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Speaker – Canon David Lickess is today’s speaker and his talk was to have been entitled‘ The Art of Venice & Padua ‘ with copious slides to illustrate his presentation.However, owing to a malfunction of the projector, this presentation was postponed to alater date. In place of the scheduled talk Canon Lickess gave an impromptu talk entitled‘Changes in the Anglican church in the last Half Century’.Canon Lickess is well known locally, for 37 years( 1970-2007 ) he was vicar ofHutton Rudby. He is now retired. David was ordained at York Minster in 1965, at a timewhen some 600 priests were ordained each year, predominantly young men. Currentlyabout 400 priests are ordained per annum, half of them women. Furthermore, manypriests are being ordained in their forties & fifties, rather than directly after graduation.Although this brings in people with experience from all walks of life their length ofservice is inevitably shorter. Congregations have dwindled, particularly among theyoung. While 70% of the population describe themselves as Christians only 10%regularly attend a place of worship. Going to church is no longer the custom & ritual itwas 50 years ago. Sunday trading & sporting events have provided strong counterattractions to all but the most committed Christians. In addition to a reduction innumbers of laity the Church Commissioners have faced mounting financial pressures.There are now more clergy retired on pension than serving priests. The burden offinancing stipends has inexorably shifted to parishes through a quota system.David reassured us that not all was negative. The church has adapted byamalgamating parishes under one priest. Ecumenical advances have produced muchmore cooperation with Methodists, Catholics & others, both at the national level & thelocal level. The Shakespearian language of the King James Bible & the Book ofCommon Prayer, although full of resonance & beauty, has changed for a more modern &comprehensible style. Currently controversy abounds over homosexual priests,appointing women bishops & ‘marrying’ civil partners. In spite of these pressures, Davidsees the church & its beliefs as still very relevant today, as a moral force in society. Hepredicts a long & bright future.

A vote of thanks was proposed by Mervin Davies.