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ben edson

Jonny, this is interesting and I'm really pleased that you've marked it. I'm hopeful that we can celebrate all that was good about these two movements, but also that we can see how they've shaped where we are now. As I look back I can't help but think that there was a blissful naivety at times, part of me doesn't want to lose that and I won't - I'm too hopeful - but also I want to make sure that the hard lessons learnt can shape the future.

Paul Roberts

I want to add my thanks for the amazing work Steve has done over the years. He built an amazing website and resource which was just what was needed. I think I would want to make a distinction between alternative worship as a movement and alternative worship as a practice. The principles you outline are still valid, if anything more so now than ever, but I agree that as a movement it hasn't functioned in a real sense for a good few years. Because of the increasingly commercialised parallel universe of contemporary worship, I will be keeping the site up in its present form, but will review this in a couple of years' time. I think there are still lessons to be learnt, more's the pity!


I agree with both Ben and Paul here. A huge thanks to those who have archived and curated living histories of actual people struggling with what it means to be Christian in their particular places and times. Smallfire was such an important source if inspiration for my own faith formation and liturgical development. Stimulating my imagination with what could be possible pushed me towards more creative forms of worship along with a deeper pursuit of the theological implications of these emerging forms. We move now only because we have mined these theologies in such a way that they urge us all onward (not necessarily forward or backwards). Thank you Steve and thank you Jonny for all you have done....

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    i have been blogging for a decade or more in fairly eclectic fashion. i am an advocate for pioneers, lover of all things creative, an explorer of faith in relation to contemporary culture, a photographer and writer. explore the presences section below to find me in other spaces

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