Over the past two years, what started as an exploratory conversation between three clergy from different dioceses about what is the dynamic of a healthy church, has evolved into a passionate belief that intentional “fellowship” or koinonia is vital, if churches are to fulfil their calling to be the body of Christ in a broken and desperate world.
Relational Church understands that there is a serious health imbalance in our church life today, between Worship, Mission and Fellowship. We have a terrifying relationship deficit, which is injuring us, the church, and is one cause of the decline of influence of the church in the UK.
Relational Church is the journey to deepen our relationship with each other as the Communion of the body of Christ so that the world can flourish.
Relational Church understands Fellowship to mean a deep intentional relationship, based on loving, with the love of Jesus.
Churches need to model loving and life affirming relationships. Since those first tentative discussions, around thirty theologians and church leaders have participated in online small group relational conversations. Momentum has been building up that it is time for a renewed and intentional focus on building a relational church.
The project is concerned primarily with “fellowship”. This is a crucial area of Christian life, which is often neglected in practice. We find it all too easy to focus on worship as an activity, or on mission as a series of initiatives, while we neglect the relationships that hold us together as a worshipping and missional community.
The aim of this blog/book is to refocus our attention as Anglicans on the importance of fellowship as a foundational principle which underpins our shared mission and corporate worship. We hope to be a catalyst for more conversations and to learn from each other…
This project is concerned primarily with “fellowship”. This is a crucial area of Christian life, which is often neglected in practice. We find it all too easy to focus on worship as an activity, or on mission as a series of projects, while we neglect the relationships that hold us together as a worshipping and missional community.
If the churches of the UK are to address the challenges of the twenty-first century, we will need change in the way that we think and live. We will also need to change our cultural assumptions. Yes, we will need to become more missional, and yes, we will need to focus more attention on God, but we will also need to develop a more relational culture, because this will transform us into communities of faith – in which disciples are welcomed, formed, trained and supported.
As it says in the Book of Hebrews,
“let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching…”(Hebrews 10:24-25)
The aim of this project is to refocus our attention as Anglicans on the importance of fellowship as a foundational principle which underpins our shared mission and corporate worship.
- Introduction (Advent Sunday)
- Making Relational Church Possible – Simon Barrow (Published 28th November)
- A Rebuilt Relational Culture – Malcom Grundy (Published 29th November)
- Agenda for a Relational People of God – Peter Price (Published 30th November)
- Collectives are our Future – Alison Webster (Published 1st December)
- To what are we called, and how shall we respond? – Leslie J. Francis (Published 2nd December)
- Effective Signs of Grace? – John Cole (Published 3rd December)
- Relationality in the Parish: The Need for Roots – Alison Millbank (Published 4th December)
- A Healthy Church is a Flourishing Church – Paul Davies (Published 5th December)
- An Essay on Church Growth – Robert Van de Weyer (Published 6th December)
- Community Organising and Ministerial Training – Andrew Griffiths (Published 7th December)
- A Relational Church and Social Action Partnerships – David McCoulough (Published 8th December)
- Episcopally Led? – Tim Norwood (Published 9th December)
- A Church Community of Disciples – Paul Davies (Published 10th December)
- Truth is Relational – Callan Slipper (Published 11th December)
- Organised Church – Keith Hebden (Published 12th December)
- Loving our Neighbours in ‘The Street’ – Anne Richards (Published 13th December)