Church of England 'on the margins of extinction', analyst claims

The turn of the next century will witness the extinction of the Church of England, according to new analysis of churchgoing trends.
Other Anglican provinces could die even sooner, namely the Church in Wales and the Scottish Episcopal Church in 2043 and The Episcopal Church of the US in 2055.
The Church of England will be extinct by 2100 in terms of attendance and 2082 in terms of membership, claims John Hayward, writing on the blog of the Church Growth Modelling project.

christiantoday.com/article/church.of.england.on.the.margins.of.extinction.analyst.claims/61967.htm

When the church becomes like the culture around it, and not the other way around, the Church dissolves like sugar in coffee.

Rather, the Church ought to be the cornerstone - the main, load-bearing pillar supporting all the rest. So that, even if the culture leaves and goes off to do their own thing, they’ll always have that unshakeable pillar on which to rebuild when their structures collapse.

The above poster is correct. The Church of England has been in peril since the Enlightenment.

It is sad to make this statement, but Great Britain is a post-Christian country.

The headline is very misleading. When you actually read the research paper, it says that the CofE is in a much stronger position than TEC, SEC, and CinW. Besides as has been shown in other churches it is impossible to predict. I remember reading doom and gloom reports about the catholic church in the mid-80s, and now it is growing in many places.

That wasn’t my point. When only 10% of the Anglicans attend church on any given sunday (I’m not sure about the baptists, calvinists, etc) that is not a good sign. on the other hand, attendance at mosques is at an all time high.

My comment wasn’t directed at you, but church attendance overall in Britain is higher than most countries in Europe, and declining slower than the US.

I thought this was an open forum, but your post wasn’t directed at me? If you want a private conversation, email the person. And I dont believe your “statistcs” because I have read otherwise. More people attend church in america than anywhere in EUrope, except perhaps Poland and the Ukraine.

I don’t put a lot of stock in this. It reads like propaganda disguised as social science.

One huge red flag: it makes absolutely no sense to say that the C of E will become extinct in terms of membership 18 years before people stop attending. Much more likely to happen the other way round. That fact alone calls into question whether this “analyst” has any idea what he is talking about.

Edwin

This has been said since immediately post-WW2, with C.S. Lewis.

Some believe the three World Wars (among other things) were the straws that broke the back of Europe’s faith. The pews became thinner after Napoleon, they were half empty after WW1, and they became three quarters empty after WW2. The catastrophic damage & suffering wrecked the population’s idea of Divine Providence and Divine Benevolence. They turned solely to their own ingenuity to solve the problem of evil.

“The problem of evil” has been a major issue since the earliest literature in human history available to us. Man intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually struggles reconciling between the existence of evil and the existence of a Creator.

This is why it is so, so critical for Catholics to hold on to the doctrine of free will, of the existence of the angels (and, by default, demons), and of Original Sin. It is imperative to understand evil as a creation of men & angels. If you lose those tenets and attempt to find alternatives to why evil exists, you’re inevitably going to endorse either weird/weak/bad theology, or become secular.

I attend both a “Continuing Anglican” (ACA) church and an ACNA church. ACNA dioceses may or may not ordain women, while the ACA does not. The ACA uses the 1928 prayer book while the ACNA is coming out with their own, while currently still using the 1979. It will be interesting to see what happens with TEC; I don’t see how one can put an exact date on it’s extinction but one thing is certain: in accommodating to secular culture, it has truly lost its way as a church of God. Whether or not the children of the current generation(s) of theological / social / political liberals who attend TEC will themselves attend or not, remains to be seen.:shrug:

Your last paragraph says it all so well! Thank you.

I think You are wrong. The wars sharpen the faith, not undermines it. :nope:

It is the rise in welfare, the material prosperity, that encourages people to loose faith - they start to doubt the need for God.

I agree. When one is faced with a potential or actual crisis, one either turns to God (“please help me!”) or away (“thanks a bunch!”). For all the “crises” which plague the UK to judge from what I read in my newspaper or see on the BBC on an almost-daily basis, we are not actually living in the midst of a material calamity. Yes some people are poor, some people are definitely badly treated by their employers, some people are unable to buy organic artichokes all year round. Basically, materially, the least among us tend to have more than enough for life to be sustainable (if only sometimes barely), and the desire to rise further than that is quite natural and reasonable aspiration (and perhaps a little envy, but I’m not saying that’s not bad either).

