Thursday 10 March 2011

Hundreds of Anglicans leave to join Heaven

I have had the slide rule and accountant's trusty calculating machine out today, Dear Readers, and no mistake. It suddenly dawned on me today that many people are leaving the Church of England, and it seems that nobody has noticed.

The membership of the Church of England is a difficult thing to calculate. Does one count the baptised? Or people on the electoral role? One preferred measure is the number attending worship at least once a month. On the basis of which, the number of practising Anglicans in the United Kingdom is about 1.7 million.

But the death rate in the United Kingdom is about 10 per 1,000 each year. Which means, if Anglicans are typical, that about 17,000 worshippers in the Church of England are "promoted to glory", as the Salvation Army put it, every year. That's more than 600 every fortnight.

What can we conclude from this? To borrow an expression, it would appear that God has "Parked his tanks on the Archbishop's lawn".  If departures continue at the current rate, I predict that within 150 years not one current member of the Church of England will still belong. It is a crisis of Biblical proportions.

And yet the Press has said nothing.

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