The C of E has not undertaken a new outreach program nor has it begun an effort to call back into the life of the church those who have absented themselves from it. But, as good citizens of the realm, the Church of England is cooperating with the government to promote civility, conversation, and calm in the face of the political divisions surrounding the Brexit debacle. So what Arbp Welby is asking folks to do is to come it and have a cup of tea (or perhaps coffee) and talk together about the things that divide them.
Churches are being encouraged to host “informal café-style meetings” over the weekend of 30 March “to bring together people of all standpoints and encourage open discussion.” The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Justin Welby and John Sentamu, have today backed newly-commissioned resources to invite people to “get together and chat over a cup of tea and pray for our country and our future”.As you can see I am a bit behind the times in my reading. I suspect the offer to tea and crumpets has resolved all the disputes that divide England and Brexit will have long ago been resolved as you read this (or maybe not). But I do find it curious about the energy and effort put into such a conversation while the C of E withers and dies. The English Church is wonderful about order and puts on a great show but it has long ago given up doctrinal integrity in favor of an inclusive church that is on the right side of change -- when change must happen. They invented the position of Verger to make sure that even in the chancel everyone knows what they are supposed to do. I just wonder if the Church of England itself has forgotten what it means to be church. Tea is nice and so it a chat but whatever happened to preaching the Word in season and out, teaching the faith as once delivered to the apostles, and administering the Sacraments instituted by Christ?