I think the problem faced by faith generally in the West is the same problem plaguing moderate left-of-centre political parties (eg the Labour Party here in the UK), or trade/labour union membership too. Because all of them had a non-spiritual purpose in providing or fighting for or giving hope for material comfort of some kind (faith wise, at least giving a lively hope for the Comfort to come). I think an issue is that a secular or secularising culture is the result of material sufficiency for the vast majority…

this was badly expressed but I hope you get my point…!

I am not positive, but I think the Anglican church in Africa is still fairly strong and the bishops have remained conservative. I am not sure I believe these statistics either.

This was WELL expressed, point accepted. :thumbsup:

Not to be rude, but what would you call the Broad church? People like Bishop John Shelby Spong?

[quote=JurisPrudens]I think You are wrong. The wars sharpen the faith, not undermines it.

It is the rise in welfare, the material prosperity, that encourages people to loose faith - they start to doubt the need for God.
[/quote]

Before the First World War in 1914, there had never been a world war. In fact, the 1800s were one of the most peaceful centuries since the birth of Christ. Hundreds of thousands died so quickly, gaining so very little ground and accomplishing so little. They said it would be the “war to end all wars”.

And then World War II came out. And was a thousand times worse. Millions died in that war. Dozens of millions. Almost 100 million.

What’s one of the biggest things they teach about in history class? Here in the USA, it’s the Second World War. We hear about the Nazis. The gas chambers. The Shoah. The bombs we dropped on Japan. The whole tragic mess.

Maybe it’s not war so much that makes us tend towards atheism and secularism and materialism. But I think, maybe, it’s the horror of it afterwards. World War II’s horror is still imprinted on the minds of teachers and students, and I don’t think the horror will go away any time soon.

And if we can do that - as many atheists have said before - if we can be so evil, how can a God exist? It’s not smart or correct. But that seems to be the thought process.

Before the world wars came, thousands and millions of people were dying in childbirth, epidemics, revolutions, street crimes. Every single day. The Black Death had more demographic impact in terms of proportion than any subsequent war. What followed it in terms of spirituality? Treatises De arte moriandi. :dts:

WWII is the most unfit example of an “affliction that takes away faith” possible. It was a Just War, a Crusade, the Good won and the Evil was conquered. The best case for survivors to thank God for their survival.

It was only the well-to-do baby-boomer generation that started to undermine the traditions of their predecessors.

First of all, I’m not sure what that question has to do with what I said.

Secondly, Spong is an outlier. I would not call him typical of the “Broad Church,” although in the Episcopal Church what used to be the “Broad Church” has pretty much taken over entirely. So perhaps if we were to redefine these things in relative terms the Spongian folks would be the new “Broad Church”–i.e., the liberal wing of the Episcopal Church, on whose extreme rightward edge I now teeter, since everyone to my right has jumped off:D

But seriously, Spong’s ideas have, if anything, less traction now than when I became Episcopalian in the 90s.

Edwin

I never said it was smart or correct. I’m just speculating based on what I’ve learned what are the thoughts of the typical modern mind. They don’t think of our boys - in Britain AND America - who did liberate Europe. They just think about the horrors, and about how horrible war is, and about the horrible people who engage in war. That’s what typically runs through people’s minds when they think WWII. No one feels pride for what we did there anymore.

Mayhaps it’s because of the political and military manoeuvering that occurred during the Cold War (like the Korean War, the Vietnam War etc), I don’t know.

I do know, though, that war is not glorious. There is no glory, as it were, in violently ending 80 million lives over six years. The glory came in wiping out an enemy that otherwise would have ended the world as we know it. Not in wiping out people, but in wiping out false ideologies and false gods - and I’ve no doubt demons.

[quote=Contarini] it makes absolutely no sense to say that the C of E will become extinct in terms of membership 18 years before people stop attending. Much more likely to happen the other way round.
[/quote]

I think I understand what you are saying now. I misunderstood you as saying something more like this:

It makes no sense to say that
the CofE will become extinct in terms of actually following the 39 Articles
before people stop attending.

But now I understand what you mean by “membership”, which I completely understand. And you’re right.

So perhaps if we were to redefine these things in relative terms the Spongian folks would be the new “Broad Church”–i.e., the liberal wing of the Episcopal Church, on whose extreme rightward edge I now teeter, since everyone to my right has jumped off:D

But seriously, Spong’s ideas have, if anything, less traction now than when I became Episcopalian in the 90s.

Edwin

Nevertheless, what you say makes me think the Anglican Communion (well, in Europe) will, what’s little’s left of it, cease to be Christian in any meaningful sense - even if the congregations do still meet, for whatever reason.

What do Broad Episcopalians do on Sunday, if anything?

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