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Digital Subscriptions > Life and Work > February 2017 > ‘A movement, not a programme’

‘A movement, not a programme’

Thomas Baldwin examines the work of the Church of Scotland's Path of Renewal project.

IT IS unlikely to come as news to anyone reading this that the Church of Scotland has a problem with an ageing and shrinking membership, and fewer people in the pews on Sunday mornings.

This has been the trend for more than 60 years, with the Church both nationally and locally (with a few notable exceptions) seemingly powerless to resist a rising tide of secularism. The ever-growing list of church unions, linkages and closures, and the measures to deal with the looming shortage of ministers, both bear witness to a pattern of managed decline.

Photo: iStock

“ We have got many remarkable people in our congregation. Everybody has a ministry and they are all different, but I really believe that’s the way forward.

Now, however, there are early signs of the Church fighting back on several fronts. The Fresh Expressions movement is producing hundreds of new groups changing conceptions of what church looks like, while the Pioneer Ministry programme (see page 39) is taking the church out to the people where they are, rather than expecting them to come to the church.

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About Life and Work

Life and Work is the 138-year-old magazine of the Church of Scotland providing news and opinion on every aspect of church and religion within Scotland and further afield.
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