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It'll be the shadow of the lion. Emerging from a memorable immovable as the formidable task of defining. His hours yesterday. Miss of. A. Tempo transition. Heard in London's comic whose incoming ox and. Rhythm
often a new revolution in Britain. Programme that changing church. Indiana University Radio a documented essay about contemporary Britain. We present the shadow of the lion with William Kinzer as your net leader. From a distance you are likely to see it first. A gothic spire splitting the English sky or a grey stone Norman teller dominating the village
horizon the church is prominent in Great Britain and whether country chapel parish church or some large majestic cathedral there is solemn beauty and somehow sadly strange futility about its function. Things are different today. Listen you know I believe that is where we are. The big shut in what. About a mile away. We talk and share you. But because this is one of the big Abie and such a great big Abbot chuch. You went down there I quite often do. I love worship. You would find perhaps twenty or thirty people maybe they're middle aged or elderly predominantly female. Who would the service be conducted without in their great x. And if you went about in the
hope that people thought you would find that church in that instance has absolutely no part in their lives what ever. Except that they still. Large in their sort of a superstitious way they like to be married in church. Better you than judge and they sometimes take the turn of the baptised Malcolm Muggeridge placing a finger on the pulse of the indifference that seems to be a common malady of modern society. But there was a time when the Anglican church by its very beginnings was the focal point of all like social spiritual political at the break with Rome in 15:30 for Henry the Eighth assumed the title supreme head of the Church of England it was then that the church became in Ixora Billy a part of the establishment under the lives of these so called Parliament being the voice of the left and the complications of being the voice
of the bishops and treachery. Well this was a persecuted U.S. read it was illegal to be anything but a member of the judgment Sir John Scott secretary to the church assembly relates the beginnings of the body he represents the coming of the toleration acts of protesting too long from the house calling him threatening to people of the police and not look like others cease to be a problem. The second thing was that with the coming of the Industrial Revolution and the enormous burden of legislation on public to stream to difficult to get time in Parliament for legislation on church matters which school is concerned much of a secondary use. Then there's two things together. Led to what was known as the life annuity
which aunt who's William Temple was one of the leading lights which in turn led to the setting up by the church of a body which included bishops clergy and led. And. Which could deliberate on or masses concerning the church and also could legislate the Nipe was necessary for their body to get from parliament a unique concession on that unique concession is that it can cause legislation which then gives to business highs and one of them who can end. So yes on that they cannot amend. Being subject as it is to parliamentary decisions. The Church therefore cannot move quickly or decisively as John
explains everything that is done by the Church of the EU's governed by the law of the LEM. With its statute law or common law. Yeah and therefore it is necessary to legislate for almost every major thing which judging them does and this of course is all in one of our problems you know they are rapidly moving society. This proves frustrating for many. The Reverend Eric James points out in Fenton parts of the world it isn't difficult to rearrange Oh it's not so difficult to rearrange the life of the church so that it relates to the community as it now is but in our country we live within a legal straitjacket because of the establishment and I would say that perhaps the most serious problem.
