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‘Generation A’ – The women who keep our churches going

‘Generation A’ – The women who keep our churches going

Who really keeps tradition strong in our churches? Who does most of the work to keep our churches going? The women of “Generation A,” according to this piece in the Anglican newspaper Church Times:

These are the older women laity, often invisible and unacknowledged as they lead from the pews, who rarely have time to take tea and talk about sex because they are too busy hauling heavy boxes up and down church stairs for the jumble sale, or dusting` and polishing, or organising the rota of duties. This may well be the final active generation of the Church of England – because their descendants are not replacing them.

In losing this generation, the Church will not just be losing numbers, but a kind of labour, leadership, and knowledge which has quietly kept churches going. This “pew power” is different from priestly leadership, but has been, I conclude, instrumental to church life.

Read full story here. This is not a Church of England phenomenon, it is a Churches Everywhere phenomenon. Who will fill the gap when the older women of our parishes are no longer with us? Can our traditions survive?

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barbara snyder

(BTW, what's the infatuation with "leaders" and "leadership" in churchspeak these days? Not in this article by Theresa, but in the one linked - and in just about every article out there on the church?

Aren't we all just "people" who give of our time and energy and talent in various ways? Why the seeming need to make some group into "the more important people"?

I find this really bizarre....)

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barbara snyder

I'm extremely glad to see this tribute to the laywomen (and laymen, too, BTW, who've also helped with some of these tasks, and done repairs, and etc.) of these older generations.

They really have kept the church going all these years. Well done, thou good and faithful servants....

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Ann Fontaine

Cynthia - I have seen similar reactions as yours to this story in several places. Have you ever thought that maybe it is not just us but people who have "zero tolerance" for the old ways. How about sitting down and talking over what is good about the old ways and how the new ways might be incorporated instead of just running roughshod over those who have served faithfully. A little respect helps both ways.

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Jeffrey Cox

This is an instructive article. The older ways of church with strong volunteer core of women and men are being eclipsed to a more professional manner. What can we learn? Potlucks may be harder to pull off. I am seeing churches having a hard time getting volunteers for the coffee hour. This article is a lament for generations of the faithful

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Cynthia Katsarelis

I am still in my working years and I took on a church leadership role and transformed the committee I served. Ultimately, however, I found that my time and good will were severely abused. Younger leadership is likely available, but the church needs to learn how to incorporate and welcome new leaders and not undermine them - I suspect my generation will have zero tolerance for the ridiculous.

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