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Signposts of a living faith

In the final part of his three-part series, the Very Rev Dr John Chalmers explains why radical change is needed to reshape the Church of Scotland to serve in future.


ANALYSIS of past failures is one thing but it is an altogether different challenge to look deep into the future and describe the shape of things to come.

It is particularly difficult in relation to the church, when what is really needed is a transformation so far reaching that the church of tomorrow may bear little resemblance to the church of recent generations.

This is hard for me to say, because the church I have been a part of all of my life still speaks to my spiritual needs. That, however, is because I know the ancient narratives, I am familiar with the hymns and songs of the faith, I’ve had a lifetime of engaging with the poetry of our public prayer and I associate sanctuary with buildings as magnificent as our cathedrals and as simple as our country kirks. These are the core diet of my faith. I would rather not see their passing and if I thought they were the recipe for nourishing the faith of a future generation I would put all my efforts into keeping the tradition alive. That would suit me fine and it would see me out!

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About Life and Work

In this month's issue: - FROM HOLY LAND TO ADVENT CENTERPIECE The journey of a Christmas crib - THE ACCIDENTAL TRAIL BLAZER The Rev Rola Sleiman, the first Christian woman minister ordained in the Middle East - SIGNPOSTS OF FAITH The Rev John Chalmers on change in the Church