Many of these changes have been necessary to keep up with the development of Australian society over the past 50 years. But accompanying this has been a worrying tendency. It has become all to easy to throw out anything the is old, traditional or formal (i.e. the creeds, communion, confession) for the sake of informality. Informalism for the sheer sake of informalism is not a desirable thing. In fact, if anything, it has often resulted in church services that are half-baked, half-arsed, and run according to whim. In pursuit of the noble cause of being informal, our church services are reduced to cliche's and entertainment - the congregation has no idea what will come next and so are reduced to being an audience as they await the next move.
The other problem is that the pursuit of this highest ideal is that our informal services are often just as unintelligible and alienating as the liturgy that they replaced. I saw this problem in my old church. The theory was that no one in the town would step into church, but they would spend all their time in cafes. So turning the church service into a cafe seemed the obvious thing to do. Except that it was a poorly run cafe - why go to there when people go to a nice and comfortable cafe two doors up the road. Nor only did it fail misread to the culture, it also failed to serve the people actually at the church. And has been stated elsewhere:
'The reason we eschewed formality in church services was because that was what WE on the inside wanted (or some of us, anyway) - the missiological reason was in fact only a justification for it'Of course formalism for the sake of formalism is also dangerous. One of the great strengths of Anglicanism has been it's quality to culturally contextualise it's form and identity to whatever situation it's in. The challenge we face in our contemporary liturgy is to provide church services that allow for spontaneity the relaxed felling that informal service provide, whilst not descending to pure laziness or rejecting good practices on the basis of how formal they are. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.
See also: Missiological assumptions?