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The Religious Lives of Older LaywomenThe Last Active Anglican Generation$
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Abby Day

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739586

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739586.001.0001

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Maintaining Open Churches

Maintaining Open Churches

(p.51) 3 Maintaining Open Churches
The Religious Lives of Older Laywomen

Abby Day

Oxford University Press

The church is not just God’s house, but the women’s house. Without their frequent presence, the church would easily become neglected, fall into disrepair, and cease to be a viable site for worship or community events. This kind of church maintenance happens on every day but a Sunday—the day that usually commands the attention of statisticians and auditors. During the rest of the week the only members of the congregation who are regularly seen in the church will be Generation A women and their priest. The women maintain an open church in two ways: though attending mid-week church services with their priest, and through a routine of ‘church watch’/coffee mornings. It is also often dangerous, frequently uncomfortable, and a generally unacknowledged form of informal social care. Discussions with clergy in the UK, United States, and Canada indicate this once ubiquitous practice is now dying out, as Generation A dies.

Keywords:   social care, community, maintenance, surveillance, church

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