The Words of the Orme Family

A Centuries Old Tradition is Fading Away

Dennis F. Orme
May 1971

The Church of England continues to hold the great ceremonies of state, yet beneath the dignity, the massive cathedrals, lies another story. It is the story of a church that has failed to inspire the youth. The theological colleges are seldom full and their intake, being greatly reduced, has led to talks of closure. The story is the same from city to hamlet.

Recent statistical enquiry into the Diocese of Oxford showed that of 560 clergy only 26 are under 30 years of age, whilst 129 are between 50 and 60 years and a further 129 between 60 and the official retiring age of 63. This means that within the next few years many local parishes will find themselves without a village vicar. This has already happened for example in the village of Borney. Last December the vicar retired and there has been no reappointment. It is the same in other villages, a centuries old tradition is coming to an end.

The English village no matter how picturesque with its cluster of houses set around the church is finally decaying. Frequently vandalism to churches doubles the maintenance costs. In some areas congregations that were formerly two hundred are down to below twenty. No one within the church seems to have a solution to the problem. Dorney a tiny village, with a tiny church has expanded over the years but here the vicarage -- a large house in beautiful grounds -- remains boarded up to deter vandals. The peace and quiet of the traditional English countryside is ebbing away, imperceptibly so that few people notice it. A people are being gradually left without any spiritual leadership. This is England today. Even the Bishop of Oxford at his enthronement last week is reported to have said, "But by Divine Permission, so runs the writ, I am the Bishop of Oxford. To you, however, I am the man who will declare your church Redundant, to you the man who won't, to you the man who will exercise pontifical authority, to you the man who will invariably stoop to conquer."

"But if like St. Paul, I try to be all things to all man, so far from saying any, I shall succumb to schizophrenia."

It is in such a climate as this, that the HSA-UWC is working to restore the hearts of Britons, hearts that no longer beat with the love of God. For the decline of the church is but the outward sign of a spiritual decline that is sapping the strength of the nation. Thirty years of communist propaganda aimed at destroying the morale of the nation have done it's work. No longer are the English hearts stout and strong as of oak, fearless in their demand for freedom and in their love of God. The church so long the guardian of its soul is being laid to rest. The voice of God will still be heard in the land, members of the Unified Family are pledged to fire the hearts of young Britons, as one tradition goes a new and greater one rises---the world wide Unified Family Movement. 

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