Monday, June 29, 2009

Britain is no longer a Christian nation

By the Rt Rev Paul Richardson
Published: 11:36PM BST 27 Jun 2009

If recent trends are any guide, many Church of England parishes will have been cheered by higher attendances at Easter services. The last published statistics for 2006/7 show rises of 7 and 5 per cent in church going at Christmas and Easter.

But these figures are just about the only signs of hope for the church and certainly not the first green shoots of a revival. Other statistics make for gloomy reading.

Annual decline in Sunday attendance is running at around 1 per cent. At this rate it is hard to see the church surviving for more than 30 years though few of its leaders are prepared to face that possibility....

At present church leaders show little signs of understanding the situation. They don't understand the culture we now live in.

Many bishops prefer to turn their heads, to carry on as if nothing has changed, rather than face the reality that Britain is no longer a Christian nation.

Many of them think that we are still living in the 1950s – a period described by historians as representing a hey day for the established church.

The coronation brought church and nation together in a way which will never be repeated. School assemblies had a definite Christian tone and children still sang familiar hymns.
The church could function as chaplain to a nation that was nominally Christian and Anglican, even if many actually only attended for baptisms, weddings and funerals.

That world has gone for good...

Read more: Britain is no longer a Christian nation

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