In a similar vein to the post below, the Church of England has published its annual attendance figures and has tried to put a positive spin on what is, according to the think tank Ekklesia, “a much steeper decline than the Church is openly acknowledging.” The latest figures seem to show a steady 1% decline year on year and also a 3% decrease in church marriages and 2% decrease in baptisms.
Spokesperson the Rev’d Lydia Barley described the figures as giving a “mixed picture”, but little good will come of an ostrich- like attitude about the fact that the majority of the British people have lost interest in Church worship and that increasingly the Church is viewed with indifference.
I am not going to discuss the reasons, they are complex and I think the reasons people cite often reflect their own particular view of Church and what they think it should be, rather than offering a comprehensive picture of what is happening. However, as a result of teaching literature, I have noticed that young people are increasingly ignorant of their Christian heritage, sometime of even the most basic concepts and can have a very hostile and stereotypical view of what they think Christians are like.
If the thought of evangelising makes you cringe, fear not! I will soon be posting a video that will show you some simple ways to invite your friends and neighbours to church.