It is always possible for Churches to lose their positions in society.  It is no less true for national churches as it is for denominations in pluralistic societies such as the USA. The reasons such losses occur are varied.  History records many examples.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of The Church of England, details below an actual process for such a disintegration. It also describes the attitudes and life styles now present in English society.  One possible silver lining –  Christianity has always been refreshed and strengthened when in a percecuted/minority state.  Only those deadly serious remain then. This may be the future state for England, or indeed, the USA.

Fr. Orthohippo

The Church of England faces being wiped out as a significant national force   without an “urgent” campaign to recruit more believers, a report   warns.

The Church of England faces being wiped out as a significant national force without an

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has acknowledged that the Church must devote more energy to increasing the number of regular worshippers over the next five years Photo: PA

In the last 40 years the number of adult churchgoers has fallen by half while   the number of children regularly worshipping in public declined by 80 per   cent, the study says.

The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, will present   findings to the Church’s national assembly, the General Synod, in York on   Saturday.

Synod members will be urged to vote for a new national drive to recruit more   members.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has acknowledged that the   Church must devote more energy to increasing the number of regular   worshippers over the next five years.

The report, Mission Action Planning in the Church of England, states that the “sharp”   fall in churchgoing since 1970 poses a significant threat.

“This decline in membership, and the accompanying rise in average age,   means that fewer people are becoming disciples of Jesus Christ, and that the   Church is able to have less impact and influence in the public realm, both   nationally and in the transformation of local communities,” it says.

“We are faced with a stark and urgent choice: do we spend the next few   years managing decline, or do we go for growth?

“In other words, do we accept the continual numerical decline of the   Church of England as inevitable, or do we dare to believe a different   future, that God might want his Church to grow, in holiness and in numbers?”

According to official figures, the number of worshippers attending church each   week fell by 30,000 between 2007 and 2009, to 1.13 million.

Church of England officials argue that the decline partly reflects the nature   of modern society, in which many kinds of membership organisation –   including political parties – have lost supporters.

The House of Bishops is expected to oppose Bishop Butler’s motion calling for   a “national mission action plan” to help parishes grow. His   critics argue that recruitment is most effective at a local level.

The General Synod will also hear a call for an emergency debate on   homosexuality. Church officials will be accused of “woeful”   failure to protect the institution of marriage from erosion by the rise of   civil partnerships and Coalition plans to allow same-sex couples to register   their partnerships in religious settings.

A lay member of Synod, Andrea Minichiello Williams, will urge the Archbishops   of Canterbury and York to calls an “emergency” debate to discuss   Church’s stance on marriage reforms.


About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
This entry was posted in Anglican, christian demographics, christian education, christian growth, demographics, episcopal, episcopal-anglican, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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