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» THE CHURCH IN EAST LONDON. BY THE REV. CANON S. A. BARNETT. Why does the Church fail in East Loudon P It is not a sufficient answer to say that the religious sense is everywhere weak, that few preachers have now a gospel which they burn to deliver, and the people few intereats beyond their own and their neighbours' comfort. And it would not be a suf- ficient remedy if every clergyman became a social reformer, and every church a centre of activity for the relief and entertainment of the poor. u Why does it fail ? Because the most common answer is—"of its wealth." Working people whose daily concern is with pence are apt to ask of everything. What does it cost ? and their judgment of the Church is at once affected when they hear of its big incomes and its palaces. They judge the Church as they would judge a de- partment of State or their own trade union, by its management of its money, and they condemn it. It is hard for rich societies as it is for rich indi- viduals to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and it is the wealth of the Church which does mua, to pre- vent it from entering into its kingdom in East London. It is hard, but it is not impossible, and the wealth of the Church rightly used might be a help rather than a hindrance to its success. No one will say that the wealth is now rightly used. If its property is the property of God the trustees have betrayed the trust. The next cause of failure most often suggested is the form of service. The people of East Londoa do not like what they do not understand-they do not like ritual. A few-and a few may be many enough to fill large churches-do like the discip- line. the glow of colour, and the dim religious at- mosphere, but East Londoners like direct speech and simple, reasonable service. Deeds, not words —reforms, not Albert Hall meetings—are neces- sary if the Establishment is to be secured. Es- tablishments have been condemned because they rest on the crumbling soil of national life. Let the direction of Church wealth and the Church forms respond to the popular will, as the direction of State wealth and S ate forms has responded and instead of the tolerance which will permit the withdrawal of money and buildings to sec- tarian purposes, there will be defence of national property for national uses. Let the clergy be dis- established, and be made to submit as other feudal authorities have been made to submit; and in- stead of the acquiescence which will permit Church resources to be used for secular purposes. the people will require that funds set apart for the development of their religious life be preserved to its old uses. It ought not to be that good citizens and honest men, that they who are taking part in political and social movements, should be able to think that the Church does not speak their lang- uage. It ought not to be that the English Church should be a tolerated foreigner in the midst of English people. The last cause of failure to be mentioned is the non-democratic character of the Church. The people are not drawn to a Church where every- thing is controlled by the dead hand of the past or, by that of a parson, in whose appointment the' people have had no part. They see that the hours of service, the expenditure of the offertories the administration of the parish are all arranged apart from popular control, and they conclude that the Church is not for them. Their interest is not evoked as it would be evoked if they were called on to take a responsible part in its manage- ment. They accept what the Church offers in treats and in services for the children, but for themselves they pass it with indifference. These causes together operate to make the Church fail to hold people toge her or to raise their aspira- tions.