…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.