Think tank, Theos, has followed up its ten year anniversary report looking at the future of Christianity in the UK with a series on its blog.
The Theos report, Doing Good: A Future for Christianity in the 21st Century, put forward the concept of ‘Social Liturgy’ – doing good without overt proselytism (while always being prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks for the reason for the hope they are trying to bring to a person’s, family’s or community’s life).
Following feedback, report author Nick Spencer concedes that not everyone will want to use the term ‘Social Liturgy’ and that ‘other words and phrases will no doubt do the trick of conveying that the future of Christianity in the UK lies not in serving others or in preaching the Word, but in doing both simultaneously’.
The report contains a forward by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, who say:
‘What is strange – or at least worthy of greater notice than it usually receives – is that the breadth, depth and intensity of this Christian service is deepening. From personal debt advice to marriage counselling, from foodbanks to street pastors, from rehabilitation to reconciliation, the Church and Christian charities across the country are rolling up their sleeves, struggling on behalf of human dignity, pursuing the common good – and doing it all in the name of Jesus Christ.
The report’s idea of “Christian social liturgy” expresses how Christians can combine their fidelity to the two greatest commandments – loving God and loving their neighbour – in a way that is simultaneously distinctive and inclusive’.
Report and blog
Download Doing Good: A Future for Christianity in the 21st Century from the Theos website. It is also available to buy as a paperback.