I have learnt so much on this trip, having stayed with Marian Fathers, plain clothed Nuns and Sisters in Kielce! I have sung in a variety of churches (mostly under freezing temperatures) and schools or culture centres! We have covered a lot of Poland and played to around 3,000 people. And a lot of those have been young people!
The Polish web site for the tour has received many emails saying very nice things about the concerts, but especially commenting on how they have been prompted to think again about their faith and committment to God! Many things are changing here in Poland. Increasing travel, flourishing european involvement, strengthening economy, wider consumer choice, greater media influence, it could be that in a few years time, church attendance and loyalty to catholic values will decrease amongst the younger generations! It's already happening, where the values their parents held are not so important or relevant! Like the UK, the younger generations may get dis-enchanted with 'organised religion'.
So..the challenge looks lively! The Church may need to adjust, change shape, find other ways to communicate, yet still retain it's depth of faith with so many riches. The Catholic system is pretty well organised here, very traditional too. My prayer is that there will be a new wave of radical revolutionaries (of all ages and vocations) who sense the signs of the times and become salt and light to Poland! Not entrenched behind church buildings, but out where the people are!! and for 'Emerging Churches'...fresh expressions to grow.
That will be exciting...and challenging...and country changing!