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← Church of England congregations fall again, and half are pensioners

Church of England congregations fall again, and half are pensioners - Comments

j.mills's Avatar Comment 1 by j.mills

Ah, now you're talking. :)

Mind you, the article fails to note an obvious candidate for declining congregations, which is simply that since they are top-heavy with oldsters, those folks may simply be dying off.

Meanwhile, at the other end:

Ekklesia linked a rise of 3 per cent in the number of under-16s attending church to the requirement for church attendance to secure admission to many Church of England schools.
And there you have it, from the horse's mouth. Faith not relevant to either school, church or congregant: just bums on seats.

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 00:44:00 UTC | #434406

The Truth, the light's Avatar Comment 2 by The Truth, the light

As religious people become more and more apathetic towards their church, the influence of the church (whatever brand) is diminished.

It doesn't really matter so much if the people not attending church any more still identify as being religious, the sooner the institutions of the church are dismantled, the better.

Roll on the revolution.

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 00:46:00 UTC | #434407

Gmork's Avatar Comment 3 by Gmork

Thanks to science, no one can tell you what you are living or dying for.

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 00:59:00 UTC | #434413

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 4 by God fearing Atheist

Just under 3 per cent of the population, or 1.7 million people, go to a Church of England service at least once a month.


Ekklesia linked a rise of 3 per cent in the number of under-16s attending church to the requirement for church attendance to secure admission to many Church of England schools.


http://www.cofe.anglican.org/info/education/schools/ :-


* 25.3% of all state primary schools in England are Church of England schools - that's 4,470 schools.
* 5.8% of all state secondary schools in England are Church of England schools - 220 schools.
* 18.6% of all primary pupils and 5.8% of all secondary pupils attend these schools and these percentages in each case are growing.

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 01:09:00 UTC | #434416

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 5 by Cook@Tahiti

Mild innoculation during childhood prevents major infection in adulthood

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 02:15:00 UTC | #434428

sdando's Avatar Comment 6 by sdando

One can only hope that all the collective churches of America follow the motherland's example. I just hope that the decline doesn't mean people are migrating to the catholic church and/or islam....

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 03:07:00 UTC | #434431

Stella's Avatar Comment 7 by Stella

Oh, how I miss the UK.

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 03:15:00 UTC | #434432

Eyerish's Avatar Comment 8 by Eyerish

Instead of the church blaming gays and women - it does not matter if it is a woman bishop or not; they seem to blame women for having the nerve to step up and ask for equality that they should naturally be accorded. I digress somewhat.

I would like to think that the real reason for the decline in church attendence is that people are now starting to challenge and question themselves about their beliefs and are becoming wiser about what they choose to believe in. As a result of this self reflection people are beginning to see religion for what it really is - myths, lies, smoke, and mirrors to confuse and conceal real truths.

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 03:48:00 UTC | #434434

Dave Porter's Avatar Comment 9 by Dave Porter

Maybe education is paying off. Younger people are not buying into the lie of religion.

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 04:33:00 UTC | #434442

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 10 by TIKI AL

I don't want to help them, but wouldn't an online service to break Voo Doo spells be a major shot in the arm?

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 05:41:00 UTC | #434450

atheistinchurch's Avatar Comment 11 by atheistinchurch

I wonder how low those attendance figures would be if you took out all those (like me) attending church because of the UK's iniquitous "faith schools" policy? Below a million?

http://atheistinchurch.wordpress.com/

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 06:33:00 UTC | #434454

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 12 by Richard Dawkins

The Times, in 2007, reported the following:

Muhammad is now second only to Jack as the most popular name for baby boys in Britain and is likely to rise to No 1 by next year, a study by The Times has found. The name, if all 14 different spellings are included, was shared by 5,991 newborn boys last year, beating Thomas into third place, followed by Joshua and Oliver.
I find it hard to gloat at the poor old Church of England's decline, when I look at the competition.
Richard

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 07:20:00 UTC | #434459

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 13 by SaintStephen

Another reason could be that atheist bus posters and other atheist campaigns led by high-profile scientists such as Dr Richard Dawkins could be working.
"Could be working"?

COULD BE?

At least they got the "Doctor" part right. Yes, the good Doctor is most certainly IN, and at the top of his game. And I hope he has a great weekend!

;)

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 07:39:00 UTC | #434461

Big T's Avatar Comment 14 by Big T

Watch out, Professor Dawkins, or you, like me, will be accused of bigotry on this site! You old fellow Islamophobe, you!

