Bishop Duckworth: Camino churches didn’t engage with pilgrims

The Anglican Bishop of Wellington New Zealand, Justin Duckworth and his wife undertook the month-long Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in June.

Many people on the walk, he said, wanted to talk to him about his role as a Bishop, and his experience of God.

He was surprised that monasteries and churches appeared not to engage with pilgrims, and a final Mass he attended notably failed to invite pilgrims to reflect on their journey.

People are hungry to talk about faith’, he said ‘but not interested in the institution of the church’.

Bishop Justin was addressing the  Synod of the Wellington Anglican Diocese which took place last weekend in Palmerston North.

Bishop Justin continued, ‘People want to engage with issues of faith, but they do not want to belong to an institution. People want deeply to belong, and they want to be gathered around the table, to be called in from the highways and byways’.

We need to change our culture’, he said. ‘How we do things is just as important as what we do; if we get the right culture, then the other stuff will flow’.

Bishop Justin made three points:

•   We are family, not ‘islands’.
•   We cannot disciple people unless we are disciples ourselves.
•   We are a church of the lost, last, least, and a church that prioritises the proclamation of the Gospel, good news to the poor.


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News category: New Zealand.

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