Monday, December 22, 2008

Guardian on church decline: Better Late than Never?

The Guardian is reporting a story on forecasts of church decline which, strangely, uses exactly the same figures reported by the Times, Telegraph and various bloggers back in May (see here for some links, and here for Ruth Gledhills report back in May).

I know how they feel: I'm currently clearing my desk of all sorts of things which have been sitting there, waiting to be dealt with, so I'm guessing this is one of those.

Bizarrely, the opening paragraph is factually accurate: In one of the most holy weeks in the Christian calendar, a report says that in just over a generation the number of people attending Church of England Sunday services will fall to less than a tenth of what they are now, it's just that the report has been saying it for several months now.

Do you think they were saving this one up for maximum seasonal impact, perchance? I think it's gone a bit stale in the meantime. However, this hasn't stopped it being picked up by the popular Religion News 'blog', (which isn't a blog as you can't post comments.)

Christian Research's latest Religious Trends (2007-8) is available here.

And just to be completely even-handed, ask yourself how this excellent article from Rowan Williams can be the source of this bizarre Telegraph headline.

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