Churchgoing on its knees as Christianity falls out of favour

May 8, 2008 by

By Ruth Gledhill, The Times Church attendance in Britain is declining so fast that the number of regular churchgoers will be fewer than those attending mosques within a generation, research published today suggests. The fall – from the four million people who attend church at least once a month today – means that the Church of England, Catholicism and other denominations will become financially unviable. A lack of funds from the collection plate to support the Christian infrastructure, including church upkeep and ministers’ pay and pensions, will force church closures as ageing congregations die. In contrast, the number of actively religious Muslims will have increased from about one million today to 1.96 million in 2035. According to Religious Trends, a comprehensive statistical analysis of religious practice in Britain, published by Christian Research, even Hindus will come close to outnumbering churchgoers within a generation. The forecast to 2050 shows churchgoing...

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MPs remove free speech clause from 'gay hate' law

May 7, 2008 by

From The Christian Institute The Government last night succeeded in deleting a free speech protection from its proposed homophobic hatred offence. But the House of Lords has another chance to reinsert one tonight. MPs in the House of Commons backed a Government motion to delete the free speech amendment. They voted 338 to 136. The Government will attempt to address concerns by tabling a different amendment in the Lords tonight which would require the Government to publish statutory guidance on the new law. But critics say this falls short of the protection which would be offered by a specific free speech protection written into the Bill. The Lords will have an opportunity to reinsert the free speech protection tonight. The protection seeks to make it clear that criticising homosexual practice or urging people to refrain from such conduct will not, in itself, be a crime. The amendment says, "for...

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No Pulpit Ban for Bishop Robinson

May 3, 2008 by

From The Living Church Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire has not been banned from pulpits in the Church of England according to a spokesman for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who denied press speculation that the Archbishop Rowan Williams was attempting to silence Bishop Robinson. A press officer confirmed on May 2 that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams had not issued Bishop Robinson a license to officiate in the Province of Canterbury. However, Church of England canon law does not grant the archbishop the authority to ban preachers, the spokesman noted. While traveling in Britain to promote his book, Bishop Robinson told the BBC “in the past [Archbishop Williams] has… declined to give me permission to preach and to celebrate the Holy Communion and I would never do so without his permission.” Episcopal News Service reported April 30 that Archbishop Williams would not permit Bishop Robinson “to preach...

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Williams won't allow Robinson to function as priest in England

Apr 30, 2008 by

From Episcopal Cafe Citing fears of creating a controversy, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury has refused to grant Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the right to preach or preside at the eucharist in England. Robinson received the news in an email yesterday morning. Sources familiar with the email say Williams cites the Windsor Report and recent statements from the Primates Meeting in refusing to grant Robinson permission to exercise his priestly functions during his current trip to England, or during the trip he plans during the Lambeth Conference in July and August. The Windsor Report does not discuss the ordination of a candidate in a gay relationship to the priesthood, and it is priestly, rather than episcopal functions that Robinson had sought permission to perform. The primates’ statements, similarly, have objected to Robinson’s episcopacy, not his priesthood. Several provinces in the Communion ordain gay and lesbian candidates...

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Peter Jensen interviewed on ABC Radio

Apr 17, 2008 by

From Anglican Church League, Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen was interviewed by Richard Glover on ABC Radio in Sydney yesterday. The topic was sexuality and the controversy over the Anglican Church of England Grammar School in Brisbane. The interview runs for 12 minutes and may be heard at the ABC Sydney website. also has a roundup on the latest....

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The Shrinking Church of England

Apr 16, 2008 by

By David W. Virtue 4/8/2008 The Church of England (CofE) is shrinking even as its leaders argue over whether women priests should become bishops and if homosexual behavior is acceptable among its clergy. Provisional numbers attending on any given Sunday during 2006, and also the latest edition of "Population Trends", a report from the UK’s National Statistics Office, reveal that the CofE has been declining in Sunday attendance at least since 1970. In his blog (Anselmic’s Place) The Rev. Lee Proudlove, a CMS Mission Partner in CEBU, said that the figures are "worrying at least for the future of the Church of England." Each year on the same Sunday, every parish counts how many people there are "in the pews." Naturally, membership and regular attendance numbers are different, but it is a good guide to the health of the church and enables comparison of trends across the years....

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