The Revd Wyn Beynon

Speech to General Synod July 2019

Mission Shaped Church page 13: “Although western culture will continue to evolve (particularly through technological change) it has taken a shape that is likely to hold for the foreseeable future. The shape of the mission field has become clear.”  

Society has changed in ways we could not have imagined  15 years ago. The forces of the New Right are increasingly powerful and dark dark days are on us. 

Distrust of difference, fear of the stranger, hate of those who don't agree with us or look like us. We marginalise those least able to stand up for themselves.

The level of hate from the New Right just below the surface of our society, and now oozing out, is frightening. And is it here in the Church?

Instead of debating the sickness of our society which causes knife crime we blamed schools for exclusions. 

Instead of opening our arms to our Methodist sisters and brothers and showing reconciliation, we have put any chance of reunion back for who knows how long by reverting to the neo-Puritan and neo-Laudian tribalism that have dogged the Pax Anglicana from day one.

We have been patronised in the LLF process by a level of theology that is, I'm so sorry to say, at best, second rate. 

We were told we mustn't make demands on government over knife crime. 

How ironic to hear that in York where Constantine was acclaimed Emperor. Did Nathan whisper in David’s ear when he called him out over Bathsheba?

Where is the prophetic voice which must always, always, always  precede preaching the Gospel?

Thank God for all Mission Shaped Church, Fresh Expressions and all that they’ve given us. But balloons and candy floss will not cut it in what's to come.

Now is the time to commit ourselves to being a Christ Shaped Church with a Christ Shaped Mission. The question is do we understand the Mission field? I don't think we do.

Mission Shaped Church was fun but the party’s over. Now for a Christ Shaped Church for the storm to come.