Bishop Mike Hill–"The Church of England"… stands "at a critical moment in history"

…the challenge to be a Church with a mission to the nation grows more complex as society and communities change, and the size, strength and make-up of our churches also change.

50 years ago churches largely reflected the demographics of their context; today they are markedly different. Put simply, churches have not successfully retained young people as they move into adulthood.

Numbers attending Church of England services have declined at an average rate of 1% a year in recent decades. In any given week, less than 2% of the overall population attend our churches. In some areas, particularly outer estates and the inner city, this is less than 1%. The age profile of our membership is now significantly older than that of the population.

As I said in my Synod address in December, the harsh truth is that there is a massive cultural gap between what we do in our churches and the subcultures amongst whom we dwell.

Read it all.


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

3 comments on “Bishop Mike Hill–"The Church of England"… stands "at a critical moment in history"

  1. Terry Tee says:

    A sense of urgency and purpose here. Yet I found myself hesitating at this: the assumptions of Christendom must be re-imagined for a post Christian society. First of all, assumptions rather undermines our sense of having truth to share. But that may be no more than an unfortunate choice of word. The more serious question around this is one that I struggle with myself and have no clear answer:
    Do we speak to the new generation by seeking fresh ways to convey the gospel that will make sense in terms of their culture?
    Or do we accept that to be a Christian will always require, in this present age, that we are counter-cultural?
    The first choice seems to me to imply a larger, more fluid church, open to the culture around it, but thin in Christian teaching. The second choice is a smaller, more focussed discipleship, hoping to be leaven in the dough.
    Do young people want something different, something that cuts across their world? Or do they need to hear the words of faith spoken in images and ideas and words that come from within their own cultural framework?
    I struggle with this question in my own ministry, as I feel more and more the cultural gulf that separates me from young people. I do not even know what they are thinking, let alone understand it.

  2. Kendall Harmon says:

    Good comments, Terry.

    It sure was nice to read “a sense of urgency and purpose.” I confess to longing to see more of that in the C of E.

  3. Pb says:

    Christianity at its heart is counter cultural i. e. the world. It is a new kingdom. I do not see why this message would not resonate in a world that is coming apart. There are churches who teach this and they are growing. I do not believe our culture brings fulfillment. Our culture is not that different from the first century with regard to Christianity.