some of the older hymns
more than the idiocy of unthought worship.
But
the church does have to move on
to join Jesus on his onward journey
instead of dying on his Cross,
It does need to realise
the true reality of
Resurrection.