The Peoples Community Church of England

People strive for greater profit, stubborn in their philosophy and secure in their own little island. That is what we aspire to in England. But what of those who fail in this system? Work harder and you will succeed. Surely then we will be all working in the City of London. There are many who have become marginalised. Failing in capitalism, I say fail or just beaten by people with no scruples. Excluded due to their sexuality. Stigmatised due to disability. Discriminated for a number reasons. Have they failed or has the system failed them? Not only has the system failed them, it has replaced any lingering compassion, not with contempt, but with hatred. A desire to make the poor and disadvantaged have an even worse life. Thank you the Bullingdon Club!

Clearly I have a view from the foundation of society and have my own bias. Unfortunately, in the circles I move in, there has been resignation with no expectation of anything changing. There is a sense that no-one cares.

I would propose a community of those marginalised. I would call it a church, not to shove religion down their throat, but because hopefully we could meet in churches unused during the week. There would be support groups, especially for the unemployed. Child care for parent and child and food laid on. There would be support for the elderly and youth work.

The community would base its relationships on balance, agape and truth. There would be an encouragement for personal development. A database with people’s thoughts on personal growth would be available on line. Social events and regular club nights would enable matchmaking within a community of known people.

Most people would be expected to contribute in the running of the community. There would be twelve disciplines needed to fulfil all its functions. Training, assessment and qualifications would all be available.

These communities would be delineated by postcode, so they would be easy to change and everybody would know which group they were in. This group would be representative of the area and would attract sports teams, local history and customs.

Now, there may be some crossover with the actual church and that’s fine. But crucial to success is the need to accept different beliefs despite the lack of agreement on ethical grounds. Now I am not one to defeat evangelicalism, but I would say it is not for all. There is one group of people who always been marginalised. Generally speaking they have a higher standard of education than others and more spare cash as they don’t usually have children. I am talking about the gay community. It does not make a lot of sense for homosexuals to go to the evangelical church, but they could come to this one. Not only that, they could be encouraged to take a lead role, since the marginalisation they experience is not because of a weakness on their part. Perhaps if gays have their own church, both sides of the debate would find it easier to accept each other. Then gays could find family, purpose, meaning and spirituality not always available.

This is an ambitious plan that requires a lot of planning and work. But it’s not just up to me, organisation and commitment from all concerned can make this happen. If we do this then there would be an effective alternative to neo-liberalism. Love, people and community, inspired by the enlightenment, Jesus Christ, Karl Marx, Sun Tzu, and a pantheon of the wise and faithful.

Instead of being at the back of the line on a narrow path you don’t wish for. A choice between money and people would be available and a field of opportunities would open up.

Conway-Laird (2016)

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