JOLLEY, Andy, "Relating Faith to work: Is the Church part of the solution, or part of the problem?," Anvil 17.2, 2000, pp.87-98

by Robert Brow   (

Anvil is an Anglican Evangelical journal for theology and mission ( Every quarter it yields three or four important articles, and a section of very useful book reviews. Here is the result of interviews (Feb. 1998 to Feb. 1999) with fifteen of Britain's faith and work 'experts' from various denominations. Andy Jolley is interested in the causes that contribute to the current serious separation between faith and work. Eight of these experts, including all the lay experts highlighted 'clericalism' as a key problem. Here are the aspects of clericalism that were identified :

Ordained people dominating, de-skilling and domesticating lay people.

A failure of clergy to enable lay people in their own ministry.

Maintaining control but not delegating.

Lay readers and preachers excluding the world of work from worship by mimicking clergy and not 'being themselves' when leading worship or preaching.

Continuing a model of clerical ministry which includes visiting schools and old people's homes, but excluding workplaces.

Learned behaviour of passive submission by lay people to work being excluded from worship, and their acceptance of hierarchical models of ministry.

Approaching teaching with the assumption that clergy are experts and people are empty vessels waiting to be filled, rather than building on their expertise and knowledge from working lives.

A theology of ministry which views lay people as volunteers in the clergy's ministry. (p. 91).

I also liked "four practical implications of this more radical understanding of being a church." The first of these was : "It must be accepted that people can belong to, and be committed to, more than one expression of the Church. Indeed they should be encouraged to belong to as many expressions of Church as are relevant for their lives, family situations, and the roles they play in God's kingdom" (p.96).

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