Archbishop speaks on true worship

Statistics published last February showed the biggest fall in church attendance in Britain in twenty years. During the spirited debate that followed the announcement of those figures, many Britons suggested that the decline was largely attributable to the cold formality of traditional services and that a more youthful approach to worship might stem the tide.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Runcie, took the opportunity to caution people, through the pages of The Telegraph newspaper, that the Church should not dilute its liturgy merely to attract new worshipers. But those remarks put him at odds with his successor, Dr. George Carey, who has encouraged services that reflect youth culture. Unrepentant, Lord Runcie clarified his remarks during a visit to Cambridge, England: "The balance has dipped too much in favor of turning worship into entertainment in order that churches should be full."

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June 16, 1997
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