Church of England in Decline: What’s Being Done to Combat Shrinking Congregations?

Mar 25, 2018 by

By Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post:

Empty churches. One-person congregations. Ministers “dressed up with no one to listen.” Is this the stark reality facing Church of England parishes?

While to many, the future of the denomination looks bleak, there are major efforts at work aimed at bringing the faithful back to the church.

One is a digital initiative that develops new ideas to enhance outreach and information. Another seeks to showcase the importance of the church community during momentous events in people’s lives, such as weddings and funerals, when they’re seeking answers to critical questions.

Declining Membership

In February, The Times presented a striking picture of the challenges facing the Church of England. Some ministers in rural parishes, it reported, muse about facing one-person congregations or even entirely empty churches and having to adapt to new realities behind ever-dwindling church membership.

The Rev. Canon Sandra Millar, head of Life Events at the Church of England, told The Christian Post in a phone interview that she doesn’t know how often one-congregation services actually occur.

“I know that there are situations where we have some very small communities, where it is hard to sustain a regular congregation, but there are also many, many churches that are trying to find new ways of encouraging people to think about church in a new way,” she said.

Millar admitted that “there’s no doubt” there has been a decline in “regular Sunday worship,” however.

“Obviously, when you have a smaller community to start with that can look sharper,” she said.

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