Monday 5 November 2012

Theos and The Grubb Institute on English Cathedrals

Theos and The Grubb Institute, Spiritual Capital: The Present and Future of English Cathedrals (London: Theos, 2012).

Theos have produced another interesting-looking booklet, this one in partnership with The Grubb Institute, on Church of England Cathedrals.

There is more detail here, it’s available for download here, and here’s the back cover blurb:

‘Church of England cathedrals have a unique and widely admired position within English society. Praised for their architectural magnificence, aesthetic appeal and historical significance, this report shows that their impact on and significance for English life extends far beyond their role as tourist destinations.

‘Based on an extensive and detailed research programme carried out by The Grubb Institute and Theos over 2011–12, Spiritual Capital looks at cathedrals in contemporary England, assessing the breadth, depth and nature of their activity and appeal, with the objective of helping those who run and work in them to understand and respond better to the challenges of the 21st century.

‘Visited and enjoyed by millions, research shows that cathedrals are also uniquely able to reach beyond boundaries, to communicate a sense of the sacred, and to enable and sustain a range of connections – between the tourist and the pilgrim;
between people and the traditions from which modern life cuts them off and between the diverse organisations and communities that share the same social and physical space and infrastructure yet rarely meet.

‘At the same time, cathedrals are recognised as Christian institutions. As such, they have their own distinct logic – of generosity and grace, of hospitality and holiness – on which they draw in order to serve their communities, and live out the message of Jesus Christ. Rather than alienate people who are not Christians, however, this authentic Christianity is widely respected and appreciated.

Spiritual Capital shows how cathedrals stand at the heart of contemporary English life – geographically, socially, civically and spiritually – and hopes to help those connected with them to identify and respond faithfully and fruitfully to the opportunities of a new century.’

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