One in Four Anglican Churches no Longer Holding Regular Sunday Services

Members of the congregation social distance during the Easter Sunday service at the Holy T
Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images

More than one in four Anglican churches are no longer holding regular Sunday services, a report reveals.

Over one-quarter of all Churches within the Church of England are no longer holding regular Sunday services according to data released by authorities within the Christian denomination.

It is the latest piece of evidence pointing to the decline of Anglicanism in Britain, with a number of more Conservative churches mainly in Africa now in schism with the English church over its decision to start blessing gay marriages.

According to a report seen by The Times, the denomination now appears to be struggling to properly man its churches, with roughly 26 per cent of them reportedly failing to hold Sunday masses regularly.

Rising from 19 per cent before the pandemic, the study has reportedly blamed the lack of regular services on a shortage of ministers, as well as a general malaise that now appears to be impacting those heavily involved with the organisation’s activities.

The impact of lockdown is also seen as being a contributing factor to the decline, with many establishments still reportedly holding services online.

“Personal exhaustion, reduced volunteer energy, the added online dimension, damaged church finances and disrupted church communities can make it hard to rebuild and develop every aspect of church life,” the report said.

According to the report, overall church attendance has fallen by 20 per cent compared to pre-COVID levels within English Anglicanism, a phenomenon it has blamed almost exclusively on the lack of Sunday services.

However, while the document does reportedly argue that new parishioners can be “gained through starting new services and congregations”, it admits that the overall natural prospects of the Church of England are “limited” unless an active effort is made to revive engagement.

In this regard, the organisation is facing a significant uphill battle, with the organisation now regularly closing and selling off churches across the country.

In the decade before the COVID pandemic, over 400 churches in England were closed by the Anglican community, with the group’s official website now saying that somewhere between 20 and 25 churches on average are now closed every year.

The church is also becoming ever more politically, socially and theologically isolated both inside and outside Britain, with UK politicians now regularly pressuring the organisation to change its dogma to become more progressive.

Meanwhile, the progressive steps already taken by the church have alienated other variants of Anglicanism active in other parts of the world, with bishops from the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans (GFSA) announcing in February that they are no longer in communion with the Church of England’s Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Anglican union justified its decision by saying that the Church of England has “taken the path of false teaching” with its decision to start blessing gay marriages.

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