Monday, March 31, 2014

Forest Church - an expression whose time has come?

On Saturday I was speaking at the museum in Wells at an event called 'Born in a Pagan Land' Bath and Wells mission open forum born in a Pagan Land the day was looking at the relationship between Paganism and Christianity in the UK with a special focus on Somerset. which of course meant a lot was said about Glastonbury.  another speaker was Liz Williams, a Pagan who runs the shop the Cat and the Cauldron in that town. i was also joined by local missioner Diana Greenfield and Helen Bradley who have just started Avalon Forest Church. I was struck again by how much the Forest Church idea resonates with people. Christians who find God in nature and don't feel at home in conventional churches, those involved in 'New Age' therapies and spiritual practices and those who are Pagans or have Pagan backgrounds find this new - or perhaps re-discovered? - approach to Christianity makes sense and is attractive when otherwise it has less appeal. this won;t be true for everyone of course, but the way new Forest Churches are springing up suggests there are a lot of people for whom this is so.

it is interesting to note that when the Roman's left Britain where in much of Europe the church took over the civic system the Romans left, in Britain there where a lot who returned to the countryside. rural monasteries and sacred sites in nature became central to early Christianity in these Isles. i wonder if there is still something in the British psyche that means the divine is sought in nature? perhaps this is part of the Forest Church growth?

see Mystic Christ/ Forest Church for more

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