A new book promoting a raft of alternative worship ideas has been backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and slated by traditionalists. The materials have been piloted by congregations belonging to the Fresh Expressions partnership between the Church of England and Methodist Church. They range from services including physical activity and symbolic actions, ‘U2charists’ employing songs by the Irish rock band, and ancient prayers set to ambient dance music. Rt Revd Graham Cray, the Fresh Expressions leader, said ‘It is important to offers spirituality to people who are offered a multi-choice lifestyle and think the last place they’ll find it is in church’. But Revd David Houlding, prebendary at St Paul’s Cathedral, dismissed the idea as ‘a passing fad, irrelevant, shallow and pointless’. Despite its critics, Fresh Expressions has just signed up the United Reformed Church as a third partner and has also expanded into Canada.
Source: Daily Telegraph (13/6); United Reformed Church (June 09)