This is an interesting blog about Anglican ministry in urban estates by one of my bishops, Philip North of Burnley.
I always appreciate what Philip does as a bishop and what he says, but whether I always agree is a different matter. Here he is at our excellent confirmation earlier this year
This is a blog by another priest questioning aspects of a recent article in the Church Times
To me he overstates the case that Jesus has a “Bias to the Poor” – here implicitly referering to Bishop David Sheppard’s book of the 1980s. I would argue Jesus has a bias to all rich and poor as Ian Paul makes clear
Philip goes on to question the assumptions that we make, observing that ‘Jesus centred his ministry on the poor’ and that ‘a Church run for the most part by relatively wealthy graduates’ is bound to fail in these contexts. I am not sure that these claims are convincing. Reading through Luke’s gospel this year, and commenting on the Sunday lectionary readings, I have been struck not so much by Jesus’ ministry centring on the poor, as Jesus engaging with rich and poor, central and marginal, leaders and ordinary people. To be sure, Luke mentions the poor, marginalised and the ‘sinners’ more emphatically than perhaps the other Synoptic gospels do—but he also mentions the wealthy, the religious and those committed to traditional piety more clearly than others. Luke’s point is that the poor are not excluded from the gospel by being poor (as many thought then, and we appear also to think today)—but that is because no-one is excluded.
The affluent and powerful has as much need of the Gospel as anyone and also have the influence in society to change things
Read the blog and the Church Times article and make your own mind up.
The most important question is how the churches take the love of Christ to our whole population