York Minster, one of the UK’s most famous churches and the seat of the Archbishop of York, has come under scrutiny for introducing a weekly meditation session on Friday afternoons as part of its community events.
The sessions were introduced by Revd Canon Dr Christopher Collingwood, the Minster’s Canon Chancellor and are led by a Roman Catholic zen master priest – but the practise has been attacked by evangelical groups as a sign of “Zen Buddhism” is interferring into the church.The same church came in for criticism some time ago, after a minister ‘blessed’ the city’s Pride parade on its way past.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, a member of the Church of England’s General Synod and the head of anti-LGBT group Christian Concern, lashed out at both decisions today.She said in a press release: “Buddhism contrasts sharply with Christian teaching about God. The two are incompatible. To try to mix them is deceptive and dishonours Jesus Christ.It is remarkable that this is happening at one of the country’s best known cathedrals. The Archbishop of York must take swift action. This type of confusion undermines the Church of England’s current initiative to encourage Christian prayer.Unless there is clarity about the Christian gospel at the heart of the Church of England’s call to prayer, the initiative will be counter-productive. It is sobering that last year a Canon of this same cathedral blessed the city’s ‘Pride’ march. The Church of England must take decisive action to deal with this radical agenda.”