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Theology and Ministry

Old Wine in New Wine Skins

Revd Dr Benjamin Carter


This essay examines how the Church can use its inherited traditions as a resource for mission. Using the example of the Anglican choral tradition, particularly in cathedrals, I argue that tradition can play a central role in the Church’s mission. The ‘far-horizon’ of this tradition is examined in critical relation to the ‘near-horizon’ of current Church of Englandthinking on mission, particularly that developed in the Mission-Shaped Church report. By the critical interplay of these two ‘horizons’ in the life of the contemporary Church, I argue that tradition, and specifically the Anglican choral tradition, can still play a vital role in the life and mission of the Church. I also argue, however, that guardians of these traditions need to work more assiduously to interpret traditions to a pluralist world which is increasingly removed from the shared inheritance that has informed and maintained traditions, such as the choral tradition, in the life of the Church.

Key Words: Tradition;Mission; Church; Cathedrals; Music.

Article (pdf file for download)