Church of England Puts Liberal Agenda Into Overdrive In Bid To Avoid Three More Decades of Decline

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The Church of England faces at least another three decades of decline as its elderly population is dying off faster than young people are coming into the church. In an attempt to reverse the trend, the Church’s leadership is pinning its hopes on its “Renewal and Reform” drive, designed to make the clergy less male and less white.

In January, figures from the Church’s annual attendance survey showed that weekly attendance had dropped below the million mark for the first time, with Sunday attendance now at an all-time low of 760,000.

The numbers made sobering reading for a church which is tasked with preserving Christian cultural heritage in the form of hundreds of listed buildings across the country, not to mention with championing the de facto religion of the nation.

Yet further analysis of the attendance figures has led a senior official to warn that congregations may yet nearly halve again, dipping to a mere 425,000 within thirty years, equivalent to just one percent of the population.

John Spence, chairman of the Church’s finance committee, told The Telegraph that according to current attendance figures, an 81-year-old is now eight times more likely to attend services than an 18-year-old.

He added that “on all likely measures of success” the Church is unlikely to enjoy growth for the next three decades. “I could have given you other facts but I think you get the point,” he said.

Church officials have waived away the statistic, insisting that a combination of the Church’s new £72 million “reform and renewal” drive and the power of God will transform the Church’s outlook.

A spokesman for the Church of England said: “The reference to 30 years is based on projections which assume no change and underscore the importance of the Renewal and Reform programme.

“They do not factor in the changes being proposed.

“Most crucially, as the Archbishop of Canterbury said [recently], we trust in the grace and transforming power of the Spirit of God, who empowers and equips the church.”

The Renewal and Reform drive appears to tip the liberal agenda for which the established Church has become famed into overdrive, as it relies on recruiting 6,000 new clergy during the next decade with an emphasis on making the clergy less white and less male.

So keen is the Church leadership on this approach that they have already begun a key element of the program – fast tracking black and ethnic minority {BAME] clergy into positions of authority while accusing themselves of institutional racism.

This approach, and the Church’s strong position on welcoming migrants into the UK has led to heated criticism. Last month David Davies, MP for Monmouth penned a hard-hitting critique of the Church’s current direction, writing:

“Prelates happily take to the airwaves or the comment page of The Guardian to preach multiculturalism and mass migration, but how willing are they to preach Christianity to those who have just arrived in this country and have never heard the word of God? Especially to those whose values are far removed from ours?

“Yet isn’t this exactly what the leaders of the Christian faith should be doing? Jesus was not afraid to deliver a difficult message to those around him. Vacuous left-wing sermons condemning a government for upholding border controls is not a difficult message.”

The Renewal and Reform drive has its critics within the church as well – one senior member of Synod said: “Renewal and Reform is known by some as Search and Rescue.

“There is too much of a sense of panic.”

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