A challenging message concerning the future of British parish churches was issued by Sir Roy Strong in the annual Gresham College Special Lecture at St Paul’s Cathedral on 30th May 2007.
Entitled “The Beauty of Holiness and its Perils (or what is to happen to 10,000 parish churches?)”, the lecture charts the changing shape of rural parish life, and predicts a twenty first century challenge to save our historic churches, and in particular the 10,000 or so churches scattered through the countryside.
The crisis has grown as a result, Sir Roy suggests, of a failure of public relations, political correctness and the lack of a contemporary guide which presents churches as the hub of the community, ‘peopled and bustling with life’. He expresses concern over the multitude of church bodies and calls for ‘one organisation only with a new name, a revised series of community based objectives in tune with where we are now…’
A 50-minute video and full transcript (worth reading) can still be found here.