For the Church of England. It inheritance from the past its past has been closely identified with aristocracy and conservatism. For although the church in theory exchanged its independence for a close moral influence on the sovereign amd the government at no time has it been able to exert any radical pressure. Yet it should be pointed out. The Church of England is not actually opened or subsidised by the state. Its income is derived from its own land and capital. In fact the Church of England is one of the biggest proprietors in Britain its assets totaling more than 300 million pounds or some 900 million dollars it owns two hundred twenty three thousand acres of land which is third only to the Forestry Commission and the crown. Yet the clue is very much under paid. The dean of Liverpool Cathedral director and Edward Paty suggest that recent steps have been taken to
improve the lot of the possum. But a carriage on the highroad amongst the least well paid members of the community. And I think it is my right to say that even allowing the. Difference perhaps in the cost of living is probably the most messed up head you ministers in this country are getting about. Half that county profit in the States. I never want to see the clergy paid a vast amount I never want to make it a profitable occupation. The Reverend Eric James who feels the clergy should combine their ministry with other occupations not only for personal welfare but for a better understanding and a more active participation in what he terms the real world and the church. It's a lot to blame for this attitude of mind which I think really that the church has to do with women and children and domestic things. And then there's a real world which we get back into on Monday
because the real world is a changing world and because present day Britain is undergoing an agonizing self-analysis. The church finds it difficult to keep pace bound by tradition by law by the queen essence of the Clichy ethical caution the Church of England moves slowly and often in effectively its action naturally has bred impatience even within the church and in recent years voices of dissent have risen ringing loud and clear across the land. John Robinson the Bishop of wordage created a sensation with a publication of his book Honest to God. In it he dared to criticize the church its organizational feed its antiquated philosophy. The book sold more than 300000 copies. So it was in this brooding atmosphere of discontent that concerned clergy began to marshal their forces. You've already heard from one of these the Reverend
Eric James. Now he tells you about the early beginnings of a revolutionary movement which came to be known as Southbank religion a movement that sprang up because of a church in the southern diocese and in London diocese is confronted and the church is in almost all the big cities of the world at the moment by the problem of urbanization. Now you can walk along the south bank of the Thames from one were to the ledge a distance of many miles. And you would find this about millions of people and densely populated and densely housed and church life to all intents and purposes dead. And this was the challenge the pastoral challenge confronting it was how the conversion religion. They wrote I did something very drastic it got to be done and we were given a great freedom to interpret pastorally. What needed to be done.
And it didn't mean that I think it would be truthful if we got out of step with a good deal of the rest of the land which is Roe and all the North of England where where community is divided that much more and where community survives the church will survive. In days of gentle hue and harmony. When England was garden and glory and a kingdom of yesterday the parish priest or vicar was the father symbol of the community. Sometimes old often wise. Always respected and his church was the heart and hub of village life. Active in all seasons it became the social center. The communal meeting place the forever haven of help and guidance. But modern times have broadened the horizon of the people affluence and the welfare state have usurped the rule of the church.
The institution now is more often neglected. We almost have a built in ability not to face the fact you can go to a village where the village system had to a great extent broken up. But the parish priest may well tell you of course the glorious thing about it is that the church still survives you can ask him what happened to young people and they will be. That's all they'll be on their motorbike three miles away being some diet or other. But in the old days if they used to have their entertainment in the village they were looking after them when I went looking out of them. But the village survives you say you'll note by the irony of his voice that the church doesn't. And for this reason Eric James heads a movement called parish and people as he explains. I was taken out of this working class patch as we call it now. A year and a half ago to head up this movement which is really a movement which is trying to. Help the church.
To rethink and remodel itself for this change. He travels up and down the length of Britain to meet and talk with officials of the Church to discuss with clergy and laity implications of the future to stimulate interest and action in church reform to face the issues and challenges of Britain's new tomorrow. One question is asked What is the church. They know the answer. In terms of the building they're used to. Keeping that going. The services are used to keeping that going. The type of ordained ministry they've been used to and paying for that. And there are the local fed up they've been used to. And they don't. Look at the pressure of the world as it is and say well what form should the church take if the fervent penetrate this kind of world deep within the confines of the establishment in the cloistered peace of
Westminster Abbey for instance. There is an awareness of this impatience and also of a resistance to change the canon and archdeacon of Westminster the venerable Edward carpenter. You probably see my fair lady here if you haven't the thought I've got a cast and a half face set and many of you guys like that and and religion often tends to breed deck. It can breed the revolution in an attempt to turn the world upside down. It could equally give a kind as a cat in the security is related with maybe not to the ultimate convictions but to the church in the in there and the thought of that hymn and that and there is that kind of resistance to change. Obviously the Church of England has slipped into him apathetic inefficient operation. That too often has been excused with the expression. It's odd but it works. In January 1964 the Paul report
titled The payment and deployment of the clergy revealed the uneasy suggestion that the system was indeed odd. And that it didn't work. This was hardly news to many especially the provost of Coventry Cathedral the Reverend Harold Williams. I believe most passionately that the greatest malady of the Church of England is that there hangs like a heavy side over it this terrible frenetic fear of change in Liverpool. The dean of Liverpool Cathedral the Reverend Edward Paty. I think the church is so conservative and so timid and so frightened of making experiments so frightened of treading on anybody's toes so frightened of being misinterpreted. But many of our church has gone doing the same old things which are as dumb as you can imagine sounded by founded by Sunday for fear that by altering things you might upset somebody.