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 07:44:00 UTC | #434463

Lisa Bauer's Avatar Comment 15 by Lisa Bauer

#12 Richard Dawkins

The Times, in 2007, reported the following:

Muhammad is now second only to Jack as the most popular name for baby boys in Britain and is likely to rise to No 1 by next year, a study by The Times has found. The name, if all 14 different spellings are included, was shared by 5,991 newborn boys last year, beating Thomas into third place, followed by Joshua and Oliver.

I find it hard to gloat at the poor old Church of England's decline, when I look at the competition.
Richard


Perhaps, but the name Muhammad in the Islamic world is rather ridiculously overused. It's approximately as common as the names John, Thomas, Peter, and Jack -- combined, or as common as the name Mary/Maria/Marie used to be among girls in many Catholic countries. Thus, even if births to Muslim parents only make up 5%-10% of the total, the ubiquity of the name Muhammad means that it still might be the #1 boy's name, even though 90%-95% of births are to non-Muslim parents.

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 07:59:00 UTC | #434464

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 16 by Rodger T

So what now?
Does the archbish get a fat golden handshake like most CEOs that run their organizations into the ground?
Maybe RD.net can pick up the CoE at a bargain basement price.

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 08:29:00 UTC | #434466

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Comment 17 by Bernard Hurley

In the UK people don't assume that, just because you attend a church service, you go along with all the mumbo-jumbo. For instance, many people will attend "carol service" at Christmas because it is part of traditional English culture. I myself have sung in performances of the St. John Passion and Byrd masses that were technically part of a service, but the vast majority of the "congregation" did not come for the religious part of the proceedings.

The upshot of this is that when you see figures for "church attendance" in the UK, they mean precisely that, "church attendance".

It is true to say, however, that some of the clergy just don't "get it". A few years ago I sang in a choir that was engaged to sing at a St. George's day sevice. One of the clegy came up to the gallery and explained how he had arranged things so that the choir would have an opportunity to take communion. The choral director, a rather imposing lady in her late 60's, simply looked him in the eye and said "The choir will not be taking communion!"

I do quite a lot of choral singing and the vast majority of the repertoire is sacred music. I've not done a survey but my impression is that the majority of choral singers are atheists. But it may be that my "sample" is skewed because I don't sing in any church choirs (ones that are actually attached to churches).

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 11:06:00 UTC | #434483

nalfeshnee's Avatar Comment 18 by nalfeshnee

Lisa - that's a very valid point.

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 11:27:00 UTC | #434489

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 19 by Quetzalcoatl

The decline will add fuel to secularist campaigns for disestablishment.


I can't see actual disestablishment happening, at least for a few decades. Right now, church attendance may be tailing off, but the CoE has a lot of influence with the political parties and in the Lords. It's also an easy band-wagon for politicians to jump upon- showing that they are "pro-faith" (even if it s the weak, wishy-washy brand that typifies much of the CoE) is an easy way to win votes. What politician is going to actively push for disestablishment?

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 11:31:00 UTC | #434490

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 20 by scottishgeologist

The Ekklesia link is at:


http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/11080

Where you can see a graph of it

Interetingly, there was an article on a news site from a couple of years ago that said that the decline is church going in the UK in general was being slowed by immigration.

A lot of black immigrants "go to church" to the extent that there are black-only and black-majority churches

I would suspect that they tend to be pentecostal / charismatic rather than CofE however.

Together with Muslim immigrants, it means that the God delusion gets some respite.

:-)
SG

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 11:37:00 UTC | #434493

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 21 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Richard Dawkins:
I find it hard to gloat at the poor old Church of England's decline, when I look at the competition.
Richard


I really want to know what the appeal of Islam is and why it's growing so rapidly. I don't understand it. Are humans inherently masochistic or something? I'm scared for the fate of humanity. With Islam growing at the rate it is, and Muslims ultimately having the most children... it will be a selection pressure, won't it? Ironically the end result will be everyone nuking themselves...

Julie

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 13:11:00 UTC | #434506

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 22 by Mark Jones

Comment #453856 by Richard Dawkins


I find it hard to gloat at the poor old Church of England's decline, when I look at the competition.

In the market place of stupid ideas, the C of E is just not stupid enough, it seems.

It's perhaps too simplistic to put its decline down to its moderacy - I dare say there are many socio-political factors at play - but I worry that people with a religious tendency may be drawn to the *more* overtly magical.

This could point to the futility of encouraging moderate theism, but the accommodationists might point and accuse the new atheists of killing it. In fact, I'm sure they will!

