(Telegraph) C of E cannot carry on as it is unless decline ”˜urgently’ reversed say Archbps

The Church of England will no longer be able to carry on its current form unless the downward spiral its membership is reversed “as a matter of urgency”, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have warned.

It could face a dramatic shortage of priests within a decade as almost half of the current clergy retire, according to the Most Rev Justin Welby and Dr John Sentamu.

Meanwhile dwindling numbers in the pews will inevitably plunge the Church into a financial crisis as it grapples with the “burden” of maintaining thousands of historic buildings, they insisted.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

7 comments on “(Telegraph) C of E cannot carry on as it is unless decline ”˜urgently’ reversed say Archbps

  1. Undergroundpewster says:

    [blockquote] “If the Church of England is to return to growth, there is a compelling need to realign resources and work carefully to ensure that scarce funds are used to best effect.”[/blockquote]

    Huh? Is that how to make converts? Is that how to grow disciples? We have been given the greatest resource the world has ever been blessed with and the problem has been that revisionists have been realigning that resource to meet their own agenda.

  2. tired says:

    Go figure. From the AFP version:

    “The Anglican Church has struggled to adapt to modern social trends and has been riven by splits in recent years over women bishops and homosexuality.”

    You mean the machinations and inward focus over embracing the most recent in a laundry list of worldly innovations has not reversed the spiral? How about the consistent appointment of reappraising bishops – isn’t that bearing the right sort of fruit?

    “But the two archbishops also called for the Church to invest more in building up its presence on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to get its message across online as part of a “major programme of renewal and reform”.”

    Well. perhaps setting up a Facebook page and a rollicking realignment of resources will convince people that CoE really does have something meaningful to say about one’s carbon footprint and investment practices.


  3. MichaelA says:

    “Typical Sunday attendances have halved to just 800,000 in the last 40 years – although the Church has previously claimed the decline has been levelling off in recent years.”

    Neatly put by the journo, he doesn’t actually say that the levelling-off claim was CofE spin, but his thoughts are pretty clear. And if I recall correctly, this gent is very sympathetic to the liberal bent of the CofE.

  4. MichaelA says:

    “And while ordination rates have held up well over recent years they continue to be well below what would be needed to maintain current clergy numbers and meet diocesan ambitions.”

    Correction: the orthodox evangelical churches are able to keep up the supply of ordinands so that their churches are well supplied with one, two or three male ministers (depending on size) as well as female staff in non-headship positions, whose doctrine and ideology accord with those of their congregations. The orthodox anglo-catholic generally manage as well.

    But for the rest, they are often trying to function on one priest, frequently female and elderly, who works very hard to cover several congregations. Don’t believe the sanitized version shown by the Vicar of Dibley!

  5. MichaelA says:

    “The burden of church buildings weighs heavily and reorganisation at parish level is complicated by current procedures.”

    Yep. Many of these church buildings are an important part of the lucrative British tourist industry, and if the CofE can no longer maintain them, then the government will have to step in. It has already increased its grants last year.

  6. Pb says:

    I bet they believe that this is inevitable and that all churches are in decline. Many churches are too invested in themselves to see what growing churches are doing.

  7. driver8 says:

    Hang on. I thought that the women presbyters and bishops things, plus the civil rights struggle of our day – gay marriage, was going to make the church relevant and loved and …growing.

    Whodda guessed they would be correlated with decline?