Malcolm Muggeridge who is decidedly entity establishment Terry in any way is highly critical of the church and views its alignment with the state as a most impractical arrangement. Because as one of the most possible bodies that ever existed on Earth. Partly because it's a state church. So that you have in the Anglican chuch and in between two completely incompatible things which is good power and divine revelation. It's as though you had a company you had vegetarians Saturday which delighted to have up with the butches organization. While many would test the temporal power of the Church of England if you still by legal involvement alone the dominant religious body within the country vacillating in form between what is termed the High Church and of the Low Church nonconformists have gradually weakened
through the years partly because of the decline of working class zeal. Partly because once prospers many nonconformist families have turned to the Anglican Church. The Methodists for one have maintained a radicalism and a fervor that has cut into British complacency. But it's much less apparent today and ironically the free churches now are unlikely to be as conformist as the Church of England. About 1 in 10 of the population of Britain is Catholic and the numbers of Catholics are increasing. We've moved from the time when there was a sort of formal repression when we were not allowed by statute to exist. Father Ed Nellis was a Franciscan friar a Roman Catholic priest the Catholic assistant to the head of religious broadcasting at BBC. He's also a consultant on the permanent commission in charge of broadcasting for the Vatican.
He sits in his London office and considers the status of Catholicism in England. There's been a series of laws which have mitigated the situation that was there. Can't the commands of patients act in 1829 which finally restored Catholics to a situation of near equality a little bit us to some putus traditions so as far as the law is concerned we stand on equal terms with our neighbors. But the fact that we. I mean not it is the fact that we've got a separate education system. The fact that many of the people do in fact draw their blood from Iran has left us in a sense a little separate from the life of the country. A few like the Duke of Norfolk remain Catholic right from the period of reformation under the pain of considerable persecution. But the ranks of Catholicism grew with the great influx of Irish immigrants and just
as the Church of England became identified with aristocracy Catholicism came to be a religion of the working class. Two old Catholic families were added many Victorian converts so opportunity and education brought about a change in the sociological makeup of Catholicism in Great Britain. Today there are doctors and educators and members of parliament. A city town or village. It's the established church with its liturgy heard in stone chapel I mean Cathedral. And always the blend of boys voices high pitch anthems arising from edifices. Gothic splendor. And therein will be the echo of ritual the vestment the moved and the vernacular of a pice capitalism. And the vicar looks from the lofty pulpit upon devout faces and dead pews and outside like glue slowly grew as the
hope of spring where slants the mosque green monuments to the dead. Clock TM's of the church tower stand still. Frozen at some distant forgotten hour the womb passes it by. Perhaps the most serious problem. For the Church of England is its inheritance from the past. I do take the view probably a little unfairly that a great deal of it and to quiet the mind of the more thoughtful of course. I think we. Need appreciation to adapt. To the problem which I think what is most often leads to names to communicate is one obvious need. And here many feel the church is failing. Even the faithful
challenge by the complexity of modern influence cast in a world of competing interests. The Church of England struggles to convey meaning. Most agree that the church has lost touch that its message has been obscured by an archaic order of service which uses the ornate beautiful often in comprehensible language of the past. For this reason the prayer book has come under close scrutiny already changes have been suggested. Some and acted. And being coincident to the Vatican decision to conduct service in the vernacular of the day you ask father of Nicholas Andrew about the changing church. As I understand the function of the church the Christian church it is to try to be to every age what Christ was to his own age and try to speak his word in the context of contemporary society. This doesn't mean that he has to just to trim his sails to catch every puff of wind it doesn't use
to be striving to to please people but it means that she must be part of the contemporary scene and must be an honest about it part within it and today. So she walked out of the continuing tradition of her own life. But she also ought to have the ability to get herself into the contemporary situation and to be part of it. The influence of the modern age is evident a sign outside one church in England proclaimed a service that was well lighted bright and modern. Another church advertised free seats. And in London a chapel poster admonished worshippers to watch their personal effects and to be aware of thieves. And there have been sweeping signs of contemporary thought and action. Coventry Cathedral. Stern says one New Zealand paper noting what every cathedral is an England may think otherwise. They can no
