Category Archives: sociology of religion

Neighbouring

Another local minister put me onto this book about Jesus’ greatest commandments, The Art of Neighboring, by American ministers Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon. Imagine if a network of churches across the city were engaged in actively pursuing the best for … Continue reading

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Findings from the Northampton Faith Communities Survey.

I reported a few months ago that Northampton Council had commissioned a survey into the status and needs of faith communities across the town. A couple of weeks ago I attended a workshop for faith leaders to discuss and critique … Continue reading

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The benefits of a state church.

After this weeks debate in parliament and the passing of the equal (same-sex) marriage bill I had pondered what it’s effects on churches might be. Many had suggested that perhaps now is the time to disestablish the church, so that … Continue reading

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Northampton Faith Communities Survey

This year Northampton County Council are doing a survey of all the faith groups in the town, the extent of their activities, number of adherents, and their possible needs. The Northampton Chronicle wrote a short piece on the research this … Continue reading

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Searching for intimacy in the @ generation #iasym13

I’m at the IASYM conference in Cambridge – the international association of studies of youth ministry, mostly doing childcare as my wife is involved in the organisation. There are a number of papers applicable to the young adult section as … Continue reading

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Church and community

1) Community social life is necessary for healthy religious life, and 2) if the church is going to succeed it must recognise the social needs of the community and assume its share of the leadership in social activities. A quote … Continue reading

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What makes a good third place?

Churches should want to become a central part of the community by providing third spaces for people to go to. Ray Oldenburg, who wrote The Great Good Place, characterizes  the third space as those places in a community that are … Continue reading

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Christ among the Dragons: Engaging with culture

In today’s culture where Christ is seen as irrelevant and so much of the population do not go to church and have never been to church, it is more important that ever to examine the what the local church is … Continue reading

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Bowling Alone – the revival of community and its challenge to religion.

Putnam’s book is a detailed and systematic study of the rise and fall of social capital and civic engagement throughout the 20th century, and the possibly reasons and factors behind this fall. His basic premise is this: since the 1960’s … Continue reading

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Commuting and suburbs negatively affects civic engagement

Is increased movement and suburbanization to blame for the falling rates of civic engagement, including church-going? In the USA, Robert Putnam suggests that the amount people move cannot be held responsible because ‘mobility has not increased at all over the … Continue reading

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