Challenges of inculturations, ‘reverse mission’ and community/ies. Reflections from the multi-cultural experience of the Catholic Church in Britain.

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This article reflects on the now well-established experiences of multi-cultural parish communities in the Catholic Church in Britain, focusing especially on England and Wales. After a contextual section outlining the particular sociological and historical characteristic of this church, attention is given to two major themes: reverse mission; and multi-cultural parishes. Whilst there is some increasing research and scholarship in these areas across the Protestant churches in Britain, there is little form a Roman Catholic perspective. The attempt is made, then, to allow the existing scholarship to enter into conversation with the experiences of these aspects of church life and their intersection with immigration, through the inclusion of personal authorial reflection, and the gathered wisdom of relevant pastors. Whilst the limitations of such an approach are recognised, it nonetheless allows for the identification of three significant areas for further theological and practical research: the confronting of colonial pasts in our parish communities; the questions raised by the recruiting of overseas clergy; and the challenges and blessings of multi-cultural communities. Each of these call for a fundamental re-imagining of the purpose, nature, and daily life of Catholic parishes so that they can better reflect the lived realities of those they serve.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLumen Vitae Revue
VolumeLXXVIII (Dec 2023)
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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