It’s amazing how easily people romanticise the past. Even in the Church.
The ‘golden age’ was always the one we remember from our childhood and usually turns out to be like many childhood memories – a fantasy. John Bell used to speak about the ‘teddy bear theology’ of middle-aged (wo)men who look back rather than forwards and, like the Israelites who whinged about the food only days after being released from 400 years of captivity in Egypt, mis-remember reality. (Is that a Bush-ism?)
Well, have a look at this clip of the Diocese of Southwark Clergy Conference from several decades ago (I can’t find the precise date). Er… the good old days?
[Update 8/9/10: 1961 – it says it on the clip!]