Listening and learning

Adult education in Minnesota.

From a recent CofE press release here

The Church of England has joined other organisations in signing a pledge to use its network of people and buildings to support a drive to create more ‘informal adult learning’ opportunities across the country.


Revd Janina Ainsworth said, “The Church shares the aim of enriching individual’s lives so that they can fulfil their God-given potential, and welcomes the chance to formalise its historic commitment and investment in projects which boost people’s skills and confidence, both in faith-related activities and less obviously churchy ones.

“This is a simple way of showing that the Church is passionate about learning and the development of the whole person. Christians believe this is God’s hope for every person.”

By signing the pledge, the Church of England’s Board of Education has joined a wider movement of ambassadors for informal adult learning, including the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and Business in the Community (BITC).

The pledge includes seven overarching commitments:

· Support the core principles of informal learning and encourage others to sign up

· Advocate wider participation, especially by those who have benefited least from learning

· Find flexible ways of using our existing spaces, or opening up new spaces, for learning

· Encourage and support learning activities organised by people for themselves

· Embrace new ways of learning, including the use of technology and broadcasting

· Find and work with new partners to increase learning opportunities

· Celebrate our successes

Really? How will this work in practice do you think? And will the church apply it to itself?

A culture in which the laity tell clergy and clergy tell bishops what they think the other wants to hear is antipathetic to learning. And a church in which those laity and those clergy do tell clergy and bishops respectively exactly what they think are then marginalised, regarded as trouble and generally unheard, is a church incapable of listening.


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