Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Church attendance in England has plunged to the lowest levels ever.

Courtesy of The Telegraph: 

Attendance at Church of England services has plunged to its lowest level ever as the Archbishop of Canterbury warned it was battling to maintain its place in an increasingly “anti-Christian” culture. 

Official figures – based on an annual pew count – show that only 1.4 per cent of the population of England now attend Anglican services on a typical Sunday morning. 

Even the Church’s preferred “weekly” attendance figures, which include those at mid-week or extra services, has slipped below one million for the first time ever.

Now if only America can follow suit, and critical thinking gains a stronger foothold over here, I think we will all be in a much better place over all.

I have to say that when I started this blog I had no idea that I would be helping to chronicle the slow demise of organized religion. But more and more I think that is exactly what we are witnessing.

And I'm not going to lie, it is pretty gratifying.


  1. It really helps, too, when there is no lethal governmental punishment for not going to church. Besides, it's not Anti-Christian, it's pro-human.

    1. Anonymous7:43 AM

      Yes, I looked at the photo of the church and thought "Oh, it's so historic and beautiful!", and then I realized a huge part of that church's history consisted of forcing people to go there, and to repeat in fear whatever that church happened to be spouting at the moment.

      That's a huge part of ANY church's history, except the Quakers, at least as far as I can tell.

      (I am not Quaker, or even Christian, so if anyone can show this isn't true, I would be happy to hear you out.)

  2. Anonymous3:06 AM

    I love the "anti-Christian" comment--so much like the USA. The churches are open with no armed guard at the front door, and anyone is free to attend any service they like. That's hardly anti-Christian. Where I live in the USA, churches advertise in the local newspaper and at the local public schools, there are signs pointing the way to churches, and various churches put up various banners advertising special services or classes...yet the rightwing nutcases shriek that it's illegal to be a Christian.

  3. A. J. Billings3:42 AM

    That's great news, but I think the key word is SLOW. It's a gradual process.

    In the USA, the Christians are out in force this year to impose their mythology on all of us by getting elected to local, state, and federal office, and they are deadly serious about their agenda.

    We must get out and vote to at least prevent the lunatic Donald Trump, or a Christian Taliban sociopath like Ted Cruz from getting elected President.

    I'm no fan of Hillary Clinton, but at least whomever she nominates for Supreme Court won't be as prejudiced as Scalia, Thomas, or Alito.

    All that's required is two more justices that are Christian fanatics, and the USA could be doomed to suffer the reversal of 100 years of social progress.

    1. Anonymous5:25 AM

      There's very little (no) differentiation here between evangelicals/theocrats, and the strong liberal, compassionate, socially active established Protestant churches: Episcopalian, Methodist, Lutheran, others.

    2. Leland7:10 AM

      @ 5:25.

      You're right. But in my book, until they actually begin to SPEAK OUT against the loudmouthed talibangelical fanatics, they are part of the problem. Hell, even the Muslims speak out against their fanatics and their interpretations of the Qu'ran!

      And as for the Methodists? I don't know if we're talking about the same group, but they sure scream as loudly from the pulpit about gays and etc., as the talibangelicals! I know because I hear it a LOT from my idiot brother who IS a Methodist!

      The other day I finally had enough and told him quietly to shut the fuck up because I was tired of listening to his vitriolic spewing of hatred. He left the house.

    3. A. J. Billings7:18 AM

      @5:25 am
      I beg to differ.

      In the USA the Christian dominion movement, and the thousands of associated churches and pastors, and so-called "apostles" are very different from the more "progressive" sects and denominations.

      They militant Christians have an agenda that is not at all in agreement with our Constitution.

      The Reconstructionist and Dominionist leaders are pushing for a virtual theocracy, where their Old Testament style militancy dominates all 7 "mountains" of culture

      Above all, they believe that the USA was founded as a Christian nation.

      They believe in a literal interpretation of the bible, and they are pushing for amendments to the Constitution to enshrine their doctrines as the law of the land.

      Among their central beliefs:

      Only their type of "CHristian" should serve in government.

      All abortions made illegal

      Contraception outlawed

      Women should be discouraged from working outside the home.

      Stem cell research outlawed.

      Sex education in school to be done away with.

      Transfer of wealth from non-believers to their churches.

      Homosexual behavior punished severely, and no gay marriage or even civil partnerships.

      There is an abundance of evidence regarding this on the internet.

      I know these people first hand, and they are the ones that can't be reasoned with, and they will not compromise on anything regarding their positions.

      Ted Cruz is the sociopathic poster child of hatred, and intolerance for their movement. Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum are all part of this movement in one degree or another.

      Cruz in particular is a true threat to democracy in the USA.

      The agenda of the Christian right is to replace the Constitution with biblical law.

      References for your reading:

    4. Anonymous7:27 AM

      In New England, the Methodists are a "rainbow" community that welcomes everyone and anyone.
      The individual churches are autonomous, I believe, although there are Methodist bishops. I don't know how one area can support total inclusion and others are prejudiced.

    5. Anonymous7:47 AM

      To anyone writing about Methodists--having grown up Catholic (now lapsed, but that's irrelevant), I always wondered-----

      What is "the Method"? You know, that you are "ists" of.