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 14:19:00 UTC | #434510

seals's Avatar Comment 23 by seals

21. Comment #453903 by InYourFaceNewYorker

I really want to know what the appeal of Islam is and why it's growing so rapidly. I don't understand it. Are humans inherently masochistic or something? I'm scared for the fate of humanity. With Islam growing at the rate it is, and Muslims ultimately having the most children... it will be a selection pressure, won't it? Ironically the end result will be everyone nuking themselves...

Julie


Maybe because new members are constantly recruited via childhood indoctrination, and then if there is any wavering, it's a reign of terror which no-one dares to leave?

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 14:35:00 UTC | #434513

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 24 by InYourFaceNewYorker

I also want to know what makes people convert! Is that part of why Islam is growing so quickly? Or is it merely because Muslims have lots of kids?

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 14:51:00 UTC | #434514

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 25 by the great teapot

to the UK residents amongst us I have just seen BBC4 is showing 9 lessons for Godless people ( I thnk that means you heathen bastards) tonight at 21.45

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 14:54:00 UTC | #434515

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 26 by the great teapot

Mind you jack is a pretty horrible name.
~Sounds almost as bad as your average dutch female name.

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 15:00:00 UTC | #434517

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 27 by TIKI AL

"The name, if all 14 different spellings are included"

So we fight fire with fire:

1. Jack
2. Jak
3. Jacke
4. Ghack
5. Ghak
6. Jgack
7. Jache
8. Gjack
9. Ghache
10. Gjache
11. Gjak
12. Gjacke
13. Jghak
14. Jgache
15. Jghache

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 15:55:00 UTC | #434529

Roger Stanyard's Avatar Comment 28 by Roger Stanyard

Julie says

With Islam growing at the rate it is, and Muslims ultimately having the most children... it will be a selection pressure, won't it£ Ironically the end result will be everyone nuking themselves...


Is Islam growing£

My understanding is that children born of Muslim parents in the UK have exactly the same rate of apostacy as those of Christian parents - 50%.

If it were not for immigration, Islam would be dying in Britain.

Methinks that the real problem of religion in Britain is the takeover of mainstream religion, particularly the Anglican Church, by hardline American inspired evangelical fundamentalists.

It's no accident that the Christian Institute is both Anglican and headed by a hardline creationist also behind the Vardy schools. I take it for granted that such prossure groups within the Anglican movement are keen to get creationism and fundamentalism into the huge number of Anglican schools in the UK.

I fear the contined decline in the CoE as it creates a power vacuum which will be filled by a small band of hard line bigots. We already have a creationist Bishop and more look to be in the pipeline. The fundamentalists also increasingly control the purse strings of the church.

I also take th position of the vicar of Putney, Giles Fraser, that for 350 years the Anglican Church has protected the English against religious extremism. He thinks that era is now coming to an end.

What's happened in the USA over the last thirty years frightens the crap out of me. The place is now riddled with politically focused fundamentalism.

Before anyone asks what the difference between islamic fundamentalism and US evangelical fundamentalism, it doesn't appear to be acceptance of violence. Virtually all the US "militias" and white right wing supremacist groups claim to be religious fundamentalists. Moreover, much of the money behind Intelligent Design comes from a cource that has been pushing extreme religious violence (genocide, basically) for years. The same source is also behind the breakup of the Anglican Church.

I could also go on about the shit stiring in the Middle East by US fundamentalists. They seem to welcome genocide there. So whay are they different from Islamic fundamentalists£

After all, Muslims, Christians and Jews all belong to the same Abrahamic set of religions. All three breed intollerence and extremism. Always have and always will.

Would anyone like to say why£

(I'll stab at a guess with US fundamentalism - its a business that gets rich off the back of an insidious combination of greed, fear, bullying, ignorance, moral blackmail, paranoia, rhetoric and manilpulation.)

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 16:19:00 UTC | #434536

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 29 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Take the worst of Judaism and Christianity and the worst of Islam and it's no contest which religion is the most dangerous.

Anyway isn't Islam the fastest growing religion in the world? If so, why?

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 16:23:00 UTC | #434538

Roger Stanyard's Avatar Comment 30 by Roger Stanyard

In spite of a rise in the number of children and young people at services, the average age of a member of a Church of England congregation is 61, according to statistics published yesterday.


Sounds like the membership of the Conservative Party.

Wait a minute.....isn't the Church of England the Tory Party at prayer£

Perhaps, over time, the Tory Party is going to disappear up its own bum. ;-)

Sat, 23 Jan 2010 16:28:00 UTC | #434541