The Church often tries to distract from falling attendances and its apparently diminishing role in English society by pointing out how many people get married and attend carol services in its buildings, but it has to accept that those people don’t see any benefit in coming through church doors when it isn’t a high day or holiday. And that the rural church is in a terrible fix.
It may also have to accept that the bad news today may not show quite how bad things are for English church attendances. Not all Anglican churches are losing members. The ones that tend to grow and provide a good bulk of money for parish share are evangelical ones, and they may not linger for long in the CofE. Over the past year or so, an alternative Church of England has been growing in this country, with all the structures necessary for evangelical churches whose doctrine remains Anglican but who disagree with the Church hierarchy.