The Bishop of St Asaph has been challenged by a group of young people to make the church more relevant and engaging.
The discussion is part of a conversation between the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron and three young people, which has been filmed and released as the Bishop of St Asaph’s 2018 Advent Message.
The five-minute film will be shown on Advent Sunday (2 December) in all 228 churches across the Diocese of St Asaph, which covers north east and mid Wales.
The conversation which took place over hot chocolate and cakes at Translators’ Tearoom at St Asaph Cathedral involved three members of the Diocesan Youth Forum, a group which meets to advise the diocese on key issues for young people.
In the discussion, the three teenagers explained how it is boring if going to church means little beyond sitting listening to someone else talk. They told Bishop Gregory how being out and about in the hills was a way in which they had had a closer encounter with God. Church needs to be more interactive and young people need to be involved, they tell him.
Bishop Gregory said: I’m very grateful to Alisha, Francesca and Tal and for being honest with me about going to church. They all experience God in different ways and their faith is very real to them but the church doesn’t always enable them to be active participants. We need to learn lessons from their honesty.
“As you’ll see in the film, they are all passionate about issues of justice, peace, homelessness and poverty. I was able to explain how the Christian message speaks directly to these issues and Advent is a time to take what God says about such issues seriously.
“We need to be a church in which the voice of our younger members is taken seriously and given equal weight. This year, we’ve been given a call to open our churches to their participation, to take the spiritual preparations of Advent seriously and to apply our faith to the issues challenging the world and our society as we seek to proclaim God’s Kingdom.”
You can watch the film in full on Advent Sunday (2 December) at https://dioceseofstasaph.org.uk/bishop-st-asaph/and you can read Bishop Gregory’s letter in English and Welsh at https://dioceseofstasaph.org.uk/bishop-st-asaph/.
For further information please contact the diocesan communications officer, Karen Maurice: 01745 582245 / 079181 133420.