    6. Anonymous8:18 PM

      7:47 - look up John Wesley

  4. Anonymous3:44 AM

    Several years ago my sister and brother-in-law came to visit us in Wisconsin. Both regular churchgoers. Wanted to see what a church service here is like. I dropped them off at a local Lutheran Church, I am not a fan of organized religion. Afterwards they were very quiet, and I asked for their opinion. Rita said "Well, I was shocked that every other sentence was a plea for money. I know churches need money to survive, but it was tedious listening to the constant pleas"

    1. Anonymous4:11 PM

      No one grifts better than organized religion

  5. Choosing not to attend church or embracing Christianity is not anti-Christian.

    1. Anonymous5:23 AM


    2. Leland7:11 AM

      Tell that to the idiots who believe it IS!

  6. Anonymous3:50 AM

    I think you can practice as an atheist and not necessarily gloat at the decline of certain kinds of religion: the Anglican church is probably the most liberal of Protestant churches, and its slow decline has not necessarily been 100% positive for the community. Also, the diversity of the British population is one reason for this decline, while other religions and denominations make up other weekly attendance.

    1. Anonymous7:27 AM

      What does "practice as an atheist" mean?

    2. Anonymous8:05 AM

      "practice as an atheist"?
      FUCK YOU idiot.

    3. Anita Winecooler4:16 PM

      Sometimes you just have to laugh. A young lady my son dated in high school asked me why the "First Presbyterian Church" had a parking lot. She was a pretty young thing, but not all her plants orbited in the same direction. We were stopped at a red light and I asked why she cared. She replied "If it's the first Pedestrian Church, at most they need bike racks, not all that asphault" I asked if she was dyslexic and she said "Naaa, German and Irish on my dad's side and Norwegian on my mothers". I did the best I could not to burst out laughing.

  7. Anonymous4:09 AM

    But you only mentioned Anglican (Episcopalian) attendance. What about other religions practiced in the UK? Is the attendance down in those as well?

    1. Maple5:45 AM

      The Anglican Church is the Church of England and has the largest number of adherents. I'm going out on a limb here by suggesting that the reason for falling numbers is two-fold: Europe is going through a second "enlightenment" (the Scandianavian countries especially are becoming largely secular), and the fact that Gt. Britain is no longer uniformly "white". Unlike the U.S., which wants to assimilate everyone into one great "Christian" melting pot, Gt. Britain, along with Commonwealth countries Canada, Australia, New Zealand, allow immigrants to maintain their culture and religion without fear of oppression. There are 4 Sikhs in Trudeau's cabinet, for example.

    2. Maple,
      I believe all of what you said is true. My question still stands?Is attendance and membership for other religions down as well.

    3. Leland7:15 AM

      Maple, I have to strongly disagree with one statement you made. Only certain groups in the US want to assimilate everyone into one great christian melting pot. Ass holes like Trump are in the minority, but they are the loudest. That does NOT mean what he spews is true.

    4. Anonymous7:25 AM

      Don't forget that the first settlements in Plymouth and elsewhere by the Puritans were so that they could get away from the established church's oppression.
      Then they turned around and exacted a tax in Massachusetts that lasted until the 1840s, forcing every citizen to pay for the upkeep of the New England established church, the Congregationalists.

      One reason why our prescient founders were insistent on the separation of church and state.

    5. Anonymous11:14 AM


      Pew Research Center has undertaken a study projecting the growth/decline of world religions through 2050.

      Islam is the world's burgeoning religion at this point in history and while America is becoming enlightened it seems that we are largely alone in as religious affiliation grows in the rest of the world, especially in the third world.

      There are some other interesting findings in the article below:

  8. Anonymous6:34 AM

    As a proud heathen, I will say that on my numerous trips to the UK, there are few places I enjoy visiting more than the gothic cathedrals. To me they are temples of history and culture, not God. I'd probably go to church, if I lived near one, just to be in one for awhile, but sure not because I was a believer.

    1. Anonymous11:07 AM

      Many of them are the architectural marvels of their time and many important architectural advances were made during the crafting of large cathedrals. I am an Atheist but I too appreciate the craftsmanship behind many of these buildings.

    2. Leland1:01 PM

      I agree, 11:07. I, too, am an atheist, but I love listening, once in a while, to some chanting by Benedictine Monks. I don't understand a word of Latin, but I can get totally lost in the beauty of the tonality matching and the depth of the sounds created.

    3. Anita Winecooler4:20 PM

      I'm the same way, Leland. I've visited some archetectural wonders that happen to be cathedrals and churches. One, in spain, blew me away. It was built by Gaudi, and it represented trees, the sky, and nature carved in this huge Gothic church. The artwork was breathtaking, not to mention the acoustics.

  9. Anonymous7:17 AM

    In simplified terms, when I think of the Church of England I think about the fact that the Church is headed by the Monarch and outside of the Queen, the next future king and his consort, are adulterers and ... well yeah.

  10. Leland7:52 AM

    "...the next future king and his consort, are adulterers and..."

    Huh? Are you talking about Charles or who?

    1. Leland8:27 AM

      Sorry, but for clarification, this comment was supposed to be a reply to 7:17 above. I could have sworn I clicked on "reply".

  11. Anonymous8:13 AM


  12. A. J. Billings9:18 AM

    More on the insidious Christian movement trying to amend the Constitution and establish Christianity as law of the land in the USA

  13. Anonymous4:29 PM

    I'm not sure where we get the idea it's necessary to eliminate one 'belief' system to have another. There's more than enough room on this planet for Atheists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Wiccans, Mormons or any other religion held by humans.

    The only problem I see is when any of the above choose to inflict their values or religious tenets on others or attempt to insert them into our government.

    Hoping that 'non-belief' will stamp out 'belief' is as futile, selfish and short-sighted as those who campaign to change our Democracy to a Theocracy.


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