Vicars deny predictions of Church's demise by 2030

Grim forecasts indicating the Church of England will die in 20 years’ time are exaggerated, Burton clergy have suggested.

They spoke after a Norwich vicar, Reverend Dr Patrick Richmond, told the Church’s ruling body that some projections claimed the ”˜perfect storm’ of ageing congregations and falling clergy numbers would kill Anglicanism by 2030.

“It’s possible to read current trends and reach that conclusion, but at the same time my congregations at St Paul’s and St Modwen’s have actually seen noticeable growth over the last few years,” countered Reverend Paul Farthing.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

6 comments on “Vicars deny predictions of Church's demise by 2030

  1. Statmann says:

    Paul+ should be reminded that estimates based on small (couple of parishes) samples are quite unreliable for predictions. And yet, it is good that hope springs eternal. Statmann

  2. kmh1 says:

    My mother smoked all her life and lived till she was 84. Ergo smoking is good for you.

  3. MichaelA says:

    The headline in the local paper is misleading, because Paul+ doesn’t actually deny what Dr Richmond said at Synod. He says it is uncertain and that there are some contrary indicators. And he agrees that Dr Richmond was right to raise the issue in Synod.

    Its not only falling attendances that are a concern, but also a shortage of clergy in CofE. Yet, the liberal leadership have been placing obstacles in the way of orthodox evangelicals getting ordained, and they have just let 60 anglo-catholic clergy go to the Ordinariate. Its a rather short-sighted attitude….

  4. Mark Baddeley says:

    It’s only shortsighted, MichaelA, if you think that liberalism is committed to the health and continuation of the Church. If it is instead a movement focused on reforming the Church and bringing it up to date, then it is a truly principled move, being willing to see the institution die rather than continue to promote antiquated beliefs and oppressive practices.

  5. TACit says:

    Great minds think alike, I guess…..Damian Thompson, always entertaining and nearly always informative as well, thinks those A-C clergy remaining in the CofE are in for a shock:
    “The Church of England could be extinct in 20 years, the General Synod was warned this week. I don’t believe it. Anglicanism has a genius for reinventing itself, even if recent attempts don’t have much in common with orthodox Christianity. But one part of the C of E will certainly die, and that’s traditional Anglo-Catholicism. Those ultra-High clergy who pray for the Pope but have decided to reject the Vatican’s offer of reunion cut sad figures; they’d rather swan around in pretty vestments in a Church they despise than swim the Tiber. I think they’re in for a shock. Until now, their champion has been Dr John Hind, Bishop of Chichester. But he’s retiring next year, and rumour has it that he’s packing his swimming trunks.”
    This is interesting mainly because Bp. Hind has recently been mentioned as possibly one of eight previously un-named CofE bishops said to have consulted with the Vatican in the time ‘Anglicanorum coetibus’ was in prep. I thought, though, that the remark about Anglicanism’s genius for re-inventing itself is the most promising.

  6. MichaelA says:

    The evangelical group Reform has indicated in their June newsletter that they are working together with the Anglo-Catholics to oppose the women bishops measure.

    This is just one particular issue of course, but it may indicate that with the departure of the Anglo-Papalists, the Anglo-Catholic wing in Church of England is finally free to work together with other orthodox groups.

    A similar phenomenon seems to be occurring in America, where the Continuum is starting to look a lot more united and coherent with the departure of TAC to Rome. Some of the theology emerging on Anglican Continuum blog is surprisingly good – the renaissance of Anglo Catholicism may be just starting.

    Anyway, regardless, the principle remains the same: those churches that follow gospel principles will grow. This has been happening in CofE where many evangelical churches at least are large, young, growing and planting new churches. This contrasts strongly with the majority of CofE churches that are paying the price for years of relativism and fence-sitting.