longer go on as if Coventry. You talk to the Provost the Rev.. We hear we've had two rounds of pretty ruthlessly the question what's the point of building if even the 20th century and to find some clear answers to these my small son went into a cathedral he's only six he went into a cathedral last Friday I went when mention the name of the cathedral is quite a famous one. And he went inside with his mother and he got into the door he stopped for a moment and looked around and said Is it you. Now this is this is really quite a credit to founder Mark because to many people these guys he looked us hangovers in the past. Now this is something we don't we we really punished this smugness right in the nose. We we've we've established we've been brash enough to build a modern cathedral in the 20th century and to justify it in modern times. And this is cause the only established thinking to into it to have another think.
And so attack those and the sights and sounds of today emanate from its huge glass screened sanctuary. It was there that Duke Ellington performed his original jazz suite in the beginning God and countless experiments in drama Law commerce industry sociology the activities of 14 separate departments within the cathedral maintained a living relationship with the people of the community in Liverpool the same sort of communion with modern Britain is taking place. You talk with the dean of Liverpool Cathedral the Reverend Edward Paty and he tells you here in this cathedral for instance we try a lot of experiments which will bring people into a genuine experience of worship here. You are doing all kinds of modern means. Not as gimmicks but as genuine ways of expressing the faith through which we're concerned. If I give you an example last Christmas we had a service for young people here in which we try
to express the meaning of Christmas. We used to beat music groups and folk groups. And we began the service with a rather sort of jazzed up versions of Christmas carols but very soon we were looking at the meaning of Christmas in terms of the world of today in terms of color and race and politics. And I think about the service was that we had somewhere between three thousand five hundred and four thousand young people in the cathedral here big enough to hold that number. And right throughout the service in spite of this enormous crowd of young people there was a tremendous attention and and reference. Here was a service which not only musically but in terms of its thought was using their own idiom. And it was talking about real things about the real world. The church in England which is more often the Church of England is
caught in the tide of transitions so vital to the survival and success of the country. And the established institution finds this future of change most tenuous and difficult. Besieged as it is with the dictates of a venerable past and its commitments to the state. Faced with an era of indifference the Church of England today founders and rocks of resentment and agitation for reform surfacing only now and then to play its role in the pomp and circumstance of British life. It seeks only a reasonable compromise between the past and the future. Some way to add influence and impetus to the moral fiber of the present. The charge is there with omens of vice and decadence and evidence with the constant erosion of human values in the face of demoralizing events of contemporary concern. The church has a challenge and to meet it it must certainly gird itself
for tomorrow. It has to change. From Indiana University Radio we have presented the changing church program died in a special series of documented essays about contemporary Britain entitled The shadow of the law and has written and produced by the Royal Bantam and the narrator was William Kinzer production assistant were John Hopkins and trials likens bill or the engineer Jack Tracy. This is John Dimmick speaking in. The shadow of the lion has been a series made possible by an Indiana University faculty research grant. And there's a presentation of Indiana University Radio. Program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
The shadow of the lion
The Changing Church
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For series info, see Item 3300. This prog.: The Changing Church. Influence and impotence of the established church in England's changing society, elements of dissent, the struggle for significance in a modern world.
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Producing Organization: Indiana University
Producing Organization: WFIU (Radio station : Bloomington, Ind.)
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Chicago: “The shadow of the lion; The Changing Church,” 1968-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 28, 2024,
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APA: The shadow of the lion; The Changing Church. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from