Finnish Clergy And Prayer In The Shed

About thirty senior clergy from Espoo Diocese, Finland were hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Edinburgh this week. Andrew Bain and I led a day on Benedictine and Celtic spirituality. The idea was to explore the changing world framework to which even static state churches need to adapt.  In order for change to come, clergy need to be change agents. In order to be change agents they need a deep spirituality that sustains them more than the inherited framework does; they need to re-imagine what the kingdom of God on earth might mean; they need tools and resources and models of inspiration.

We looked at the things churches need to die to, as set out in the book Church of the Isles: a prophetic strategy for the emerging church.   We learned how, in some denominations, the inherited church invests money in fresh expressions of church which grow alongside the parish church, each blessing the other: fresh expressions might meet in pubs, cafes, arts centres, football clubs - or sheds.

I had explained how some early Irish churches were planned at central locations, but  others began with one praying person in a cell who gradually attracted others. I then stayed overnight at Emmaus House, which Andrew Bain and a colleague have purchased as a place of daily prayer and hospitality. Andrew moved out of parish ministry to do this. The chapel is a new shed they have erected in the garden. People who have given up on parish churches love to come there. This is a living embodiment of our theme.

Up with the parallel universe! Up with denominations who recognise the value of the 'shed revolution' . If you wish to stay at Emmaus House contact


Posted at 02:25am on 29th April 2012
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