A new survey of 3000 Anglican clergy reveals that nearly 1 in 5 of us feel 'burned out' at least once a month or more. The survey also states that this is 'not high when compared to other occupational groups" (p6). Well that explains a lot. If 18% of bankers, politicians, journalists, clergy, social workers, teachers, parents etc. are experiencing that much stress, it's no wonder we're surrounded by the fruits of ropey decisions.
Sam Norton has recently posted on the stats of church decline in the CofE. I hope the fact that we're experiencing similar levels of stress to everyone else doesn't lead the powers that be to go 'oh, that's alright then'. There are some serious structural problems with the CofE, and the jury is still out on whether the parish system is an effective neighbourhood mission strategy or a doddering sacred cow which needs to be put out of its misery before it topples over and crushes us.
Update: for some thoughts on where and when churches are effective in mission, try this (HT Thinking Anglicans)
"•If you want Christianity to shrink, give it wealth and privilege and back it up with the power of the state.
•If you want Christianity to show surprising resilience, suppress its structures and persecute its people.
•If you want Christianity to thrive, drop it into a free market environment and force it to hustle."
There, that was cheery! Merry Christmas everyone!!