Chemin Neuf at Lambeth Palace

Sociologist Peter Berger writes for Religion and Other Curiosities, his column on The American Interest’s weblog:

On December 7, 2013, The Tablet published a story by Christopher Lamb, “On the Road to London”. It is a remarkable story, describing in some detail how four members of the Community of Chemin Neuf will take up residence in Lambeth Palace, after also taking control of Christ the King in Cockfosters, a prominent Roman Catholic parish in north London. … Chemin Neuf (“New Way”) was founded forty years ago in Lyon, France, at a charismatic Catholic prayer group, by Laurent Fabre, a Jesuit priest. One might say that this is a classical man-bites-dog story: It is difficult to imagine two more different Christian traditions than Pentecostalism (also known as charismatic Christianity) and the Church of England.

… Pentecostalism has established itself in England for some time, mainly carried there by immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean, though there have been some inroads into the indigenous white population. The penetration of charismatic exuberance into the very heart of Anglicanism might be a metaphor for a potentially significant development.

Read the rest.

Image courtesy Lambeth Palace


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