The Independent–Evangelical Christianity: It's Glastonbury for God

Rich Nathan is just about to wrap up his evening sermon when a loud and piercing shriek erupts from the back of his congregation. A woman in the crowd of 3,000 worshippers is shaking uncontrollably and wailing. “Jesus!” she cries. “Jesus I feel you!” Nearer the front of the stage, a small and equally exuberant group of faithful is receiving the Holy Spirit in other ways. Some rock from side to side, others simply mutter in hushed tones or raise their hands skywards.

It could be a scene from the American Mid-West ”“ Pastor Nathan is, after all, a prominent Jewish-born convert to Christianity who leads a church in Ohio. But today’s energetic act of mass worship is taking place in the rolling countryside of Somerset, just to the south of the picturesque town of Shepton Mallet.

As the leaders of Britain’s more mainstream denominations scratch their heads and debate how to revitalise their congregations, evangelical Christianity in Britain is going from strength to strength. The number of evangelical churches in Britain has risen from 2047 to 2,719 since 1998 and their followers now make up 34 per cent of Anglicans, figures show.

Read the whole piece.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

6 comments on “The Independent–Evangelical Christianity: It's Glastonbury for God

  1. Eugene says:

    Is that really “evangelical Christianity”?

  2. RazorbackPadre says:

    The interviewees did a fine job of exposing the “three legged stool” of evangelicalism: private revelation, personal experince, relative success. Who can argue with it?

  3. MarkABrown says:

    This is the first encouraging report on the future of Christianity in England that I have seen in a long, long time.

    Mark Brown
    San Angelo, Texas
    August 6, 2009

  4. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    It is one of the influences which has developed in England since I went to church as a youngster. Traditional evangelicalism of the John Stott sort continues and has grown; but perhaps under the influence of Pentacostalism and the various movements of the 1970’s, there is now a distinct strand of charismatic evangelicalism which emphasises the possibility of a personal experience of the Holy Ghost/Spirit. It has been a movement across denominations in England and has been exported elsewhere. It centers on the ministry of CofE churches such as Holy Trinity, Brompton Road in London and its satellites and the ministry of the big festivals: New Wine, Soul Survivor and others. Holy Trinity has developed the Alpha Course, Marriage Course and other outreach which people seem to find helpful.

    The charismatic side shows itself in an understated, slightly English embarrassed sort of way – no snake handlers here. The fruits have shown themselves in people coming to Christ, growing congregations [particularly among the young], church plants and in its real sense, revival.

    God is good.

  5. Pb says:

    500,000,00 Charismatics and Pentacostals would be at home there. And probably the majority of Anglicans worldwide.

  6. teatime says:

    I have DirecTV and one of the channels I get is God TV (GTV). It’s a ministry based in England because the programming I’ve seen at various times is all evangelical conferences, concerts and happenings in England. I saw a Soul Survivor event televised and it did my heart good. 🙂