….it’s overwhelmingly likely that the children and grandchildren of today’s immigrants will be less religious. Secularism is the dominant cultural force. For Christians, especially, the trends are alarming. If they continue, we are only decades away from complete statistical invisibility and near-total atheism.
But it would be wrong – and surely un‑Christian – to give in to fatalism, or to the Marxist historical view that we are subject to vast, impersonal forces and can’t do a thing to resist them. There are points of light scattered about and reasons for hope.
For a start, young people become parents – and when they do, they’ll find faith schools dominating the league tables and achieving the best results for their children. They may even find themselves re-engaging with the Church to win a place at them.
There is also evidence of an emerging Christian counter-culture. Evangelical churches are springing up, partly thanks to a sympathetic Archbishop of Canterbury. The new Gas Street Church in Birmingham, based in an old warehouse, attracts hundreds each week. Good liturgy – tambourines for some, the music of Thomas Tallis for others – is for me the crucial factor. It helps to explain a wonderful fact: attendance at Anglican cathedrals is up over the last decade.