Andrew Brown reflects on the decline of religious affiliation - and specifically the Church of England - and concludes that this is because the C of E has become less like the society it still serves, even if it it no longer half-controls it.
"But at the same time as people have been growing less religious, the Church of England has been growing more religious: more exclusive, more of a club for self-conscious believers, prouder of being out of step with the people it once served."
The trouble with the theory that if the C of E were only more liberal it would be more popular, is that we have a control experiment in the form of the Episcopal Church in the States. And the evidence from these seems to be that the more"progressive" the Church, the fewer people will go. In that respect, it might be worth looking at the Guardian - itself a bastion of liberal values and declining adherence. And like the C of E, as one can see in the Comments section, increasingly populated by a small, devout, convinced minority that thinks that the rest of the world is out of step.
Well, let it be. The world was never meant to be run by the Church or by North London liberals - both far too out of touch to do a good job. The Guardian should stick to singing the praises of vegan juggling collectives performing at the Roundhouse. And the Church should worship Jesus. Neither is designed for popularity. But maybe one can cling onto something that will last forever.