Poor old Rowan Atkinson. This article in the Daily Telegraph says the C of E will eventually disappear entirely. It says over the last forty years the number of worshipers has declined by half and the number of children attending worship has declined by a whopping 80%. That means the ones who are in church are older and aren’t being replaced. Of course the yard sale won’t be during his time. It will probably hit the skids just when the Right Rev. Lavinia Winkett takes the throne of Canterbury.
I blogged just the other day about the Catholic Diocese of Orange buying up the Crystal Cathedral from the bankrupt Schuler positive thinking pastor. Could we start buying real cathedrals and churches back from the Anglicans do you think? Think what we could do with them! Get rid of the tasteful artwork and all that stuff the Anglicans like and bring in racks of those electric votive candles where you put in a nickel and they light up. In the crypts we could have grottos of the Fatima children made out of papier mache and priests in da glo vestments with a comb over saying, “The Lord be with you welcome to Mass today. The children will now sing the Barney Song.” So maybe not.
Seriously, will the Church of England go bust? Not anytime soon. Religious institutions are very tough. They can survive hard times for a lot longer than you think. I know one Methodist chapel in England which faced closure and soldiered on with three old ladies for years. There’s nothing like the threat to close a church which makes the ordinary Englishman rally to the cause. He’s adamant that the village church should stay open so he has some place not to go to on a Sunday morning.
Maybe the decline in the Church of England is just the Holy Spirit’s usual way of working. Let the numbers become fewer, but the quality will be better, then the few, the faithful few will spark a revival and everyone will tootle back to church again.